As we conclude our meditations on James, the brother of Jesus, please allow me to ask a question: How easily do you lose PATIENCE with people and / or circumstances? The initial readers of James’ letter could easily have done so, as they faced immense pressure from their ungodly employers. These men deprived them of their wages and took advantage of their passive response to this injustice.
James’ message to his beleaguered readers, and to us today, is clear: ‘Therefore be PATIENT brethren’, James chapter 5 verse 7. We might well ask whether it is possible for anyone, even Christians, to exercise patience in the midst of such hostile circumstances. Thankfully, James gives us the secrets that will enable us to do so. He tells us to remember that we have a God who hears our cries and is stronger than the persecutors, who are testing our patience. He encourages us to look beyond the dark days to the coming again of the Lord, who will bring to an end the injustices we suffer now, James chapter 5 verses 4-8.
James had been in the privileged position of observing the supreme patience of Jesus, his older Brother, for many years. He never once saw Him lose control of His emotions or threaten revenge. Although, in those early days, James did not believe in Jesus, nevertheless, he must have been impressed and learned much as he watched the impeccable behaviour of his older ‘Perfect Brother’! Later on, after the death and resurrection of Jesus, we discover that he believed in Jesus and he became one of the main leaders and teachers among the Christians in Jerusalem. He was a very practical teacher, who encourages us to observe others if we wish to learn about the importance of patience, e.g. farmers, the prophets, Job, verses 7-11.
Paul prayed, ‘Now may the GOD OF PATIENCE AND COMFORT grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus’, Romans chapter 15 verse 5.