The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

  (609)646-1181

Church of Christ

06/02/2010

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The "P" is for Patience


"Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and late rain" (James 5: 7).

Do you suppose it's easier for a poor or rich person to be patient? Having never been really poor and certainly not rich, I would leave this question for someone more qualified than me. James it seems from a previous chapter (2:5) is talking to a poor audience. Since I have been closer to poor than rich, I should be able to understand. Earlier in chapter 5, James castigates the rich who were oppressing the poor people working in their fields. If we read the first four verses of the chapter we find that they have been downright mean! The response of those who are being taken advantage of in their helpless situation might be rage or even insurrection. James advice to them is to plot a different course, and to accept their plight with humility and grace. Why? Because in this world, vengeance does not belong to them but to the Lord. He tells them that the Lord will come quickly enough and the deeds of the oppressors would not go unnoticed...Justice would prevail.

The Psalmist wrote this; "I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning" (130: 5 & 6). Fundamental to the Christian doctrine in the time of James, and today, is the imminent return of the Lord. They, as us are told that we are in the last days. In our lives today, we may not suffer some of the indignities that James' audience suffered, but our lives are often littered by the refuse of pain, hardship or suffering. We are so often reminded through the Word that good people have suffered, both mentally and physically. It is our patience that should get us through. To his audience, and us, James states; "Above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath. But let your Yes, be Yes, and your No, No, lest you fall into judgement." He reminds us in verse 11 that, "Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord----that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful." Patience, and not striking out in frustration, pleases God...Patience, not swearing oaths, pleases God. Today's "P" is for patience...

Have a great day... Go about doing good.... Love mark Phil. 4:11

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