Waiting Patiently

William C. Brownson

READ : James 5:7-8

Be patient, therefore, beloved, until the coming of the Lord. (v. 7)

We’ve all been urged to be patient, to endure hard things and hold steady. So we’re not surprised to hear it from the wise apostle James: “You must also be patient. Strengthen your hearts . . .”

What is different and surprising is the motivation he offers for this endurance. It’s the return of Jesus to earth. “Be patient . . . until the coming of the Lord.” “You must be patient, for the coming of the Lord is near.”

Two things especially impress me about this. First, notice how James and all the New Testament writers speak with such confidence about the Lord’s return. They don’t try to defend this amazing doctrine or urge others to believe it. They may correct errors about it, and discourage irresponsible waiting, but they never question the basic conviction that Jesus is coming back to earth. After all, Jesus himself had promised it.

The second striking thing for me is the way Jesus’ coming back is offered as a reason for patient endurance. It’s like saying, “Hang on! Help is on the way!” It’s a reminder that either at the end of our lives or at the end of the age, we will meet Jesus—sufferings ended, tears wiped away, at home forever in the Father’s house. That’s worth waiting for!

PRAYER

Lord, let the reality of your sure coming sustain our hearts in every trying hour.