Men of Character: Job (James 5:10-11)
James 5:10-11, Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the LORD, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the LORD; that the LORD is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.
From the very beginning of the book of Job we hear about Job’s character and his testing (Job 1:1, 8; 2:3). The Bible declares Job was perfect, upright, feared God and eschewed evil. Both before and after he lost everything God was able to say Job had the same characteristics.
In James 5:11, the word “patience” means cheerful, endurance,’ ‘steadfastness,’ and ‘perseverance or waiting. It is endurance without murmuring. Perhaps the best characteristic to describe Job is patience. Patience is something we all need and want, but we rarely like to go through what it takes to obtain it. James 1:3, Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. As believers’, we will all have our faith tested. If there is no testing, there will never be patience. In Titus 2:2-8, when God lists specific character traits men and women need to develop, it was the men that He told to be patient.
A furnace of fire is used to test precious metals. The heat from the furnace separates the dross and impurities to bring about the best. Job stated, “when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold” (Job 23:10). The Word of God teaches that our faith is even more precious than gold. God allows and may even bring times of trouble to our lives to not only test us, but to refine us. When we are tried and tested by adversity, it is so that we can come forth unto His praise, honor and glory when Christ returns. We, as a result, become more precious (valuable) to Him. Good people get tested so they can become better.
Trials never come by accident or by mistake; there is a purpose for the trial (James 1:2-4). At the center of every trial, there is a purpose. Each of us must pass through the flames of adversity during our appointed time on Earth. Regardless of the experience, it hurts to go through the fire. As painful as the heat may be, God will not allow it to consume you. It will accomplish nothing less than His perfect will intends for you. But there is something very precious about the searing heat of trials. God uses it to refine our character in a way no natural act could do. No one likes going thru trials, but by keeping our eyes focused on the end result of our trials, we find the patience and strength to endure them and reach the other side.
Satan wants believers to quit serving God. Satan wants you to think that God doesn’t care, when God is really molding and making you more like Christ (Romans 8:28-29). The Lord promised in due season that we would reap if we do not faint (Galatians 6:9). Job didn’t faint and in the end he reaped (Job 42:12).
When we are going through trials it is of great comfort to know that nothing comes into our lives without first passing through the hands of our heavenly Father. God’s grip of grace clings to us through the trials of life and leads us day by day. This was the test in the book of Job. Satan claimed Job worshiped God only because he was prosperous. The trial of Job’s faith proved Satan wrong. What do your trials say about your faith in God?
PRAYER: Father in Heaven I know the thoughts and plans You have for me are for Your glory and for my good. Whatever I may face today I can expect that You are working for good in all of it. So I’m going to step forward in faith, trusting You in all things and seeking to cooperate fully with Your plans for me. I know I can’t imagine all the good You have planned for my life, but I also know it’s all coming in Jesus’ name, so I can say, AMEN!
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.