Indeed, we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord; that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful. James 5:11
Things do not always work out the way you planned. It might sometimes seem as if things rarely work out the way you planned. Even the best laid plans can go awry with so many variables in this life. Just when you think you have thought of everything, along comes a twist in life’s plot that you never even imagined much less took into consideration in the planning process. Such is life!
James gives us an example here of Job, a man who seemed to have everything life has to offer, until he had nothing. To understand how life works, it is important to consider all of the parties involved. Once again, Job’s life provides us with the insight needed to put life into perspective. As his story begins, it is clear that Job is blessed, but not for the reasons most would consider to be a measurement of blessing. Job was blessed because he had such a relationship with God that the Lord spoke highly of him specifically, referring to him by name. You can’t get more blessed than that!
As his life story unfolds, we see the work of the devil not only in his life but also in the lives of his family. It is important to remember the truth our verse for today reveals — the Lord is compassionate and merciful. All of the evil that came upon Job and his family was the work of Satan and not God. The Lord cannot be tempted by evil and He does not tempt with evil. The devil brought a lot of pain, heartache and suffering upon Job but that’s not the end of the story. God’s plan was always for Job to be blessed and prosper in every area of his life and that is how the story of his life ends up.
But, before we get there, there are other parties involved in this account of Job’s life and all that he suffered. Everyone forsook him during the hard times and then were quick to rekindle their relationship when things were all good once again. Some of his friends were very well-meaning but still got it wrong when analyzing the reasons for Job’s troubles. They made the common mistake of judging one chapter in a person’s life with no regard for the evil that is in the world and the evil one who is always trying to steal, kill and destroy.
Sometimes life may be filled with challenges and the Lord is always an easy target when it comes time to blame someone for it all. At times like that, remember that it is a blessing to endure and persevere through the hard times and, like Job, never give up on God. After all, He knew all of your days before there was even one of them. He saw you in your mother’s womb and He knew you then. Even when you were not yet formed the Lord had already formed a plan for your life, and it is a good plan because the Lord alone is good and every good thing comes from Him.
During those times when life isn’t going according to your plan, you can rejoice and rest in the certain knowledge that your heavenly Father is watching over you. He will bring you through every storm safely to the other side. That’s the end intended by the Lord for you!
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