The Happy Ending

Michael Beck

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It is during the long waiting seasons of our life that God establishes our hearts in the precious fruits of His Spirit.

Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.
Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. (James 5:7,8)

God has a “happy ending” in store for us if we will patiently endure affliction.

Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. 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. (James 5:10,11)

So often, we can’t perceive what God is wanting to do in us through the present trying situations we are going through.

Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him:
On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him: (Job 23:8,9)

There is misery in not knowing how long a trial will last (i.e., “time”) and in not knowing the reason for it (i.e., “judgment.”)

Because to every purpose there is time and judgment, therefore the misery of man is great upon him. For he knoweth not that which shall be: for who can tell him when it shall be? (Ecclesiastes 8:6,7)

Job wanted to understand why he was afflicted, but “darkness” was in his paths. He could not see what God was up to.

Behold, I cry out of wrong, but I am not heard: I cry aloud, but there is no judgment.
He hath fenced up my way that I cannot pass, and he hath set darkness in my paths. (Job 19:7,8)

When darkness is in our path our way is hidden. We don’t know where we’re going, nor the purpose behind what is happening in our life. Job described his state as miserable because his way was hid from him.

Wherefore is light given to him that is in misery, and life unto the bitter in soul …
Why is light given to a man whose way is hid, and whom God hath hedged in? (Job 3:20,23)

Although Job could not understand the path he was on; he knew that his way was not hidden from God.

But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. (Job 23:10)

Without any light, Job kept going forward in God, trusting in Him.

Who is among you that feareth the LORD, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the LORD, and stay upon his God. (Isaiah 50:10)

Even in the midst of the most excruciating trial, Job trusted the Lord for a “happy ending.”

Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him … (Job 13:15)

Our faith is tried when we can’t grasp the reason behind the trial we’re in. But if we will know that God is working all things together for His good in our life, and continue to love Him through the fire, we will receive the blessed “end” of our faith.

Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. (1 Pet. 1:6-9)

What God is doing in any given day in the life of His children is for His own purposes that pertain to their future. The refining fires of today produce the “golden character” of tomorrow.

I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. (Revelation 3:18)

Patience in tribulation develops in us tried and proven character, and the hope we will be able to stand in tomorrow’s fires.

By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
And patience, experience; and experience, hope (Romans 5:2-4)

experience > Gr. – dokim > approval through testing; genuine character

We naturally want to know the reason behind our trials. In not understanding, we become weary, and question God’s involvement.

Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, My way is hid from the LORD, and my judgment is passed over from my God?
Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (Isaiah 40:27-31)

God designs trials for our perfecting (see James 1:2-4.) We can grow weary and faint in our minds when we are being chastened by the Lord, especially when we don’t understand what His purposes are.

My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction:
For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth. (Proverbs 3:11,12)

Our Father wants us to know that His present chastening upon us, (though “grievous” to us,) is for our future benefit.

Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. (Hebrews 12:11)

At first, Paul didn’t know why he was going through a painful trial, (and wanted out of it;) but later he understood God’s purpose.

And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. (2 Corinthians 12:7)

The sufferings found in affliction can cause a turning from God or a turning to God. Because the Psalmist turned to God, he later discovered God’s “good” and “faithful” purposes in afflicting him.

Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word …
It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes …
I know, O LORD, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me. (Psalm 119:67,71,75)

In the wildernesses of our life, where God humbles us, and permits us to hunger, He calls us to draw near to Him. If we will be “humbled and afflicted” in His sight, He will lift us up and heal us.

Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.
Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. (James 4:8-10)

God uses His servants to give the afflicted His perspective. The “prayer of faith” sometimes brings a “raising up” and healing to the body, but always to the spirit. When God’s Word is quickened to us we are comforted in our affliction. (Ps. 119:50)

Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.
Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. (James 5:13-16)

Job’s encounter with God did not clear up every mystery, it simply comforted him in the knowledge that God knew what He was doing and could be trusted beyond his own understanding to bring him to a happy end.

… Therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not. (Job 42:3)

So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning … (Job 42:12)

Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. (Ecclesiastes 7:8)

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.