As you know, we consider 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. James 5:11.
James was writing this passage to encourage patience in the face of suffering. Sometimes we discount suffering in our context because we aren’t subject to the physical abuse that Christians experience in other parts of the world. Nevertheless, we live in a fallen world and we encounter trials and problems that we wouldn’t if we weren’t Christians. So the call to be patient is also valid for us.
Often we’re too quick to rush into a situation and try to immediately fix things, or we implore the Lord for a speedy result, without stopping to think that maybe God is doing a work that’s going to take time. This was the case with Job. We aren’t told how long Job suffered, but 40 chapters seems like a long time! Yet there was a lot going on in the heavenly realm that Job was unaware of. The story of Job underlines the fact that we may need to wait in order to see the result that the Lord wants to bring about, which may be quite different from the outcomes we want.
The above verse ends with a great encouragement, the Lord is full of compassion and mercy. He isn’t going to prolong our difficulties without reason, but only if it works to our best interests. His heart is for us to become more like Christ, which sometimes means we have to endure circumstances that aren’t to our liking.
Regardless of our difficulties, whether they are major dramas or minor inconveniences, we’re blessed when we persevere.