Developing patience within
For examples of patience in suffering, dear brothers and sisters, look at the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. We give great honor to those who endure under suffering. For instance, you know about Job, a man of great endurance. You can see how the Lord was kind to him at the end, for the Lord is full of tenderness and mercy. James 5:10-11
The most difficult spiritual discipline to develop in the life of every believer is the attitude of waiting. But God used those times that we have to wait for His will to force us to lean on Him, to trust, to believe in Him, to release our will and accept His. Words fail to describe the pain that we go through when we have to transfer the authority to decide in the hands of God from our hands. Such decision could be a time of great stress. Trials and afflictions often produce grumbling or complaints. From the text, James prohibited such response when he urged his readers to be patient. To learn how to be patient demands an attitude which shows long-suffering in the presence of trials. Believers should show this stamina without complaining, giving up, or hitting back. They should be ready to endure affliction without complaint and to remain committed in their obedience to God. Our attitude of complaining hinders us from developing patience and long-suffering. When we begin to grumble and complaint and when we prolong such attitudes, they could lead to harsh criticism and faultfinding against one another. Hardship may have driven some believers to misery. They may have blamed their troubles on one another. James cited the Old Testament prophets and Job as examples of patience in suffering. The prophets suffered because they spoke in the name of God. In suffering, the prophets demonstrated incredible capacity for devotion without complaint. does not complain or find fault even when they were going through trial. In Jeremiah 38, King Zedekiah wrongly imprisoned the prophet Jeremiah in a muddy dungeon and left him to die. Jeremiah voiced no complaint toward God or his captors. When Zedekiah summoned him and asked for his advice in a matter, Jeremiah told him, “Obey the LORD by doing what I tell you. Then it will go well with you, and your life will be spared” (Jeremiah 38:20). Despite intense suffering, Jeremiah demonstrated his unwavering commitment to God when he spoke in the name of the Lord. The process of growing in patience requires being emptied of our own strength and relying on God’s strength. God designed Christian life this way so that through this process we can be better servants. Events and circumstances in our lives may not be logical and fair, but when God is the one directing them, they are right.
Noel De Guzman