These days it seems like being “short staffed” within restaurants and retail stores is the new “normal”. Far too often, I see signs in the windows of these establishments that are requesting patience and kindness because of this overwhelming issue. So, what is your response when your favorite spot is either too busy or just simply closed for being short staffed? Do your thoughts, words, and/or actions come directly from 1 Corinthians 13, where the example of Christ as the Greatest Love, is patient and kind? I’d like to say that is exactly my response all the time, but Jesus is still refining my patience to be more and more like Him and He is increasing my endurance as I wait on His return.
In today’s passage James gives us several vital examples of patience and endurance:
James 5:7-12 (NLT)
Patience and Endurance
7 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. 8 You, too, must be patient. Take courage, for the coming of the Lord is near.
9 Don’t grumble about each other, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. For look—the Judge is standing at the door!
10 For examples of patience in suffering, dear brothers and sisters, look at the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 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.
12 But most of all, my brothers and sisters, never take an oath, by heaven or earth or anything else. Just say a simple yes or no, so that you will not sin and be condemned.
We are to patiently wait for the Lord’s return, and James provides an example of what that looks like, through the farmer. While we are waiting, we are not to complain against one another, for “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:10). James continues by shining a light on how we are to maintain our patience even during suffering, and that is where endurance in Christ is found. He uses Job as the perfect example; that we may “also glory in suffering, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character, and character hope” (Romans 5:3-4) and our only hope needs to be in Christ, alone, and His return. Finally, James gives us a warning to speak the simple Truth, “for my mouth will utter truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips” (Proverbs 8:7).
Prayer: Jesus, thank You for being the perfect example of patience and endurance; and thank You for providing Your Word which is the perfect guide so that I may follow and grow in both. Please help me, Lord, to be the farmer and quicken my thoughts, words, and actions to be patient with others. Grow and refine my character so that I may have Your endurance. I so look forward to Your return and I want You to be ready for You. I pray all of this in Your Holy Name, Jesus. Amen.
Written By: Jen Auer, Pastor Mary Haley’s Assistant