James 5:10-11 – Suffering Prophets

James 5:10-11

10 Brothers, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.

James gives an example of the Old Testament prophets as men who had patience in suffering.  The job of a prophet was not an easy one.  We think of prophets as being among the heroes of the Bible but they weren’t received very well by their peers.

Prophets are people who speak for God.  We have prophets today, we call them pastors.  Not every pastor is a prophet though because frankly not every pastor speaks for God.  There are many pastors who tell short stories that make people feel good or motivate them to live a godly life.  Some of these pastors are good pastors even but a prophet is someone who is going to share God’s Word boldly and without hesitancy.

The problem with ancient prophets and modern day ones is that God usually doesn’t send a message of “You’re doing great, keep up the good work!”  Instead, prophets usually are sent with a message of what needs to be corrected.

Job, just like the prophets, endured a lot in his life.  In the end though, he and they persevered through suffering.  And because the Lord is full of compassion and mercy, they were blessed for their endurance.

It is not easy to be patient in most circumstances but perhaps most of all during suffering.  When we are suffering, regardless of the cause, we want it to end as quickly as possible.  When there appears to be something that we can do about it, we’re likely to do it.

There are times that we suffer at the hands of another person however and there is nothing that we can do about it.  During these times we should be encouraged to know that God does not miss our suffering and those who cause our suffering will be judged.

While we endure suffering, we should do so knowing that those who have gone before have suffered for their faith.  They persevered with patience and God rewarded them in the end.  It will be the same for us if we are patient in our suffering as well.

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