Sunday, July 23, 2017

James 5:7 -- On Patience and Faith

"Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain."
James 5:7

We often give deadlines to the Lord.  We need help *now* ... or we need proof within a certain time period, or we're not married by a certain age, or we want a child, or we need healing, or someone else does, or why isn't he fixing what's wrong with the world?  And we say to ourselves, well, if he's not going to help (on our timetable), then we're done, or he doesn't love us, or he's playing games with the human race, or he doesn't exist... whatever it is.

It's very true that we don't always understand why God does the things he does, or why he hasn't done certain things.  That can feel frustrating, and we don't always want to wait, or to do things on God's timetable.

The thing is, though... He's still God.  We can't rush him.  All we can do is frustrate ourselves.  If we have a difference of opinion with God, guess what? *We're* the ones that are wrong.  God can see the end from the beginning, and he isn't just daydreaming somewhere and then walking in late and saying "oops."  That's human frailty, which God doesn't have.  His timing is perfect.  It just doesn't always mesh with what we want. :)

James explains here that we need to have patience "unto the coming of the Lord."  Since this advice was offered after Christ's crucifixion, that date was unknown, and is still unknown, and it's been quite a while.  It's another way of saying that we need to endure to the end, or have faith unto death... or be truly converted.  A relationship with God is never, ever going to work if we think that he has to meet our deadlines, or if we are committed only until we get frustrated.  God asks for patience, not because he is trying to gain our approval, but because *we* need to take a step back and gain some faith.  We learn over time to realize that God is faithful.  He always keeps his promises.  He always holds up his end of a covenant, but we have to stick with him.

Today, let's work on trusting God, letting go of our impatience, and finding the peace that comes through faith.

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