Tag: patience in suffering

The Judge is at the Door!

Scripture reading for November 6th:  James 5

“Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming.  Se how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and the spring rains.  You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.  Don’t grumble against each other, brothers, or you will be judged.  The Judge is standing at the door!”  (James 5:7-9)

James, the pastor, is concerned about the Church and the ability of its members to stand before the Lord when He comes again.  Patience is a fruit of the Holy Spirit that helps believers to stand firm and keep on trusting in the face of intense opposition.  The flesh loves to complain and blame others, often leaders!  James knew the temptations that his people faced and warned them appropriately using the example of a farmer waiting for his crop and the rains from heaven.  He also reminded them of the Old Testament prophets, like Job of old, who suffered patiently and how God eventually worked out their suffering for good!

“Is anyone in trouble?  He should pray.  Is anyone happy?  Let him sing songs of praise.  Is anyone of you sick?  He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the Name of the Lord.”  (James 5:13-15)  Living by faith requires godly action and discipline to do what God has required.  In every situation of testing or blessing, prayer, thanksgiving and praise to the Lord is appropriate and will be rewarded!  “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”  (James 5:16)  We must be watchful over our wandering brothers in Christ as well as our own souls!  Jesus is coming!

 

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Restoration for Job

Scripture reading for June 3rd: Job 40-42

God continues His questioning of Job, who is now under conviction of being unworthy to say any more. (Job 40:4-5)  Job was to brace himself and give God some answers.  The first question was:  “Would you discredit my justice?”  The next related to the first:  “Would you condemn Me to justify yourself?” (Job  40:8)

Curiously, God then began to direct Job’s attention to two of the most fierce animals.  Behemoth was a fierce land animal that is perhaps the hippopotamus or elephant.  Leviathan was a fierce water creature that is perhaps the crocodile or fire-breathing dragon.  These two animals bring fear to the hearts of men because of their power and ability to dominate.  But at the end, God said that there was nothing on earth that was these creatures’ equal–a creature without fear.  He was king of all the proud!  What was God talking about?  Why this discussion of these fearful animals?  Could it be that God was teaching Job about Satan and his downfall, pride?

Job repented and came to a new understanding of  God’s greatness and trustworthiness.  God instructed the friends to offer sacrifice and have Job pray for them to avert His judgment.  Elihu was not mentioned and  we are not told why. After Job prayed for his friends, the Lord restored Job to his former prosperity and gave him double all that he had lost.  (Job 42:10)  Job had seven more sons and three daughters.  This is the same as before and implies that he would see his others in heaven as well!

This story has a happy ending and teaches us all valuable lessons of faith.  We won’t always have all the answers and we must be careful when trying to help those going through trial and affliction.  We certainly don’t want to become like Job’s comforters!  We can be thankful that God is in control and that He is merciful and answers prayer.  We can also rest assured that God will work everything for good to those who love Him and keep the faith!

“Brothers, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.  As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered.  You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about.  The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.” James 5:10-11

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