James 5:10-11 (NLT)
10 For examples of patience in suffering, dear brothers and sisters, look at the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 We give great honor to those who endure under suffering. For instance, you know about Job, a man of great endurance. You can see how the Lord was kind to him at the end, for the Lord is full of tenderness and mercy.
James speaks of those who endured suffering. He mentions the prophets who spoke out for God in the face of adversity. The Lord honored them for enduring the suffering they went through. James then mentions Job who was a good and honorable man. He was a man God found to be worthy. But God allowed Job to suffer at the hands of Satan to show His glory. Because in the end God restored Job’s health and gave back to him double that which he had for Job endured his suffering patiently.
According to Webster’s, perseverance is to persist in a state, enterprise, or undertaking in spite of counterinfluences, opposition, or discouragement. The counterinfluence in Job’s life was Satan as he attacked his possessions, family, and life Although Job had done nothing wrong Satan hoped Job would fail because God saw Job as a worthy and honorable man. God knew Job’s heart. God knew Job would hold fast even in the midst of his suffering. It was those around Job watching his suffering who could not face what they were watching. His wife told Job to curse God and die. His friends accused him of wrong doing and spoke of him in contempt. There will be some who face adversity head on and depend on God to get them through. There will be some who turn away because they fear the suffering they see. And others will show the love and mercy of God as they reach out to those afflicted. As I watched the news this weekend a woman who was engaged to be married was dying quickly from cancer. Her last wish was to be married to the man she loved. Her fiancée stood with her in the midst of her pain and suffering. Through what almost seemed like a hopeless effort he secured the documents to marry her before she passed away and he did so. He stood with her in her suffering just as God stands with us. God is full of tenderness and mercy if we just allow Him into our lives as we endure the sufferings of life.