Humility and the Coming of the Lord, Part 1
Passage: James 5:7–5:8
The word therefore connects the previous verses with this new section:
- An evaluation of money (5:1-6)
- An exhortation to patience (5:7-12)
1A. WAIT ON THE LORD (5:7)
“Be patient” – James returns to his opening theme as stated in 1:2-4. This is the word long-suffering. The central requirement when experiencing suffering is patience, when practiced, will result in spiritual maturity.
1B. The illustration of a farmer and the harvest
2B. The insight of waiting patiently (John 14:1-3; Acts 1:9-11)
Just as the farmer is dependent on the providence and timing of God to send rain, so the suffering Christian is dependent on the providence and timing of God in the coming of the Lord. Since the Christian is certain of the Lord’s return, the Christian is to anticipate the Lord’s return and be patient in trials and suffering.
2A. WATCH FOR THE LORD (5:8)
1B. With an established heart (Proverbs 23:7; Philippians 4:6-8; Isaiah 40:1,31)
God calls the Christian to support and strengthen their dependence upon God so they will stand upright and be immovable.
2B. With elevated eyes
God calls the Christian to look up because the coming of the Lord is drawing near.
Here’s the struggle for these recipients and for us as well. It is not our natural inclination to be patient or to establish our hearts. We are tempted not to wait on the Lord and to fill our thoughts with our problems. Patience in suffering and establishing our hearts require extraordinary grace (4:6) and humility (4:10).