Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Waiting Patiently?

“Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door.” (James 5:7-9 ESV) We, who are believers, are waiting for the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is no surprise that there are many different reasons why the return of the Lord in glory to the earth is so eagerly sought after. Some reasons no doubt are more noble and glorious than other reasons, yet the hope of Christ’s return is strong. James has written to believers who have been scattered by persecution and suffering. He has found it to be necessary to write to these scattered and suffering believers a letter filled with extremely practical advice and directions. He has written to curb sinful tendencies and responses by human beings under the most trying of situations. James writes in the 5th chapter to wait patiently for the Lord. He encourages them that the Lord’s return is at hand, or immanent. He tells them to wait like a farmer who has planted his crops and now must wait for those crops to develop and grow. One thing stands out in his instructions – these believers are not to grumble or complain about their trials, testings, or tribulations. In fact, they are to patiently endure and refuse any prompting to avenge themselves of wrongs done to them or ill treatment. Right about now we would want to shout, whoa! James knew that under these circumstances that the natural response would be to “fold under pressure” and to respond in at least two ways: 1) When mistreated, especially wrongfully, the natural response is to attempt to avenge oneself. It is easy to take matters into ones own hands in order to get back at some one who is or has mistreated us 2) When under pressure, a natural response is to “loose it” and to take out our frustrations against those closest to us. We are only too aware that husbands and wives are guilt of this more than they would like to admit. James did not want these believers turning on one another in frustration, anger, fear, and impatience and in doing so create irreparable harm to the body of Christ. We must also be on guard both in our home and in the precious body of Christ against the temptation to snap under pressure and create harm to fellow believers. Waiting patiently is not our strong suit. Therefore, we must consistently turn to God through Jesus Christ and trust in the fact that God will right all wrongs when Christ returns to judge those who have mistreated us.
God will set the record straight!

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