Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: James 1:19

Monday, January 18, 2010

Patience in Suffering

James 5: 7-12

7 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.
8 Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.

The farmer (husbandman) must wait patiently for his crops to grow; he cannot hurry the process.  But he does not take the summer off and hope that all goes well in the fields.  There is much work to do to ensure a good harvest.  In the same way, we must wait patiently for Christ's return.  We cannot make Christ return any sooner, but while we wait there is much work we can do to advance God's Kingdom.  Both the farmer and the Christian must live by faith, looking toward the future reward for their labors.  Don't live as if Christ will never come.  Work faithfully to build his Kingdom, for the King will come when the time is ripe.

9 Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door. 

When things go wrong, we tend to blame others for our miseries.  Blaming others is easier then owning our share of the responsibility, but it is both destructive and sinful.  Before you judge others for their shortcomings, remember that Christ the Judge will come to evaluate each of us.  He will not let us get away with shifting the blame to others.

10 Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. 
11 Behold, we count them happy which endure.  Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.
12 But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.

A person with a reputation for exaggeration or lying often can't get anyone to believe him on his word alone.  Christians should never become like that.  Always be honest so that others will believe your simple yes or no.  By avoiding lies, half-truths, and omissions of the truth, you will become known as a trustworthy person.

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