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Words of Faith 5-26-2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2020


Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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James 5:7-11

        Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord's coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains.  You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord's coming is near. Don't grumble against each other, brothers, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!  Brothers, 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 consider 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.


      James is not talking about "general patience" like the kind we need at a stoplight or with our children. Persecution was intense in the early decades of the church.  Suffering was real. Sticking with the faith had become costly. James has just finished a blistering condemnation of the sins committed by the unjust rich but that doesn't really help if there is a famine and you have lost your business connections due to your faith. 

      Is there any encouragement for those who are suffering?  The Lord is coming back.  But when will that relief come?  We must be patient, says James, like the farmer who knows that the crop will come in the spring.  If the season is dry, the farmer will face some anxious times, but the crop is coming to be sure.  That is a special kind of patience.  

      We need patience like the prophets of old who put everything on the line to announce judgment and even a redemption that they would never see with their own eyes.  Patience like Moses, whose entire life work was spent getting people to a promised land that he did not enter!  Or the patience of Job, who finally saw the blessing of God restored after dealing with incredible losses.  

       Perhaps even more comforting is the balance in this passage.  On the one hand, "the Judge is standing at the door!"  On the other hand, "the Lord is full of compassion and mercy.”  He is coming.  There will be justice.  But there will also be mercy and compassion.  God is good in all those departments.  It may be that we just miss that eternal perspective when we get frustrated by job situations and inconveniences, when we struggle over church disputes or differences of doctrine, or when we are just hurting.  We can miss what is lasting.

      In the big picture, very few things here will matter when the Lord returns for us, or we go to be with Him.  The only things that really matter are relationships-- your relationship with God, with people and yourself.  That focus goes a long way toward the kind of patience James is talking about.   

      But when will the return be?  You will hear all sorts of predictions these days.  But the message of James is consistent with the rest of the Bible.  Be patient.  Be ready.  The Judge is at the door.  The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.  Where does this patience come from?  From the one who is at the door, full of compassion and mercy.


     Lord, help me to live this day for You.  Give me some perspective to live this day as though it may be my last.  Let me focus on the things that count, things that are eternal.  In Jesus' Name, Amen.


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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2009, 2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)       

2820 Business Center Blvd.

Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200


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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.