Hello everybody, it’s nice to see you all here, and I hope everyone here and those online are all doing well.
Today we’re going to continue reading truth in the Book of James, specifically chapter 5 verses 7 to 11 which says
Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door! Brothers and sisters, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.James 5:7-11 NIV
Right away we see this
Call To Patience
I think it’s interesting how the tone seems to change significantly from the previous passage. From a firm rebuke of the wealthy who take advantage of the poor, to a reminder to those who are facing adversity to persevere and remain patient as they await our Lord’s return.
We see James using an example in verse 7 about a farmer waiting for his land to yield crops. This sort of highlights what the process is like, in that we can’t do anything to speed up the process. We can’t make the days or the seasons come and go any faster. I’m sure there are things we’ve all waited for with expectancy in the past. Maybe for a trip that’s been planned, or a movie that’s coming out. It could even be something like the weekend. Sometimes I think that days like Sunday can’t come soon enough. I look forward to coming together with an amazing community of believers to fellowship with and to hear God’s Word. I can’t make the days move faster, but I can be patient and learn to work through everyday as the time draws closer. Now the word “near” that James uses in verse 8, in regard to Jesus’s return is a bit ambiguous, the exact date is never given but I think He did intend to communicate some level of urgency.
What I mean by that is, precisely because we don’t know, we should live our lives like He could come back at any moment. Remember, that for us it won’t be a day of fear, but a day of joy because we’ve been washed clean by the blood of the Lamb. Along with this call to patience we have my second point which is
Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!James 5:9 NIV
Here James is specifically talking about them complaining against one another. Even if we find ourselves in a position where our feelings are justified we should remember that complaining often leads to disorder, and that Jesus is the only one true judge. It also serves to distract us from God and His calling on our lives. I don’t know about everyone else, but I’ve noticed that in the past when I’ve allowed my mind to be filled with thoughts worrying about what others are doing or have done it makes it harder for me to focus on my current tasks. In times like those I just need to let go of those things so I’m not dragged down by them. Then I can realign myself with God’s plan.
I’ll move to my final point.
Brothers and sisters, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.James 5:10-11 NIV
Here we see James reminding the readers of the struggles that those who came before them had faced. Generally the prophets of God had not lived easy lives. I was just talking to the kids this past Wednesday about the Prophet Elijah. Cool dude. Spent a great deal of time on the run because the King and Queen didn’t appreciate what he had to say. Then there’s Job. Guy pretty much lost everything he had except his wife, and she wasn’t as supportive as she could’ve been. But God didn’t leave him like that, and God doesn’t plan to leave us where we are and how we are. He’s coming back.
So in closing, let’s remember to be patient, to avoid complaining, and to persevere. Jesus is coming back and that’s great news, whatever circumstances we find ourselves in now will seem like the distant past.
“‘“The Lord bless you and keep you;Numbers 6:24-26
25 the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”’