Be Patient and Persevering

New England preacher Phillip Brooks was known for his calmness and poise. His intimate friends, however knew that he, too, suffered moments of frustration and irritability. One day a friend saw him pacing the floor like a caged lion. “What is the trouble Dr. Brooks?” … More

Patience

In today’s passage James teaches that Christians are to be patient and long-suffering in the hardships and injustices which they may experience. He simply suggests that suffering is to be expected by Christians in this hostile world. When it  comes it should be borne valiantly and without complaint. James goes on to assure his readers that their patience will not be in vain; for “the coming of the Lord draweth nigh” (v. 8b). He uses an example of a farmer who prepares the soil, sows the seed, keeps his fields free from grass and weeds and then waits patiently for the Lord to bring the rains and produce the precious crops (v, 7).

In times of severe trial it is easy for us to become impatient with those who are the most closely associated with us. This situation commands us not to murmur and blame other people for our troubles (v. 9). In other words, if we have to suffer because of our testimony for Christ and another Christian escapes suffering, we are not to question his devotion and murmur against him.

If we are tempted to complain of the difficulties we may be involved in James says we should just take a look at the prophets of God (v.10). In all ages they have left us examples of patience and long-suffering while enduring many afflictions. As a final example of patience James mentions the experience of Job (v. 11). He was both a spectacle of misery and an example of patience. In spite of all his trials he maintained a persistent trust in God. The appeal is for reverence and honesty in everyday conversation (v. 12). We need to be careful about the flippant use of God’s name to guarantee the truth of our statements.

Application

How would I rate myself on a scale of 1-10 in the area of patience. Do I find myself fretting and worrying over things I cannot control or just trusting the Lord to work things out?

James 5:7-12 (English Standard Version)


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