BOOK OF JAMES:
Patience in Suffering
by Debonnie Barnes
James 5:7-8 - 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.
Most of us don’t like to wait, even if the wait is for something good. If that is the case, then how much more do we not like to wait in times of pain and suffering?
In the midst of suffering, we tend to fight using our own strength, even though our strength is not always strong enough. We become frightened, even though God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). And too often, we take flight, even though we are supposed to wait on God patiently.
James 5:10-11 - Brothers and sisters, 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 count as 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.
Patience and perseverance are gifts. James 1:2-4 says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” But how do we learn to suffer patiently and let perseverance finish its work?
We have to get a Vision! We have to have a vision for tomorrow to endure the pain of today, knowing that what we plant today will be our harvest for tomorrow. We need to have enough longevity in our dreams and visions to look beyond our current situations. Think decades ahead.
We have to get Treatment! We were made body, soul, and spirit, and all of life’s problems effect these three parts. To find health and freedom, we have to treat all three. No one is saying it is going to be easy, but it is necessary.
We have to get Distracted. All too often we get distracted with things of the flesh. Things that are temporary bandages, but what we need to do is get distracted onto the things of God. What we give attention to only gets bigger in our lives, so let’s put our attention on the Bible, worship, and the promises of God.
Watch your view of your situation begin to change as you create memories that last, by serving people, loving people, and giving to people. Make an impact and you’ll diminish the pain in your life.
Finally, we have to get Support! You are not designed to do life alone. That’s what CREWS are about. Surround yourself with champions, with people who will lift up your arms when you are weary. People who will make the lows more bearable and the highs much higher. Community is where we find strength. A chord of three strands is not easily broken (Ecclesiastes 4:12).