Tuesday, September 13, 2016

In for the long haul

TODAY'S SPECIAL: James 5:7-20

TO CHEW ON: "Therefore be patient, brethren … Establish your hearts … You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord—that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful" James 5:7,8,11

If there's anything we moderns find hard it's exercising patience. Our fast-paced world of instant communication has us drugged on speed.

We keep our phones constantly on our persons so we see text messages and alerts milliseconds after they're sent and can respond.

Satellite communication has us witnessing events across the globe practically in real time.

Want an update on a news event or sports score? Check Twitter and you'll probably have your answer long before the information hits a bona fide paper.

James makes a plea to his readers for patience which we do well to heed. He presents it from several angles.

1. We need to follow the example of the patient farmer who works in the realm of nature. The "fruit of the earth" needs time and rain (James 5:7).

2. We need to "establish" our own hearts
("strengthen and confirm them in the final certainty" - James 5:8 AMP). I understand this to mean give our faith time to grow both in understanding and experience.

3. We need to follow the example of the patient prophets who were God's obedient mouthpieces during their times. James doesn't say it be we know that most of them never saw their words fulfilled. They had faith and patience that extended past their own lifetimes (James 5:10).

4. We need perseverance"the perseverance of Job"—who saw his trial through to the other side, to 'the end intended by the Lord," and so proved God's love and mercy - James 5:11.

Today I speak to myself more than anyone:
  • Be patient.
  • Establish your heart.
  • Persevere—through personal, career, family, church, community, national, international challenges and issues. Persevere in faithfulness to God and prayer (James 5:13-18)—and I (you too) will see "the end intended by the Lord—that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful."

PRAYER: Dear Father, I confess that I am often impatient. Help me to learn patience as I trust in You and grow deep in You through time and the challenges of my life.

MORE: "Deliver us from the quick fix" - an article by Ed Cyzewski you might enjoy.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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