READ: James 5:7-11
SEE THE END: James links patience with the Lord's return (v7). When the Lord returns we will be changed and patience will be evident in every part of our make up. At that time too, circumstances will change and a new order will be ushered in. It is good to have this hope in view as we allow patience to work in our lives. Let's praise God for His planned return and for all that it will mean for us.
WAITING: James doesn't say that we are to wait passively but that we are to wait like a farmer (v7). Farmers watch over their crop at every stage - they tend the ground, remove the weeds and ensure good irrigation. Let's pray for the same kind of thoroughness in our own lives.
PRECIOUS FRUIT: There is a good harvest on the way (v7). Let's do everything we can to encourage each other on this point as we pray.
EARLY RAIN: Receiving the early rain is important (v7). Let's make sure we have really grasped all the benefits of the early encouragement given us in our Christian lives.
LATTER RAIN: This is given as a promise of more to come (v7). Let's praise God for what He has in store for us as individuals.
ESTABLISHED HEARTS: This is how James encourages us to exercise patience - to make sure our hearts, and not just our minds or emotions, are providing the basis for our personal stability (v8). The way we establish our hearts is by developing our relationship with the Lord through His word - the Bible. Let's pray for this.
NO GRUMBLING: Complaining is a very powerful negative influence. It has the total opposite of an establishing effect. Grumbling against each other (v9) can be doubly destabilising. Let's pray that great grace will be evident and that this will not be a problem among us.
ENDURING SUFFERING: When the Lord returns the problem of suffering will be resolved. Until then, endurance is an important principle (vs 10, 11). We can encourage each other as we all take a bold stand against the enemy's schemes and rise to the challenges that are all around in a fallen world. Moses turned aside to see a burning bush that was not consumed. Let's pray that many in the world will have their attention caught by a persevering church that knows how to rejoice in the Lord's mercy and compassion (v11).