Mark Twain is quoted as saying, “Everyone complains about the weather, but no one does anything about it.” It’s funny, but it’s true – and it’s true because there is nothing we can do about the weather. And who knows better than farmers?
They till their fields, plant the crops, fertilize and tend to them, but ultimately they must trust in the perseverance of the plants to endure no matter what the weather brings.
The same is true of the faithful believer. We can have faith. We can believe. We can pray and study Scripture, and we can strive to imitate Christ in our thoughts and actions. But we have no idea what is coming our way. We have no idea what all the challenges of life we will face. And sometimes there is nothing we can do to stop them. We just need to be ready to face them.
What does James urge us to do? What example does he give? What does he encourage in verse 8?
One obvious interpretation of this passage is that believers must be patient and wait for the Second Coming of Christ. The faithful are to wait with anticipation the Day of Judgment when all who love Jesus will be taken up to heaven.
But I also believe we are called on to be patient for the times that are coming before that final judgment. As farmers must wait for the yield of crops, we too must be patient to see the yield of our faith.
James urges us to stand firm. We are to stand firm in our faith, having complete confidence that God will be with us as we go through the hardships of life. God can give us the strength and peace to endure the challenges and temptations we face.
The Lord’s coming is near, and it is more than just the final day of mortal existence. The Lord will come to you – he is near to you – when situations challenge your trust in God or when troubles make you want to doubt or you see yourself as weak.
DAILY CHALLENGE: what can help you stand firm in your faith?