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They are called "blessed"

Don’t grumble about each other, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. For look—the Judge is standing at the door! For examples of patience in suffering, dear brothers and sisters, look at the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. We give great honor to those who endure under suffering. James 5:9-11a NLT

James, from the text, addresses his readers as “brothers and sisters.” This is who the believers are because there is a common bond that binds them, their personal relationship with Christ. James has to remind them about this bond because when suffering becomes intense in the life of believers, they start to grumble about one another. We are inclined to be critical and we would do well to be reminded about who we are in Christ. What we share in Christ is far greater than what can divide us. This is why we need to focus on this relationship we have with Christ and with one another rather than the things created by the enemy. Groaning and grumbling in times of suffering are contrary to being joyful and thankful as admonished earlier by James. “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow” (James 1:2-3). Then, James, reminded the believers to “look at the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord” (James 5:10). He is drawing them back to the Word of God where they can find examples. There are prophets worthy to be imitated. Think of the persecution Elijah endured from King Ahab, the hardship Jeremiah suffered at the hands of the kings of Judah, and the perseverance Daniel displayed when he was put in the lions’ den during the time of the exile. All of these, and numerous others, suffered because they “spoke in the name of the Lord.” In his prayer of confession, Daniel addresses God and says, “We have refused to listen to your servants the prophets, who spoke on your authority to our kings and princes and ancestors and to all the people of the land” (Danie 9:6). This is what James is exhorting the believers that instead of grumbling and complaining in times of persecution, the challenge is to remain steadfast in their faith and be patient to one another. Christians who are enduring during times of trials and persecutions should consider themselves blessed. “As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered” (James 5:11a NIV). He is reminding them of what Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount. “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:11-12 NIV). The enduring Christian during times of difficulties are in great company and they are called “blessed.”



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