Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
his greatness no one can fathom.
Patience in suffering
7 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. 8 You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. 9 Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!
10 Brothers and sisters, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 As you know, we count as 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.
12 Above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear – not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. All you need to say is a simple ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. Otherwise you will be condemned.
By the time we get to these verses, James has begun to speak more and more about the return of Jesus. It seems likely that he (and many of the early church) expected it very soon. And yet they still did not know when this would be, and in the difficulties of being persecuted, it was hard for them to wait and hope.
Lord God, give us patience in our waiting. We thank you for the many times we have waited and been rewarded by you, for all the times our patience and trust in you has paid off. Teach us to have the courage of Christ in uncertainty, and joy in the waiting. And thank you that underneath the surface you are at work. Your plans are always good.
Offer to God your own:
Prayers for other people
Bless one another as you finish – for example 'I bless you now, in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirt.'