Look at how we honor those who have practiced endurance. You have heard of the endurance of Job. And you have seen what the Lord has accomplished, for the Lord is full of compassion and mercy. (James 5:11 CEB)
Question. How many centuries separate Job’s experiences and James’ audience?
Answer. Quite a few.
And yet, James says his audience has “seen what the Lord has accomplished” in Job’s life.
Yes, from James’ perspective, their “hearing of” Job, that is their hearing the testimony of ancient Scripture, is the same as “seeing” something today in terms of God’s purpose. We can see what God is like today by hearing what God did way back when. The past informs the present, indeed, it is the present, for all practical purposes.
Does that sound like a stretch? It shouldn’t. It’s the same lesson we teach our children in song today.
“Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. The Bible tells me so.”
The Bible may be a very old book, but it’s as fresh to us as if the ink was yet to dry. How is that? Because God has not changed. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. And the race of enduring faith we’re running today? We don’t run alone, but rather, run in the midst of an audience of a great cloud of witnesses who train us and cheer us on.
Note how we pay tribute to practitioners of endurance. You’ve heard of Job’s endurance and you’ve seen God’s purpose in it all. And what were you to learn from it all? That the Lord is full of compassion and mercy. (James 5:11 DSV)
Eternal Father, how refreshing it is to see things from your perspective, standing in, and above, time! You bring the saints from the past to live with me and you call me to finish well in the future with you. This is your doing and it is good for my heart to hear and to see. Through Christ Jesus I thank you for giving me a glimpse beyond the constraints of time. Amen.