How to endure trouble – James 5:7-8
Dear brothers and sisters, be patient as you wait for the Lord’s return. Consider the farmers who patiently wait for the rains in the fall and in the spring. They eagerly look for the valuable harvest to ripen. You, too, must be patient. Take courage, for the coming of the Lord is near. (New Living Translation)
Recently I have been unwell and I am absolutely terrible at being unwell. I don’t take it lying down, no literally: I rarely lie down and rest, preferring to charge on, intent in the belief that denial is somehow going to heal me. Err.. no. I am one impatient patient. And this brief time of illness made me realise: 1) I have an awesome wife who puts up with my silly winging about my ‘man flu’; and 2) Being patient is actually very, very important, particularly when you are a ‘running around active’ type like me.
In this reading I am challenged to be patient, to wait for the Lord’s return. In the Greek, patience means, to not lose heart, to persevere and to endure troubles and misfortunes. And when it says, ‘for the coming of the Lord is near’ it is referring to me coming into God’s presence. When the Lord returns I fully intend to be fully in His presence. And then I realised something massively profound:
My journey towards seeking to come into the presence of God will only be completed when I get to heaven.
I am on a path towards heaven, towards eternal rest with my Father, a place of peace and joy. Wow.
And on my journey towards heaven, this amazing reading in James encourages me to be patient, to endure the pain, the heart ache, the anxiety. How can I endure? By being courageous. In the greek this is stayridzo which is to strengthen, make firm, to be constant. So I am patient and able to persevere through strengthening my faith, by constantly connecting with the Word, prayer and confession.
Praise God for this awesome insight!
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Yahweh’s Yarn in a Year : 1 year Bible reading plan
The Portion for today is: Psalms Chapters 6-8
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