Lent Devotional: James 5:7-8
by Jonathan Haefs
James 5:7-8 (click here)
Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.
Let’s be honest… not many of us have a lot of patience (if any). And, it’s not like our culture of immediate gratification helps us to develop such a virtue…not at all. Scripture tells us that patience is fruit from the Holy Spirit’s work in us (Galatians 5:22-23). Patience is supernatural!
But, how does the Holy Spirit bear the fruit of patience in our life? That’s the question… how does this work?
The Spirit works in us by wielding his sword of truth…the Word of God. He uses it to cut apart the lies of this world and reveal to us truth upon which we can stand. The lie of immediate gratification is that we deserve the best and we deserve it now! Life is incomplete without the things we think we need, and we will never have joy without ___!
In James 5, our author has just finished giving warnings about seeking satisfaction in all that worldly riches can bring because none of that lasts! These are the lies the Holy Spirit kills with his sword of truth.
James then tells us, therefore, to be patient for the coming of the Lord. This is the truth that the Holy Spirit holds up for us to believe in place of the world’s lies. It is the very truth the Holy Spirit uses to kill the lies of immediate gratification. What is that truth?
It is the reality of the coming kingdom! It is the reality that Christ will come again and then will our joy be made full forever! We are like farmers who are in the long season of planting and cultivating… we are not in harvest time yet. Knowing that the harvest is coming empowers us to have patience with the rains in this season.
Knowing that Christ is coming, and he will make all things right forever…this truth empowers us to live in the present with patience. It empowers us to endure this long season of waiting and yearning.
Patience… none of us actually have it… it is supernatural… it is fruit the Holy Spirit bears in our life! Is he bearing it in yours?