Why must we endure trials? Why can’t life be completely smooth sailing? Today we will find out.
“Behold, we count them blessed who endure.” James 5:11
Faith counts them blessed who patiently endure trials, as Job, the saints, and prophets of old did.
But why? Upon what grounds do we count them blessed?
Enduring their trials, God’s saints find themselves compelled to cling tightly to their Savior—and that brings them into closer, sweeter communion with Him. And that is our happiness! We are blessed, indeed, when . . .
we are admitted into the inner chambers of Him whom our souls love,
our sorrows more fully reveal to us the Man of Sorrows,
our grief’s cast us upon the heart of our God,
our troubles take us to the Throne of Grace.
Little chicks in the sunshine run all over the yard, pecking and gathering whatever they find. But if a hawk appears in the sky, the mother hen calls them with a sharp alarm. Immediately, they perceive the danger and run under her wings for safety.
God’s saints are like those chicks. He was a much afflicted man who wrote, “He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings shall you trust.” Psalm 91:4
One of the most delicious of sensations outside of Heaven, is to fall helplessly into the arms of Christ! There we find . . .
strength in helplessness,
joy in submission,
rest in resignation,
and peace in surrender!
Anything which . . .
gives new life to prayer,
brings us to the Throne of Grace,
and renews communion with our God–
is so great a gift that, “we count them blessed who endure.”
There is no place in all our pilgrim journey more needful for our souls than the Valley of Humiliation. The tops of the Delectable Mountains are wonderful, exhilarating spots, from which we sometimes see the Golden City. But those are heights too steep for our trembling feet to stand firmly upon them. The valley suits us better, though flesh and blood finds it hard to go downhill. Here our dear Savior manifests Himself to His chosen as He does not to the world. Therefore “we count them blessed who endure.”
Once more, “we count them blessed who endure,” because “our light affliction, which is but for a moment, works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory!” 2 Corinthians 4:17. Oh, what glory awaits us on the other side! And that glory awaiting us is made all the more glorious by “the trial of our faith!”
When we are afflicted, we draw closer to God. When we are confused, troubled, and don’t know what to do, He draws closer to us. What a blessing.
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001