The Promise Keeper
James 5:11-12 (NIV)
11 As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.
12 Above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. All you need to say is a simple “Yes” or “No.” Otherwise you will be condemned.
These two simple verses, empower me and I hope they empower you.
James highlights that blessed are those who persevere.
Those who endure…
Why? Why are those who endure counted as blessed? The definition of endurance means the fact or power of enduring an unpleasant or difficult process or situation without giving way. Unpleasant and difficult situations are hard and certainly don’t feel like blessings most of the time. James also tells us in Chapter 2 of this same Epistle to count it all joy when we fall into trials. What is up with this guy? Has he ever lost his job? Has he ever walked through infidelity? Has his family ever hurt him?
James’ position challenges every believer. He challenges not only how we think but how we live. James encourages us to lean into the purpose that comes from our pain. His view urges followers of Jesus Christ to put the struggles of life in proper context. Not because life isn’t difficult, but because the Lord is bringing something about. James wants us to know that the Lord is a promise keeper, and if He is bringing about something for us, it will always be good, because He is good. Our hope is in Him.
The half-brother of Jesus doesn’t want us to take our eyes off the big picture. He wants us to remember that no matter what we’ve gone through, there is another side. Our struggles are not in vain if we are in the hands of the Lord. The Lord will bring about something good in us, through us, and for us. He might even use our testimony in the lives of others. James even reminds us that God is so good He left us an example in the life of Job.
The trials of life came at Job from almost all sides. He lost everything, even his friends didn’t support him. Trouble found Job in almost every aspect of his life, yet he endured. Job persevered and God brought something about. He gave him double for his trouble. This revelation marks a clear path to the next part of James’ declaration in verse 11. James boldly declares that the Lord is full of compassion and mercy. Did you hear that? Believers who endure trials receive a blessing because the Lord is full of compassion and mercy and He stays true to His word. And James instructs us in chapter 5:12 that considering all of this, child of God stay true to your own word.
If you say you believe in God… then believe in God.
If you say you have faith in God… then have faith in God.
If you say you trust God… then trust God.
He says you’re blessed, and so do I!