© by Joyce C. Lock
"Take ... the ... prophets for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience ... we count them happy which endure." (Ja. 5:10-11)
Satan has used this passage to rob Christians of a victorious life. Any happiness you see is likely just a cover.
It is often thought we're to patiently endure whatever horrible things that come our way, to be victims of our circumstance. The only blessings we expect to see are in the life to come.
Occasionally, I've heard well intended Christians say, "We're never going to get through the trials of this life until we get to Heaven."
I have this urge to respond, "Don't say that! IT ISN'T TRUE!" But, I also understand that they wouldn't say it except they don't know. The prophets weren't victims. They suffered more because they went through all the issues of the inner man so they could come back and teach the people how to overcome. And, they did so holding on to the promises of God!
You can bet that in each victorious adventure taken, the prophets were happy when all was said and done - in awe of what God had done for them. They believed God when He said we could be overcomers ... not only in the next life, but in this life, too. And, they weren't disappointed.
The prophets suffered and endured (stayed the course), not because they liked it but, because they liked the end result. The end result is where they found happiness.
The purpose of this series is to encourage people to live as loving, compassionate, and peacemaking children of God: Jesus tells us to pray, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." (Matthew 6:10) God tells us through Micah (6:8), "He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God." And we know from Revelation 21:4 that there will be no more mourning, or crying, or pain, or death. Thus, Christian living requires us to set the standards of these conditions here on earth for our fellow human beings, and for the other animals, as a witness to the rest of the world. To do otherwise is not Christian.