With anticipation - Explore the Bible for November 25, 2018
Explore the Bible
November 25, 2018
James 5:7-9,13-20 (HCSB)
Scripture makes it very clear we may possibly suffer for our faith in Jesus Christ. Paul said, “All those who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Tim. 3:12). James took it a step further and said we should be patient in our suffering (James 5:10).
James’ readers were struggling, impoverished, persecuted and discouraged. They were told to be patient until “the Lord’s coming” (James 5:7). He is the Lord of Hosts Who hears their cry (James 5:4). He will vindicate them in His time. The Lord is coming to judge the sinful and deliver the faithful.
James gave three examples of patience. First, he said to be patient like the farmer who is waiting for the rain and the harvest (James 5:7). This was not under the farmer’s control; he must wait patiently on the Lord. We must trust God with what we have no control over.
Second, James tied patience and suffering together (James 5:10). The prophets, while communicating God’s Word, spoke out against injustice, sin and evil, and they gave instructions on how to live. Many suffered because of it. Suffering provides many opportunities to speak the truth in love for the glory of God.
The third example is Job. There is a phenomenal verse in the Book of Job, “I had heard rumors about You, but now my eyes have seen You” (Job 42:5). This statement came after 41 chapters of laying out the purpose for Job’s suffering. God’s purpose for what we are going through may not be understood now, but we are not to the end yet.
James assured us that “the Lord is very compassionate and merciful” (James 5:11).
A cancer patient who was experiencing great uncontrollable pain asked me if she could pray for me. She was patient and kind, and she gave testimony to God’s goodness. She was literally living out what James commanded in this text. Believers should turn to God when facing the trials of life.