Do you feel it? Do you sense it? The end is near . . . of our study of the book of James. The man sure packed his letter with wisdom for the first-century Jewish converts to Christianity, but it has such terrific application for our lives two thousand years later. So remarkable! God's Word does not go out of style because people are people are people, and the human condition does not change much. Though times and cultures change, what we face in life does not-temptation, trials, relationship struggles, wars of differing sorts, an uncertain future, etc.
James seems to come full circle-back to the discussion of perseverance in the face of difficulty and suffering. Looking at the Message, "Take the old prophets as your mentors. They put up with anything, went through everything, and never once quit, all the time honoring God. What a gift life is to those who stay the course! You've heard, of course, of Job's staying power, and you know how God brought it all together for him at the end. That's because God cares, cares right down to the last detail." James 5.10-11
Those who walk with Jesus will not be spared of suffering, which is contrary to some of the thinking of our day. Christians will experience life, with all of its ups and downs, twists and turns; the difference between those who do not walk with God is that we are promised that God will never leave us and never forsake us. He is with us all the way. Hebrews 13.5 James mentioned Job as a testament of perseverance-have you ever wondered how this man did not give up on God? He suffered tremendously as he lost all his material wealth, his children, and then his health-being covered with painful boils. His wife even told him to curse God, yet his response was, 'though he slay me, yet I will hope in him.'
Don't misunderstand--Job not only questioned, but he wrestled with God... nonetheless, he stayed the course. Yes, he stood firm, and said, "but He knows the way that I take, when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold . . ." Job 23.9-11
Whatever you are facing, whatever you are going through, you are not alone. Your Redeemer lives, and he will never leave you, he will never abandon you. God is full of compassion and mercy and he extends it toward you. And his Word? It just does not go out of style - not the stories of faith or how God purposed for us to live . . . not his words of wisdom or his words that remind us of his faithfulness to each and every one of us, his children. As Job said, "I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth." Job 19.25. Check it out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qonfozR3BLo
God watches over everything from the rising of the sun to the place where it goes down. His Word tells us how the story ends ... and at the end of the day, God wins. Period. End of story. And the fans go wild.