Thursday, 11 August 2022
“Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming” -James 5:7
The Book of James begins with instructions to consider it pure joy whenever we face trials of any kinds because it is from these difficult situations we develop perseverance through faith. And through perseverance we develop maturity. Again, in Chapter 5 James continues to instruct the readers to stand firm till the end. Let’s turn our attention to what the writer is trying to advise us in today’s reading portion.
Patience is the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, problems, or suffering. The question here is, are we waiting patiently? In our difficult situations are we able to tolerate the deviation from comfort and stand still? Continuing to remain faithful in today’s world is a challenge. Trials and temptations are hovering around trying to devour us which is why the writer continues to remind the readers to remain steadfast in faith until the end! An example of a farmer is used here who waits patiently for his crops to grow through different seasons and does not give up due to the hard work involved to ensure a good harvest. This is how we ought to be until the Lord’s coming!
Do Not Grumble
When things don’t seem to be going the right way, the first instinct is to grumble and eventually shift the blame to others. James advises in verse 9 is “Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters or you will be judged”.. Ephesians 4:2 says “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love” Although this may seem difficult, consider the life of Job who suffered through difficult trials but persevered to receive God’s blessing. When everyone turned against him, he still firmly trusted God. Verse 10 speaks of the Old Testament prophets who suffered persecution from people when they delivered God’s word. Let the lives of God’s servants who persevered under trials be an encouragement for us!
Experience Lord’s Compassion and Mercy
Sometimes we tend to backslide in midst of struggles but this does not separate us from the love of God. Verse 11 says “…The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.” He is a compassionate God hoping we run back to His throne of grace and mercy. We may have been impatient, we may have grumbled when things did not turn out to be favourable but God through His word speaks to us to experience His love and mercy for us and align ourselves back with Him.
Keep your word
In James 5:12 it says “Above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. All you need to say is a simple “Yes” or “No.” James is trying to advice the readers to remain firm in their decisions and not to waiver when circumstances strike. Pain and suffering should not be the cause for one to fluctuate from one’s stand. Matthew 5:37 says let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’ anything beyond these is of evil.
While we wait upon the second coming of Christ we may go through tribulations but amidst all this we need to be patient, keep away from grumbling, experiencing His love and continuing to stand firm! Romans 8:18 says “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Can we stand firm in Christ and His Word and trust Him until His coming again?
To practise: Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. (Romans 12:12)