- How to be Happy: Introduction
- How to be Happy: Part A: Performance Based on Perception
- How to be Happy: Part B: Preeminence Based on Patience
- How to be Happy: Part C: Preservation Based on Purging
- How to be Happy: Conclusion
“Behold, we count them happy which endure…” (James 5:11)
The second key to true happiness is “endurance.” This word is also translated “patience.” The verb form means “to bear patiently, endure.” The noun form is literally, “an abiding under.” (The Greek word is “hupomone”; “hupo” means “under” and “meno” means “to abide.”) It is patience which grows only in trials. In James 5:11, our text verse, the Apostle James used the verb form, indicating action; telling how one is to endure, he is to endure patiently.
James 1:3 says, “… the trying of your faith worketh patience.” In Romans 5:3, Paul says “…tribulation worketh patience.” The word “patience” in both these verses is the noun form (#5281).
In James 5:10, James uses the prophets, who have spoken in the Name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience (#5281). Then in James 5:11b, James uses the example of Job, “…Ye have heard of the patience of Job…” In these examples, James points the reader, not to the nature of their sufferings, but to how they endured these sufferings.
In our text verse, James said, “Behold, we count them happy which endure…”
The Apostle Peter presents the same truth:
“And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?” (1 Peter 3:13)
“But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;” (1 Peter 3:14)
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts…” (1 Peter 3:15a)
“If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.” (1 Peter 4:14)
Therefore, I conclude that the above Scripture references reveal that the second key to being “blessed” by God is to “endure.” As a verb, this tells us “how” we endure, patiently; that is, “to abide” therein, for out of patience comes experience, perfection, “entire, wanting nothing” (James 1:2-4; Romans 5:4). (See Matthew 5:10-12.)
But how does one “abide” under the pressure of bodily suffering and mental suffering? The Apostle Peter gives us the answers in 1 Peter 3:14-15:
First, see 1 Peter 3:14b, “…be not afraid of their terror…” See Isaiah 8:12b, “…neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid.” And in verse 13 Isaiah said, “Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.” Verses 19d-20 say, “… should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead? To the law and to the testimony…”
The Child of God under trials, tribulations, and persecutions, must look to God.
“I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” (Revelation 1:18)
He must not look to the gods of wood and stone, the gods of this world.
“And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? …” (Isaiah 8:19a)
He must not look to the gods, the wizards that mutter and peep. No, he must seek the Living God; the One True and Living God; the only God there is; Jehovah, the Great “I AM”; the One who has “All Power” in heaven and in earth (Matthew 28:18); proven in His Resurrection (Romans 1:4).
Isaiah said look to “the law and to the testimony”; or look to God’s Written Word of Promises; even to the God of the Promises.
“Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end…” (1 Peter 1:13).
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Philippians 4:13)
“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)
Peter said in 1 Peter 3:15a, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts…” That is, set Him apart in your spirit. Know who God is and who you are. You do not need to be afraid of their terror, for God is able. Even if we suffer, He is able and will carry us through the trial. See the example of Stephen in Acts 7. See the examples of Daniel and the three young Hebrew men with Daniel – the men in the fiery furnace (Daniel 3); and Daniel himself in the lion’s den (Daniel 6). Yes, God is able. In the fire or out of the fire; in life or in death; God will supply our need.
Second, see 1 Peter 3:14c, “…neither be troubled.” That is, rest in the Peace of God.
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
Know there is nothing that can separate a Child of God from God’s Love (Romans 8:29-39). Your body and your mind may suffer great affliction; you may even die a martyr’s death. But God will sustain you. Therefore, don’t be troubled with those that can kill the body; but trust in the One who can kill the body and the soul.
Therefore, How can you endure? “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts…” (That is, rest in His Promises.) Study God’s Word; take into your spirit “…the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls” (James 1:21). Turn loose of the world and its false gods that have no life in them; that cannot speak, or move, or have any power; for they are dead, no light is in them.
Walk by faith, which is trusting God and His Word (Hebrews 11:6). Rest on His Word of Promises. Look to His Power, His Wisdom, and His Guidance. He will carry you through to complete victory over all enemies in His Victory (1 John 5:4).
The saint’s resolve must be 1 Peter 3:15-17:
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:” (1 Peter 3:15)
“Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.” (1 Peter 3:16)
“For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.” (1 Peter 3:17)
No matter what may come, “sanctify the Lord God in your hearts.” Even in the face of great suffering for righteousness sake. For Peter said:
“If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye…” (1 Peter 4:14a)
Why are we happy?
“…for the spirit of glory and (even) of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.” (1 Peter 4:14b)
Why? Because you will glorify God in your suffering for His Name’s sake.