Summary: Be patient. That’s easier said than done isn’t it? Our first instinct is to complain along the way, isn’t it? That’s what happened when Moses led the Israelites into the wilderness.
7 “Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. 8 You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. 9 Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!
10 Brothers and sisters, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.
12 Above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. All you need to say is a simple “Yes” or “No.” Otherwise you will be condemned.” -James 5:7-12
After reading this last night I felt as though the words were speaking directly to me. As if I had been cornered in a room and spoken directly to by the voice of God himself. This is a perfect time to talk about patience! We’re right on the edge of winter. It seems like there’s no escape from it. I’ve had a cough for like 2 months. There’s just a lot of waiting going on in my life. And I’m sure with all of us!
Be patient. That’s easier said than done isn’t it? Our first instinct is to complain along the way, isn’t it? That’s what happened when Moses led the Israelites into the wilderness. The people began to complain against God and against Moses. I think of the times that I’ve complained to God, about God, about the situations in my life that just won’t seem to change.
Do you ever feel stuck in life? Sometimes it feels like things just won’t change. We dream of them changing, we try to do work that will make them change, we try to force events to bring about change, we even pray, and pray everyday begging for change. But the months pass, and the years pass, and we wonder, when will something change?
How long have you been waiting my friends? What are you waiting for? What have you been praying for and fighting for, for years, and it hasn’t come yet? Maybe you’ve been praying for a family member to come to Christ, and it still hasn’t happened. Or have you been praying to meet that special someone, and it still hasn’t happened? Maybe you’re praying for children, or praying for the right job, or praying for your anxiety to finally disappear, or you’re praying to own a home, or a buy a car, or break free from depression, or come clean from cigarettes or alcohol, or maybe you’re just hoping that you would change.
I can tell you in my life… I’ve been praying for years for depression to go away. I’ve struggled for years with sleep apnea, serious sleep problems. I’ve prayed for over 7 years to meet the woman of my dreams, still waiting. I’ve prayed for years to lose weight, still kinda stuck. Still battling with lust in my life, and fighting to be free from that. Struggled with depression all my life, God has never taken it away. And on top of all that, I’ve had nagging sciatic nerve pain for over 3 weeks now. So I wait.
And we wait. And we wait. And wait and wait and wait. Be patient our scripture says. Until the Lord’s coming. And we get this excellent example of how to wait. Consider the farmer. Anyone in here ever been a farmer or work on a farm? The scripture says “. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains.” The farmer plants, in the Spring, and then they wait. And wait and wait, until August, September, October, and November, to finally harvest. I would not make a great farmer. I can’t wait that long to see the results of my work. I need to see it sooner than that.
So we should consider that example of waiting. Wait patiently, day after day, and week after week, month after month that farmer patiently waits for the crop. And first he plants and sees only dirt mounds. Then after weeks he sees buds popping up. And slowly, so slowly, over months he sees the crops begin to grow, until finally the harvest comes.
God calls us to be patiently waiting for the consummation of history as well. It’s been a long time since Jesus Christ walked on the Earth. Before Jesus Christ we had the Old Testament times, the times of Israel, when the goal was to follow the law, the ten commandments. And then Jesus came, and now we under the grace of Christ’s atoning sacrifice. We are in the “church age” for the last two thousand years. The growth and expansion of the church across the Earth, to today, where the church is about 2 billion people strong.