The Blessing of Being Under the Circumstances

by Dennis Michelson
(Novelty, Ohio)

James 5:11 - Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.

Introduction: We often hear people say that they are doing OK "under the circumstances." Being under the circumstances always seems to carry a negative connotation. Most of us would rather not be there. If anyone was ever under the circumstances, it was Job.

As long as Job focused on changing his circumstances he missed a great opportunity for growth and blessing. When Job ultimately changed his attitude and God changed Job then the blessing followed. Bob Jones Sr. would say "do right until the stars fall." A constant theme in the Epistle of James is patience. It simply means staying steady even "under the circumstances."

1. The Paradox of Blessing - "We count them happy which endure"

There is more blessing to be found under the circumstances than on top of them. Compare this concept of blessing with that of the early verses of Matthew 5. Great blessing is found in the places you might least expect it. Job made a good start when he proclaimed "the Lord gives, and the Lord takes away, blessed be the Name of the Lord."

2. The Patience of Job - "You have heard of the patience of Job"

Remember patience means to abide or remain under the adverse circumstances with your focus fixed on God. Job was patient despite -

a. Family Problems
b. Financial Problems
c. Friend Problems

3. The Purpose of God - "You have seen the end of the Lord."

Read Job 42 carefully. It reveals that -

a. Job saw God for who He is (42:5)
b. Job saw himself for who he was (42:6)
c. Job was blessed beyond all expectations (42:12)

4. The Principle for Us - "The Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy."

When you find yourself under the circumstances it is more important to focus on God changing you and not on you (or God) changing your circumstances.

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