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“Behold, we count them happy which endure.” (James 5:11)
Faith never calculates like reason. Faith’s counting is different. — “Behold, we count them happy which endure.” Faith counts those men and women happy who endure trials at the hand of God, knowing “that the trying of your faith worketh patience” (James 1:3, 12). Happy, blessed, honored, highly esteemed of God and his people are those who endure affliction and trouble with courage, constancy, and patience unto the end; for “he that endureth to the end shall be saved” (Matthew 10:22).
They are blessed, happy, and highly esteemed of God and beautiful in his eyes now. They are blessed, happy, and highly esteemed of God and beautiful in his eyes forever. The Spirit of God rests upon them. The grace of God is bestowed upon them. It is an honor done to them by God that they are counted worthy to suffer for Christ and with Christ; and they count it their honor. They who endure unto the end shall, in the end, be glorified together with Christ. “If we suffer with him, we shall also reign with him” (2 Timothy 2:12; Romans 8:16-18; 2 Corinthians 1:7; Philippians 1:29).
This is faith’s way of counting. — “Behold, we count them happy which endure.” — The pity and tender mercy of God are to be seen in the happiness of those who are called to suffer. This arithmetic is only known to faith and must be learned of the Lord Jesus. — “We,” that is, the Church of God, count them happy who are counted worthy to suffer for Christ’s sake. We do not think those people are happy who chase happiness, wasting their lives in the revelry of death in unbelief. We do not count those to be happy who are fattened like the calves in the stall, but shall soon be brought to the slaughter. We sorrow because of them! We are not so foolish as to count those happy who spread themselves like a green bay tree, only to be the sooner laid low by the axe of doom!
We count those happy who endure because our Savior has taught us so to reckon. He says, “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in Heaven, for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”? Did he not say, “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted”? This is the verdict of God our Savior and the verdict of faith. Faith does not dispute the Master, but bows to him and learns of him. Those who endure the will of God are the happiest, most highly honored, most blessed people in this world. — “Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O Lord!” (Psalm 94:12)
This counting is not a delusion, but it is a proper and true estimate of things. There is a happiness in affliction which none can know except those who have tasted that the Lord is gracious (Psalm 119:67, 71, 75). Rare gems glisten in the dark mines of adversity.