We count them happy which endure - According to that saying of our blessed Lord, Blessed are ye when men shall persecute and revile you - for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. Matthew 5:11, Matthew 5:12, etc.
Ye have heard of the patience of Job - Stripped of all his worldly possessions, deprived at a stroke of all his children, tortured in body with sore disease, tempted by the devil, harassed by his wife, and calumniated by his friends, he nevertheless held fast his integrity, resigned himself to the Divine dispensations, and charged not God foolishly.
And have seen the end of the Lord - The issue to which God brought all his afflictions and trials, giving him children, increasing his property, lengthening out his life, and multiplying to him every kind of spiritual and secular good. This was God's end with respect to him; but the devil's end was to drive him to despair, and to cause him to blaspheme his Maker. This mention of Job shows him to have been a real person; for a fictitious person would not have been produced as an example of any virtue so highly important as that of patience and perseverance. The end of the Lord is a Hebraism for the issue to which God brings any thing or business.
The Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy - Instead of πολυσπλαγχνος, which we translate very pitiful, and which might be rendered of much sympathy, from πολυς, much, and σπλαγχνον, a bowel, (because any thing that affects us with commiseration causes us to feel an indescribable emotion of the bowels), several MSS. have πολυευσπλαγχνος, from παλυς, much, ευ, easily, and σπλαγχνον, a bowel, a word not easy to be translated; but it signifies one whose commiseration is easily excited, and whose commiseration is great or abundant.
Behold, we count them happy which endure - The word rendered “we count them happy” ( μακαρίζομεν makarizomenoccurs only here and in Luke 1:48, where it is rendered “shall call me blessed.” The word μακάριος makarios(blessed, or happy,) however, occurs often. See Matthew 5:3-11; Matthew 11:6; Matthew 13:6, et soepe. The sense here is, we speak of their patience with commendation. They have done what they ought to do, and their name is honored and blessed. Ye have heard of the patience of Job - As one of the most illustrious instances of patient sufferers. See Job 1:21. The book of Job was written, among other reasons, to show that true religion would bear any form of trial to which it could be subjected. See Job 1:9-11; Job 2:5-6. And have seen the end of the Lord - That is, the end or design which the Lord had in the trials of Job, or the result to which he brought the case at last - to wit, that he showed himself to be very merciful to the poor sufferer; that he met him with the expressions of his approbation for the manner in which he bore his trials; and that he doubled his former possessions, and restored him to more than his former happiness and honor. See Mark 3:26; 1 Corinthians 15:24; Luke 21:9; Hebrews 7:3; (c) The final purpose, that to which all the parts tend, and in which they terminate, 1 Timothy 1:5; (2
Ye have heard of the patience of Job - As one of the most illustrious instances of patient sufferers. See Job 1:21. The book of Job was written, among other reasons, to show that true religion would bear any form of trial to which it could be subjected. See Job 1:9-11; Job 2:5-6.
And have seen the end of the Lord - That is, the end or design which the Lord had in the trials of Job, or the result to which he brought the case at last - to wit, that he showed himself to be very merciful to the poor sufferer; that he met him with the expressions of his approbation for the manner in which he bore his trials; and that he doubled his former possessions, and restored him to more than his former happiness and honor. See Mark 3:26; 1 Corinthians 15:24; Luke 21:9; Hebrews 7:3;
(c) The final purpose, that to which all the parts tend, and in which they terminate, 1 Timothy 1:5;
(2) this interpretation, referring it to the death of the Saviour, would not accord with the remark of the apostle in the close of the verse, “that the Lord is very merciful.” That is, what he says was “seen,” or this was what was particularly illustrated in the ease referred to. Yet this was not particularly seen in the death of the Lord Jesus. He was indeed most patient and submissive in his death, and it is true that he showed mercy to the penitent malefactor; but this was not the particular and most prominent trait which he evinced in his death. Besides, if it had been, that would not have been the thing to which the apostle would have referred here. His object was to recommend patience under trials, not mercy shown to others; and this he does by showing:
(a) That Job was an eminent instance of it, and,
(b) That the result was such as to encourage us to be patient.
The end or the result of the divine dealings in his case was, that the Lord was “very pitiful and of tender mercy;” and we may hope that it will be so in our case, and should therefore be encouraged to be patient under our trials.
That the Lord is very pitiful - As he showed deep compassion in the case of Job, we have equal reason to suppose that he will in our own.
“The Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy” (James 5:11).... He looks upon His redeemed heritage with pity. He is ready to pardon their sins if they will surrender and be loyal to Him. In order to be just, and yet the justifier of the sinner, He laid the punishment of sin upon His only begotten Son.... For Christ's sake He pardons those that fear Him. He does not see in them the vileness of the sinner; He recognizes in them the likeness of His Son, in whom they believe. In this way only can God take pleasure in any of us. “As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (John 1:12). AG 66.3Read in context »
This test would reveal the strength of those who with real faith had obeyed what they believed to be the teaching of the word and the Spirit of God. It would teach them, as only such an experience could, the danger of accepting the theories and interpretations of men, instead of making the Bible its own interpreter. To the children of faith the perplexity and sorrow resulting from their error would work the needed correction. They would be led to a closer study of the prophetic word. They would be taught to examine more carefully the foundation of their faith, and to reject everything, however widely accepted by the Christian world, that was not founded upon the Scriptures of truth. GC 354.1
With these believers, as with the first disciples, that which in the hour of trial seemed dark to their understanding would afterward be made plain. When they should see the “end of the Lord” they would know that, notwithstanding the trial resulting from their errors, His purposes of love toward them had been steadily fulfilling. They would learn by a blessed experience that He is “very pitiful, and of tender mercy;” that all His paths “are mercy and truth unto such as keep His covenant and His testimonies.” GC 354.2Read in context »
Keep your wants, your joys, your sorrows, your cares, and your fears before God. You cannot burden Him; you cannot weary Him. He who numbers the hairs of your head is not indifferent to the wants of His children. “The Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.” James 5:11. His heart of love is touched by our sorrows and even by our utterances of them. Take to Him everything that perplexes the mind. Nothing is too great for Him to bear, for He holds up worlds, He rules over all the affairs of the universe. Nothing that in any way concerns our peace is too small for Him to notice. There is no chapter in our experience too dark for Him to read; there is no perplexity too difficult for Him to unravel. No calamity can befall the least of His children, no anxiety harass the soul, no joy cheer, no sincere prayer escape the lips, of which our heavenly Father is unobservant, or in which He takes no immediate interest. “He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3. The relations between God and each soul are as distinct and full as though there were not another soul upon the earth to share His watchcare, not another soul for whom He gave His beloved Son. SC 100.1
Jesus said, “Ye shall ask in My name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you: for the Father Himself loveth you.” “I have chosen you: ... that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in My name, He may give it you.” John 16:26, 27; 15:16. But to pray in the name of Jesus is something more than a mere mention of that name at the beginning and the ending of a prayer. It is to pray in the mind and spirit of Jesus, while we believe His promises, rely upon His grace, and work His works. SC 100.2
God does not mean that any of us should become hermits or monks and retire from the world in order to devote ourselves to acts of worship. The life must be like Christ's life—between the mountain and the multitude. He who does nothing but pray will soon cease to pray, or his prayers will become a formal routine. When men take themselves out of social life, away from the sphere of Christian duty and cross bearing; when they cease to work earnestly for the Master, who worked earnestly for them, they lose the subject matter of prayer and have no incentive to devotion. Their prayers become personal and selfish. They cannot pray in regard to the wants of humanity or the upbuilding of Christ's kingdom, pleading for strength wherewith to work. SC 101.1Read in context »