Thursday, November 10, 2011
Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. Seehow the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.9 Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned. Behold, the Judge is standing at the door! My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and patience. Indeed we count them blessed who tendure. You have heard of tthe perseverance of Job and seen tthe end intended by the Lord—that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful. James 5:7-11
I’m not very good at surprises. I’m way too impatient. I want to know, and I want to know now. It’s not good, but it’s something I am working on. Today James tells us to “be patient… until the coming of the Lord.” James says that the Lord is coming back! How incredible is that. In the context of this paragraph, He is coming back to make everything right. The oppressed will be set free! What incredible news. I don’t want to be patient, yet that is what James commands us to be!
What do I do until he comes? James uses the illustration of a farmer waiting to harvest. Does a farmer waiting for a harvest sit idle? No way! He works the fields! James says to “establish your hearts.” Our hearts need to be right with God, ready for Him to come back. What does that look like? Being right with our brothers in Christ (vs. 9). Patience can wear thing and we can respond like Jesus isn’t coming back. James says, He’s at the door! He is about to come. Don’t grumble, be ready! (v.9)
James also uses the illustration of some of the prophets. They knew that God was going to do something incredible in the future, and had to suffer in the present knowing what was coming. They could deal with today, knowing that God’s compassion and mercy would be here tomorrow.
Application: Do you really believe that Christ is coming back? If he came back today would your heart be right with Him? Are you ready? Is there someone you need to get right with? You may not have tomorrow. Get it right today!