[B]e patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.
If you ask a bunch of children what the hardest part of December is, what would they tell you? It’s waiting for Christmas. Waiting to open Christmas presents. With every fiber of their being, they wait for those gifts. They even scour the closets and attic to look for what they’re getting. And what do their parents tell them? “Be patient.”
Today, our Bible reading from the letter of James says the same thing. The Christians to whom James originally sent his letter were persecuted, poor, and exploited. Suffering characterized their lives. But they knew that it would not characterize their eternal life. So, they waited for Jesus’ return and looked forward to the end of their suffering.
But they didn’t just wait; they waited impatiently as children wait for Christmas. That’s why James told them to be patient. There’s nothing wrong with excitement for the Last Day, but we have to be patient because God’s timetable is different than ours.
We too need to remember this because we are also waiting on God. The Last Day is coming, whether we are waiting for it or not, whether we are thinking about it or not.
This passage from James is a good reminder for us to think about and prepare ourselves for Jesus’ return. It is a good reminder that Jesus’ return is something to look forward to. Because he promises on that day he will give eternal happiness to all of those who trust in him as their Savior from sin.
No wonder we are often impatient for Jesus to return and deliver us from this world of pain, persecution, and problems. When this happens, just remember today’s words from James: “Be patient.”
Lord Jesus, help me to appreciate and anticipate your coming on the Last Day. Amen.