After taking a few days to focus on the passion and resurrection of Jesus Christ let’s continue our study of James. Chapter 5 picks up what is introduced in chapter 1:2-4 – the subject of patience or perseverance.
Exercising patience is difficult, yet it’s essential to become all God wants us to be and become. James writes, “You know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
This theme is amplified in James 5:7-11. In reading these verses I came up with three observations about patience.
1. Waiting for the expected.
2. Waiting during the unexpected.
3. Waiting until the ultimate expectation.
Under the first two points I considered what James said about the farmer, the prophet and Job. Under waiting for the expected he points out that the farmer waits patiently for the valuable crop after he has tilled the land, fertilized it, and planted the seed. After he has done this he waits patiently and expectantly for the crop.
The prophets proclaimed the Word of God fully expecting that it would not return void, but would accomplish what God had in mind in giving His word. Isaiah discusses this in Isaiah 55:10-11. There are times the prophet had to wait patiently for the Word to accomplish what it was sent for.
Job ordered his life to conform to God’s standard. He was righteous and expected God to bless his life as a result. He persevered until the blessing came. Each of these examples should encourage us to wait patiently and persevere, expecting God to bless us.