Reading: “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”—James 5:11
There is something uncommonly soothing and consolatory in these words, concerning the Lord’s grace—“that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.” Very pitiful! What a sweet consideration to a child of God, under affliction! For it speaks in the tenderest and most endearing manner, for all such occasions, that if afflictions abound there must be a reason for them. Keep this thought always uppermost in your remembrance and carry it about with you for constant use as occasion may require.
Consider another sweet lesson to help console your mind. If you had as much wisdom, and as much love for yourself and your material interests, as Jesus has, the most painful exercises you are now called to, and which you are apt to shrink from, would be among the subjects of holy joy. And mark farther what the apostle says: “Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord”; that is, in the issue of Job’s trials. Who can doubt but that the Lord all along intended it all for Job’s good as well as his own glory?
In all of the exercises of the soul, Christian, look to the end of them. You can depend on it that Jesus has an end in view, and he will accomplish it. In the mean time, never forget, that “the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy” and in all the afflictions of His people He is afflicted. And what a memorable scripture is that: “His soul was grieved for the misery of Israel” (Judges 10:16). Precious Jesus, all is well. In the sorrows of your children, You bear a part, and the largest part, the heaviest end of every cross I have to carry. The cup of our affliction is not bitter like your cup of trembling, for through your love, the gall and wormwood are taken out. There is no bitter wrath in the chastisements of a kind Father, for You have borne the wrath for us. Let these sweet consoling thoughts refresh you, Christian—the Lord, your Jesus, “is very pitiful and of tender mercy.”