Do you find waiting difficult? I know I do! I guess I have battled with patience all of my life and I am therefore still a ‘work in progress’! I think this will be the case until I breathe no more! In this final section of James’ letter we are counselled on how to survive when we face troubles and sickness. This is a special section of scripture because James reminds us of what awaits us in the not too distant future. Life may be difficult as we face uncertainty and sometimes suffer at the hands of unscrupulous employers. Life has its ups and downs. We all face troubles. So what are we to do?
James calls for us to be patient. We are to wait for the Lord’s coming with patience. We are to be like the farmer who waits for his fields to bring forth a great harvest. The farmer does not sit idly by waiting. He toils hard. He prepares the soil; sows the seed; tends to the weeds and waits for the seasonal rains. He knows that they will come but he cannot hasten them. When they come and do their work a harvest results. He waits patiently for this. We are to be like the patient farmer waiting for the Lord’s return. We are to be about the business of our Heavenly Father. And as we do this we know that there will be opposition and difficulty. Troubles will come our way. Life is difficult!
So James also calls us to pray! We are to pray, remain strong and wait upon the Lord. When we are sick what are we to do? We are to pray! We are to pray and wait upon the Lord for His healing. And let us not forget that when things are going great, when we are happy and joyous then we are to praise the Lord in song! It is through prayer and praise that we are to wait. For some amazing reason this develops in us patience, strength and an ability to grow. The Lord will come and is coming to take us home!
James reminds us of the importance of how we are to love one another in his final two verses. Some may leave our flock through the temptation of sin. We are to go and find them just like Jesus left the flock to find the one lost sheep. We are to help them turn from their ways with gentleness, compassion and love. There is much in these verses from James today to excite and encourage us! How blessed we are to be ‘in Christ’ knowing exactly what awaits us when Jesus returns!