Friday, June 18, 2021

James 5:7-9 -- On Long Patience and Examples of Suffering

"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.
Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.
Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.
Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience."
James 5:7-9

All of this is good, but the phrase that stuck out to me was the "example of suffering affliction" part. God is asking us to be patient, not just in this moment, but until he comes again, and I think an example of suffering affliction is proof that he knows how hard patience is, and knows that we are all going to suffer afflictions.

Going farther, he asks us to stablish our hearts (probably an obsolete meaning of the alternative spelling establish meaning "to make firm or stable"). As part of that, he doesn't just ask us to follow his example and those of the prophets, but to "be thou an example of the believers" (1 Timothy 4:12) as well. Everybody teaching everyone else how to get through hardships and get through life. :)

Today, let's work on having "long patience" and helping other people to endure trials as well. Obviously this doesn't mean constant suffering, because the Lord also reminds us to find happiness (Mormon 9:14), but it does mean that things are going to be hard and go wrong sometimes, and that's okay. It doesn't mean that God hates us or that we are getting things wrong (though we'll sometimes do that too). It just means that is part of life and how we learn things. Let's "grudge not" and be helpful examples of goodness and positive ways to endure affliction instead. :)

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