A Passion for Patience
By Carolyn Dale Newell
Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how 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. 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 endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord—that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful. James 5:7-11 NKJV
I lack patience like a dying plant lacks water on a hot day. However, the book of James has stirred up a passion for patience within me.
James gives us several examples of patience. First, he uses the imagery of how Jewish farmers planted their crops in October when the “earlier rains” came. The “latter rains” arrived in spring right before harvest. Farmers cannot rush their crops. They must wait.
The next example is the patience of Old Testament prophets. Men like Jeremiah, who endured much suffering, knew patience.
Finally, Job exemplified great patience. Amid his great suffering, he had a wife who wanted him to curse God, and his friends badgered him. Job was blessed for his patience when God restored to him more than he had lost.
James penned this command to be patient. He instructs us, in verse 8, to establish our hearts, which means we need to be stable and committed. When the trials come, we must trust God, knowing that He is in control of it all. We must not waiver because we know that He has a purpose in suffering even when we don’t understand it. That stability will help us remain patient rather than seeking an escape from the trial.
Importantly, James warns us about grumbling. Patience is not the ability to wait, but it is the ability to wait with peace as we endure trials. That comes with complete trust in God.
James reminds us of Christ’s return. We know that a day is coming when suffering will cease. That realization is comforting during our struggles. Let’s patiently wait for the Lord’s return, and in the meanwhile, let’s get passionate about patience.
Read the complete passage in James 5:7-12. Join me as I pray for patience. Many people fear the result of a prayer like that, but I know our loving Father only has our good and His glory planned for us. Each time you feel impatient, pray, asking God to flood you with His perfect patience.
Dear Lord, fill me with Your patience. You have been so patient with us, but we are lacking. Help us endure trials with peace and complete trust in You. Thank You Jesus, Amen.
© 2019 by Carolyn Dale Newell. All rights reserved.
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Originally published Wednesday, 20 April 2022.