Patience is a Gift from God – Week of December 16, 2019

Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!

James 5:7-9

The Lord’s coming is near. So we are to be patient like a farmer. Like a farmer we plant and we wait but we are sure of a harvest. Do you not plant the seed of God’s words into the hearts of little ones every day? Of course you do. Do you have to wait? Yes. But you can be sure of this harvest. God’s Word does not return to him empty handed (Isa 55:10).

We wait in great expectation for the Lord’s return where he too will gather a harvest, a harvest of souls. When you plant the seed of God’s Word you are a part of this process. You are the hand of God. And just as the farmer steps away and lets nature do its thing so we step away (in a way) and watch the Spirit do his work. Sure, we till and fertilize, we weed and we tend but it is the Spirit that creates faith. So be patient. The work will get done. God’s work will get done. He will make sure of that.

Easier said than done, right? Patience is not a virtue we possess by ourselves. (Ask any farmer waiting for rain!) Patience is worked in us by a gracious God. He makes us patient. So pray for patience. God will provide what you need. He always has. In fact, whatever God demands of us, he gives to us in Christ. He says, “Be perfect!” and then gives us the righteousness of Christ that covers all of our un-righteous acts. He says, “Stop doubting and believe!” and then gives us the faith to believe. In the reading from James he says “Be patient.” So we ask for what he commands and he gives it to us.

It might not always look like virtuous patience on our part but so what? Your patience is not about you but about your students and your family. He will give it to you. He has not let us down yet. It won’t be perfect because we will mess it up, but we are forgiven and so are the ones that we serve.

Prayer:
God, grant us a rich measure of patience not so that we can be virtuous but for the love of those we serve. Forgive us when we are impatient and rest us in your promises of Christ’s return in glory. Amen.

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All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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