Tag: wait and work
Scripture reading for December 17th: James 1-5
James was the half-brother of Jesus and the pastor at the church in Jerusalem. He was known as a man of prayer and this short letter shows his wisdom. James is the “Proverbs” of the New Testament with its many wise insights and words of instruction. James wrote to the Jewish believers of his day to encourage them to stand fast during the trials that they were facing because of false teachers and persecution from embracing Christ as Messiah.
Patience and perseverance are major themes of this book. “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:2-4) Trials are something that Christians can embrace and walk through with faith. God wastes nothing, and He is building patience into us as we experience trials. In fact, we learn by experiencing trials that God supplies all of our needs and we lack nothing.
“Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.” (James 1:12) James says that God is not the author of trials, but uses them to help us. When we develop perseverance, we become mature. At the conclusion, we receive a crown of life! Eternal life is a great reward worth waiting for. God has promised this to those who love and obey Him. (John 3:16)
“Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and 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 kept up on the theme of patience. He felt strongly that Jesus Christ was coming soon. He knew that complaining and criticism would be judged and impatient people often use their mouths rashly. James warned them not to grumble but to remember Jesus the coming Judge! Instead, they should pray about their troubles and confess their sins. Good advice for us today as the Judge is closer than ever!