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. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!
Brothers and sisters, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 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.
- James 5:7-11
Jesus is coming soon.
How should we be living and behaving while we await His Return?
James, writing to God’s people gives very clear instructions. He highlights how the Family of God ought to live and act here now in the light of God’s perfect future.
James calls for PATIENCE in the Last Days. He uses a Greek word for patience that often refers to God’s forbearance toward the guilty. Suffering disciples must never RETALIATE! They are to adopt the same attitude toward their persecutors as God has toward his enemies. How long? Until the Lord returns. (v.7)
James also calls for RESOLUTENESS in the Last Days. Steady your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. How to steady your hearts? Submit to God. Resist the devil. Cultivate friendship with God. Renounce friendship with the world. The epistle of James is a template for discipleship in the Last Days – in the world, but not OF the world.
James calls for solidarity in the Last Days. Don’t break ranks. Close ranks. Build a community of faith that, together as one, will be able to resist all oppression and persecution from the outside – until the Lord returns.
Rev. Timothy Chow