Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. (James 5:7-8 NIV)
In these two verses, James encouraged those who were suffering at the hands of others. Their suffering seems to have been primarily at the hands of a wealthy elite class who gained their wealth by taking unfair advantage of the poor. But his words here apply to any believers who are suffering. Whether because of their social position, the circumstances they find themselves in, or because of their faith.
James’ call to patience here is a call to faithful endurance. Like the farmer who waits patiently for the rains to come, enabling his crops to grow. That rain will arrive at the appropriate time. So the Lord’s coming will come at the time God has chosen. James goes on to describe the blessedness of the prophets who endured in the face of suffering. And the perseverance of Job and the reward that came to him.
Patience can be hard when our suffering continues seemingly without end. That is why holding onto the hope we have as believers is so important. This life is only a blip in the scope of eternity that awaits us in the presence of God. And then, this world’s suffering and ugliness will be forgotten. So, in all you are going through, keep your eyes and hope fixed on Jesus’ return. Be patient and stand firm in the Lord.