James 5:7-8 NKJV
In my lifetime I’ve known people who are extremely patient, and people who have almost no patience at all. When looking at it on a scale, I’d say I fall somewhere in between.
James’ words about patience seem to be for the main purpose of encouragement. In other words, BE patient. I don’t think James was acquainted with toddlers in his life.
A toddler can try your patience every minute of every day.
When I HAD toddlers in my home I did not know the significance of the Fruit of the Spirit and our access to God’s fruit. One of the fruit is patience, and since it is a characteristic of the Spirit, we can ask God to give us patience.
James used an encouraging tone when he wrote in James 5:7-8, “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.”
In the previous passage, James focused on the rich. In this section he is focusing on those who make their living off of the land. They were considered to be the poor. James was telling the Jews who lived outside Jerusalem to wait on the Lord…wait and watch with expectation like a farmer waits for the rains to come.
He reminds them in a way they can understand as they wait for the rains to come to water their plants. He is giving them an object lesson. He points to the seeds in the earth that are waiting to open. When the rains come, the seeds sprout and grow. The planter has waited for them to emerge and break through to absorb the sun.
James’ comments on patience to the planters were focused particularly on the Lord’s return or the Second Coming of Jesus. It’s apparent by his comments that he anticipated Jesus to return soon. He reminded them that as they wait they are like the seed under the ground secretly and silently growing. The Spirit will nourish them so they can sprout and grow. They emerge and soak in the sun (Son).
James also advised his readers to establish their hearts in the Lord. He is telling them to let their roots go down deep into God’s love. He wants them to rely on God and surrender to God’s power. He wants them to count on God to take care of every aspect of their lives.
I am also reminded that His audience would have studied the words of the prophets as a child.
He is God.
Watch and wait.
Set your mind on Him.
The prophet Isaiah said in Isaiah 40:28-31,
“Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The everlasting God, the Lord,
The Creator of the ends of the earth,
Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak,
And to those who have no might He increases strength.
Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
And the young men shall utterly fall,
But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.”
James is reminding them (and us) that THE everlasting God, THE Creator Lord God is at hand. He IS coming back. He will return, and as we wait we should spend our time establishing ourselves in Him.
The waiting should be a daily thing:
Look to God to fill you with the power of the Spirit of God.
God will increase your strength.
Look to God to renew your strength.
Surrender to God and let Him lift you up.
Let God carry you.
Let God give you strength.
As we wait, let God lift you up on eagles wings.
Today’s Spiritual Practice is: Look to God and Wait.
As you wait, establish your heart IN God. Let God carry you and lift you up on eagles wings.
In God, Deborah