"Behold, we count them happy which 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 Saviour — -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 griefs 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 thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou 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!
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 happy which 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 Saviour manifests Himself to His chosen as He does not to the world. Therefore "we count them happy which endure".
Once more, "we count them happy which endure" because "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh 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.