James begins and ends his book on the subject of patience. He says to let patience have her perfect work. I’m not perfect, but God can give me what I need in my hour of need. He can do the same for you.
James 1: 4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. James 5: 7 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. 8 Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.
Be patient. Be ye also patient. It sounds as if James is repeating himself like someone who forgot what he just said a minute ago. He isn’t losing it. He is underscoring the importance of patience. It’s not an option. Be patient. Then be patient in your patience. It doesn’t matter how difficult, how hopeless, or how bleak the outlook may be, the instruction is to be patient. James then says while we’re talking about it, be ye also patient.
What is the primary need in this hour of life? Patience. Its strength is the source that springs all other things. In not quitting or giving up and in calmly waiting until God moves we receive victory. Hold it steady. That’s how the way is made.
Israel stood scared at the Red Sea. They were ready to go back to Egypt. The devil knows we’re vulnerable so he makes it rough on us. He’ll turn the screws to get us to doubt. God told Moses to tell the people to go forward—into the Red Sea—and stand still and see the salvation of the Lord. God parted the sea and made a dry path to the other side. He’ll open the way for you and me if we’ll be patient and allow patience to do its perfect work.
We can be patient in two ways. If you’re waiting on someone you’re shopping with, you can tap your foot and wait or you can go sit down somewhere and relax. God may not have come through, but if we sit and be quiet—quit fussing—and let God work, he will. We get ahead of the Lord and try to do things on our time. Had Abraham and Sarah waited on the Lord we’d not have near the trouble in the Middle East we have today. Life is messy enough without getting impatient with God. I can understand getting impatient with me, but let’s not do that with God. What he has promised, he’ll do in his time on his clock. That clock is set right, not too slow or too fast. It will tell us right. It will be on time. We may want God to run by our clock, but that’s not how it works. James says be patient therefore and let God do the figuring and working. Don’t go off on your own. Follow God. Obey him. Let him take care of things. We serve the same God today who took care of the children of Israel. There are big uncertainties ahead of us, but we serve a great big, wonderful God. So be patient and be patient again.
A foot is 12 inches. How long is patience? Verse 7 uses the term long patience. We may think it’s too long, but it will be long enough. Jesus won’t give out. The trying of our faith works patience. Patience leads to experience. By waiting on the Lord we experience the hand of God in our life. If you need the touch of the Master’s hand to help you, wait on the Lord.
Verses 10-11 tell us take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy. It’s hard to smile when bearing up under it. If we endure we’ll make it. Job saw the Lord come through. We will as well.
Are you ready to be a little more patient? Isn’t God worth waiting on? Are you thinking you can’t afford to wait? What will you do? Quit? Who will you turn to? The devil? Yourself? You can’t afford not to wait on God. He’s big enough to get us through while we wait on him. David was on the run a long time. God took care of him. That’s why he wrote many Psalms about waiting on the Lord.
Do you need a little more patience? While you’re at it do you need a little more? You can afford to wait on the Lord.