The need for patience, for the Lord is coming
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. Don’t grumble about each other, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. For look—the Judge is standing at the door! James 5:7-9 NLT
James, from the text, expresses the need for patience among those to whom he is writing to. He knew that his readers needed patience. As we have noted several times, these people were facing persecution because of their faith. Therefore, they needed that kind of patience that will enable them to endure with their hardships without retaliating. They needed patience in their suffering. Three times from the passage he mentioned the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ: “be patient as you wait for the Lord’s return,” “take courage, for the coming of the Lord is near, “and “the Judge is standing at the door.” These expressions of anticipating the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ suggest that James is here reflecting on the very thing that the Lord Jesus himself taught: “So you, too, must keep watch! For you don’t know what day your Lord is coming” (Matthew 24:42). Every generation of Christians has been called to live with the awareness that the Lord could come at any time. The anticipation of His return should shape how they are living the life God gave them. When we believe that the coming of Christ is imminent, we should not be sitting in idleness. We are to be up and doing. We are to be carrying out God’s purpose for our lives. For we will be accountable, remembering that we must answer for all we do and all we fail to do. “For look—the Judge is standing at the door!” (James 5:9). We must act as if the Lord is coming today. We would grumble less if we thought about judgement more! James uses an analogy of the farmer to illustrate his point. The farmers of those days were dependent on two rains: “in the fall and in the spring.” The early rain came at planting time in October. Then the later rain came at harvesting time in late April or early May. Without those two rains, the farmer had no hope of raising a good crop. But the farmer could not force it to rain. All he could do was to be patient and wait for the rains to come. He had to depend on the God who had ordained those rains to send them at the proper time. Same thing with anticipating the coming of Christ, we have to grow in our relationship with Him so we can learn the lessons God is providing us. And part of that growing is to trust God in circumstances over which we have no control. Trust the matters into God’s hands who is coming to deliver us.