Patience and Prayer

Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.

James 5:7-8

Those of us who are waiting for the glorious coming of our Lord are aware that we do not have a date. It is written that only the Father knows the day and the hour, so no one can say when it will be. The same could be today in a few days, months or years. In that sense, we should not be anxious, but clothed with patience and watching over in prayer. Let’s be ready for that great day as if it were to happen tonight; but without despair. It is clear that time only runs in one direction, and that moment is getting closer and closer.

How should our patience be? James puts it this way: See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. It is likely that for those of us who have always lived in cities we find it difficult to understand the patience of farmers until they can harvest the fruit of the land. The agricultural process occurs for a period of time that can take from several months to several years, depending on the type of plant that has been planted.

In any case, even before depositing the seed in the soil, the farmer must prepare the land in order to condition it for sowing. Not all seeds are fertile, hence it is necessary to select them. Then a whole series of stages of caring for the plant is planted, which includes applying fertilizers, pesticides and adequate water, pruning the leaves so that the plant grows in the right direction and produces the desired fruit. As the farmer waits for the fruit, his financial resources are likely to be scarce.

At the end, when the abundant harvest arrives, the farmer will receive the joy of having in his hands the fruit of his patience. Likewise, believers who await the glorious coming of our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ, when we see Him descend from the clouds with His holy angels, we can say that it was worth having the patience to see such a great moment. And just as the farmer spent time to watch over the well-being of his field, believers should spend time watching in prayer until Christ comes.

In the natural, the farmer does not always reach what he expected. It happens sometimes that, even though he puts all his effort to obtain the fruit of his work, events that are beyond his control could prevent him. Nature can act against the farmer, either by a drought, excessive rain or pests that destroy his plantation. Even the fruit may not be of adequate size or its quality is poor, which causes its price in the market to decrease and this man stop winning and even lose what he invested.

However, in the spiritual, our waiting for the coming of Christ will not bring losses. No matter what happens in the natural world or the spiritual hosts of evil oppose. The Lord will come without a doubt, at the right time, which we do not know; but of which there is no doubt. Let us wait for Him with patience and watching in prayer, for He will come as a thief in the night and the great moment draws nearer and nearer. God bless you.

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The Testing Produces Patience

Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.

James 1:2-4

When we are tested, we have the impression of being inside a crusher that breaks us. Certainly, in the natural, all we want is to pass the bitter drink as soon as possible and to tread a more secure terrain. In the Christian life, the tests are inevitable and continuous. If we pass a test successfully, we must be prepared for the next one, which will be more difficult because we will be on another level. With each new test, we will be strengthened if, with patience, we approve it.

We can make an example of life to illustrate what James 1:2-4 says. Let’s say at 5 years old they take us to our first day of school. From that moment we begin a process of learning. First we learn the letters and numbers and that way we are getting ready to learn reading, writing and basic arithmetic operations. After the lessons learned, we are tested to check our progress in learning.

And gradually we are advancing and leveling up in school. We are exposed to higher levels of complexity in both language and mathematics. Now we are challenged to be creative in the composition of written texts and to the basic operations are added more complicated ones including algebra, geometry and trigonometry. Then we are taught the social and natural sciences, such as history, geography, chemistry, physics and biology. And every new topic of learning must pass through tests that measure our degree of understanding.

If we want to be more productive in our lives, we will not settle for a high school diploma, but we will go to college to study a career. Many colleges have the requirement for a rigorous entrance test. In some countries, it is the State itself that provides equally challenging national tests. Only those who successfully pass these tests are admitted to the best programs of the most prestigious universities. The others could pass through technical institutes in order to be considered later.

If we have chosen a career in science or engineering, our training will include increasingly complex subjects such as: calculus, differential equations, statistics, quantum mechanics, thermodynamics, materials science, hydrodynamics, economics, and different types of design depending on the specialty, among others. And in each of these matters we are tested. At the end of everything, we get an engineering degree or a bachelor’s degree in science, but that is not the end, as some will continue towards a master’s degree and a doctorate.

Throughout this process from the first letters to a doctorate, we must go through numerous tests, which will strengthen our patience. It is patience that helps us not throw the towel without having reached the goal. Likewise, in the spiritual world, we are not going to stay in Christian kindergarten, but we will go from test to test for the Lord to bring us from glory to glory until He returns. And the test of our faith will give us the patience necessary to await the hope of glory that is Jesus Christ. God bless you.

The Need for Endurance

Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise.

Hebrews 10:35-36

Endurance, how difficult it is to have it in this age! Modern times have made patience an endangered species. Today, when someone is told to be patient, they may become annoyed. Nobody wants to wait and everyone wants immediate results. It is as if each one requires the first turn at the same time. In Hebrews 10:35-36, the Bible tells us that endurance and doing the will of God are fundamental requirements to obtain the promise.

Those of us who have believed in Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, are called to take a position different from the current of the world. If we are in the Age of Impatience, as children of God, we will show patience. The Bible speaks enough about patience. In Luke 21:19 the Word of God says, By your patience possess your souls. In the progressive process of our sanctification, patience plays a fundamental role. It is obvious that our transformation does not happen instantly and we must wait patiently.

Certainly in our Christian walk we will find obstacles and endurance intervenes in the process of saving those obstacles. Romans 5:3-5 says, And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Endurance is a product of tribulations that helps us pass the test sustained by the hope of receiving the promise.

If we are impatient, then our spiritual maturity is incomplete. Patience is part of the fruit of the Spirit, as Galatians 5:22-23 says: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law. To be patient is to show that we live in the Spirit, not in the flesh. In addition, patience is part of the dress of God’s elect, as Colossians 3:12 says, Therefore, God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.

Let us prove that we are men and women of God through patience. Paul instructed Timothy, his spiritual son about it. 1 Timothy 6:11 says, But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. Looking at Paul’s three lists, we find that meekness always accompanies patience. Also, patience is accompanied on two occasions by love, kindness and faith. And they accompany it once: joy, peace, goodness, temperance, mercy, humility, justice and piety.

James 1:2-3 says something very important about patience, My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. Patience is the product of a faith tested. If we say that we have faith and lack the patience to wait, then we deceive ourselves. Let us show our faith in Him waiting for His time with patience. God bless you.

Patience and Obedience to Receive God’s Promises

Do not, therefore, fling away your fearless confidence, for it carries a great and glorious compensation of reward. For you have need of steadfast patience and endurance, so that you may perform and fully accomplish the will of God, and thus receive and carry away [and enjoy to the full] what is promised.

Hebrews 10:35-36 (AMP)

The modern world teaches us to hope to achieve instant results. The clearest example is the microwave oven by which we obtain hot food in minutes. Likewise, we want God to act in our lives, i.e., we think God will answer our requests automatically and the only thing we should do is push the spiritual buttons of hasty prayer and immediately in the heaven, our Heavenly Father will answer our petitions.

The book of Hebrews tells us that there are two prerequisites to obtain the promise, be patient and do the will of God, i.e. obey. It also tells us that we will get our reward if we don’t lose confidence, i.e. if our faith in God remains in us. The Bible clearly defines us the meanings of patience, obedience and promise.

Patience is to expect as Romans 8:25 says: But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with patience. Patience is to resist:  Blessed (happy, to be envied) is the man who is patient under trial and stands up under temptation, for when he has stood the test and been approved, he will receive [the victor’s] crown of life which God has promised to those who love Him (James 1:12, AMP). Patience is to obey: Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus (Revelation 14:12). Patience is to persevere and bear fruit: But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience (Luke 8:15). Patience perfects Christian character: But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing (James 1:4). Patience strengthens us through Christ: strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy (Colossians 1:11).

Obedience involves following orders and commandments of God, as Romans 16:26 tells us: but now made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith. Follow the instructions that give us people who are in charge of our spiritual growth is also part of obedience.

Our example must always be Jesus Christ, who was patient: Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ (2 Thessalonians 3:5). Our Lord was also obedient: And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross (Philippians 2:8).

God promises us many things in this world and in eternity. As our pastor, He has promised that we lack nothing. He has promised to give us His Holy Spirit, be sealed with Him and be with us until the end. Obey God at all times and waited patiently as we keep the promises present and eternal inheritance. God bless you.