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
Of the many virtues that I need improvement in, patience is at the top of the list! Our impulsive disposition desires immediate outcomes when, many times, patience is required. The complexities of life and working with people force us into the place where we just need to be patient. James is writing to believers who were frustrated and had given up concerning their circumstances. So, five times in five verses he instructs them on the importance of patience. Just as he told them, “Be patient therefore,” we must be patient.
There is the attribute of patience.
Patience is the ability to wait as a circumstance that we face works its course in our life. It is the ability to remain calm and collective in our attitude, thoughts, and judgment. It is reserving ourselves against an outburst regardless of if we think we are right. It is taking it slow when we would, otherwise, try to speed things up. It is accepting the facts that God is at work in our life through our circumstance and that it is our responsibility to wait on Him. It is realizing that we may be inhibited from solving a problem and learning that the end solution is different and may take longer than expected. It is learning to rest in the Lord and commit our situation to Him to work out for us. It is the stretching of our spirit, the ability to endure the heat, and the attitude of not allowing the circumstance to get the best of us.
There is the advice concerning patience.
James gives timely advice in the area of wisdom. First, we must have patience concerning the Lord’s coming. The Lord is not going to hurry His coming for us because we are at our wits’ end. We must be steady and ready that He could come at any moment. We must accept that His coming is based on His timetable, and not ours. James’ advice is that we have long patience for His coming. Second, we must have patience in our life’s crises. There are personal crises and secondary crises. Personal crises are trials that directly affect us, such as a job loss or an adverse health diagnosis. Secondary crises are trials that affect people very close to us and we bear the burden alongside of them. James uses the example of Job and the afflictions that he had. Third, we must have patience with lingering conflicts. One of the big issues that James repeatedly addresses in his epistle is the conflicts that the believers were having with one another. He describes these conflicts as bitter envying, strife, and wars. His basic advice with this is that we grudge not one against another. At all costs, avoid complaining and murmuring against each other. The less we say, the better off we will be.
There is the accomplishment in patience.
He calls on us to consider the example of the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord and demonstrated endurance. He said, “Behold, we count them happy which endure.” They learned to rest in the Lord and not try to rush the process. The biggest reminder that he gives us is that the end of the Lord is very pitiful and of tender mercy. He is saying that “we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” We cannot understand God’s grace being sufficient for us without an extended season of affliction. We cannot understand God’s faithfulness and purpose for us without the trying of our faith.
So, let us be patient! Let us learn to rest in the Lord and have faith in His unlimited resources to sustain us. In the end, we will experience that He is very pitiful and of tender mercy.
Have a patient God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Luke 1