See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. James 5:7b
Listen: James 5
James knows that envisioning the end goal helps us endure hard times. He encourages those early Christians who were experiencing “rough road” with a farm illustration. Twice a year the farmer plants then patiently waits for the crops to come in. Planting goes quickly, so most of the year he is waiting while focused on “the finish line” of the harvest.
The “finish line” for Christians is “the Lord’s coming [back]” (James 5:8). After his resurrection and before he ascended, Jesus promised to return and gather believers “from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other” (Matthew 24:31). It will be worth waiting because “he will wipe every tear from [our] eyes. There will be no more death, or mourning, or crying or pain…” (Revelation 21:4).
During rough times, James reminds us to focus on the big picture and not get caught up in complaining about what’s happening now. As we focus on the finish line in trust and hope, God will bear the fruit of his Spirit in our life, “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23a).
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Think about where your focus goes and how you behave when life gets hard. Commit to finding hope in focusing on what life will be like when Jesus comes back. Use Galatians 5:22-23 as your guide as you trust God to bear his fruit in your life while we wait for his return. Click on one of these photos to “save image as” to set for the lock screen or home screen on your mobile device to help you remember.
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