"Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door. As an example, brethren, of suffering and patience, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful."
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James encouraged his persecuted brethren to “be patient” (verse 7) as they endured suffering at the hands of the reprehensible rich. The Lord had not turned a blind eye to their suffering and He is fully aware of the trials and turbulence that we go through in our lives as well. We must be willing to “suffer long” (Greek, macrothumeo) and stay faithful knowing that the Lord will eventually make things right.
After a farmer has done his part in tilling the land and planting the seed, he must trust that God will send the necessary rains to produce a good harvest (verse 7). If we patiently do the Lord’s will through the storms and droughts of life and trust that He will keep His precious promises, “the precious fruit” He provides will be sweeter than honey and the gratifying drippings from the honeycomb.
Most of God’s prophets of old were persecuted for proclaiming His word, but they faithfully persevered until the (sometimes bitter) end in order to receive His eternal blessings (verse 11). We learn from Job that “the Lord is compassionate and merciful” to His loyal servants if they love and serve Him through all of life’s losses and catastrophes (verse 11; Job 42:9-17). Even if He doesn’t see fit to rectify things for us on this side of eternity, all that we faithfully endure will be more than worth it at “the coming of the Lord” (verse 7).
Neither James nor any of the other inspired writers predicted that the Lord’s Second Coming would occur in their lifetimes or in that of their readers. They didn’t know any better than Jesus did what the day and time of His return would be, but they exhorted and encouraged Christians to live their lives in such a way that they would be ready for it no matter when it happened (2 Peter 3:14). “What sort of persons ought you to be, conducting yourselves in holiness and devotion, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God.” (2 Peter 3:11-12)
“The coming of the Lord” is always “at hand” (verse 8)!
“Maranatha” (1 Corinthians 16:22)! “Come, O Lord!”
Please read James 5:12 for tomorrow.
Have a great day!
- Louie Taylor