Some disheartening things are currently happening in our country. I sometimes wonder how much longer God will put up with what we’re doing.
More people are rejecting his plan for marriage for a less offensive, more “tolerant” approach. Unborn babies are still being killed, and fewer people believe in Jesus Christ as God’s revelation of himself.
I don’t want to be overly dramatic, but I fear that it won’t be long before it will be illegal for us to teach that God intends for marriage to be between a man and a woman, that same-sex marriages are inconsistent with his will. I wonder how much longer we’ll able to preach the Bible without interference from the government.
Some of James’ readers were really struggling. They were apparently being oppressed by people in positions of authority, and they were getting tired of it. It seems they were questioning how much longer they could hold out.
So James tells them:
Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand (James
Notice what James tells them: Keep your eyes focused on the future return of Jesus. Twice in these verses he mentions the Lord’s second coming.
He uses a farmer’s patience as an example. Just as he plants and fertilizes and waits for the harvest, so must Christians.
“Everything will happen when it’s supposed to,” James says. “Just hang in there.”
It’s healthy for all of us to be future-focused. It’s easy to get discouraged because of what we see around us. Maybe it’s world or national events, or maybe it’s something closer to home.
Maybe you’re sick or discouraged or worried.
Maybe you’re tired or homesick.
Maybe your faith is being challenged, and you’re wondering how much longer you can hold out.
But he’s coming back.
He’s coming back soon.
And when he comes back, he’ll reward your faithfulness.
“Soon” in the Bible doesn’t always mean soon according to our timetables, though. We’re living in the final age of the world—the Christian age—and at some point Jesus will return and deliver the kingdom to the Father.
But we know for sure he’s coming back, and whatever we’re worried about right now won’t be an issue then.
We’ll no longer be tired or discouraged or worried.
We won’t be fretting over the trajectory of American morality and integrity.
Our backs won’t hurt, and we won’t be sighing, crying, or dying.
He’s coming back.
Staying focused on that will help us endure whatever we face in this temporary life.