Patiently Waiting Like The Farmer
It can be hard to patiently wait for God to move when you are mistreated.
In James 5:1-6, God Hears and He Responds, we learned that the rich Christians were financially abusing the poor Christians. We also learned that God disciplined the rich by annihilating their wealth. Feel free to click this link to review that blog – https://www.dorothyjhaire.info/2020/09/23/god-hears-and-he-responds/ .
Even though the rich were now much poorer, the victimized poor were still unpaid, hungry, and in some cases dying. How would their circumstances be improved?
James’s instructed, “So wait patiently, brothers and sisters, until the coming of the Lord” (James 5:7a).
Bible scholars differ on the meaning of the phrase “until the Lord comes.” For example, Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Whole Bible reads, “The coming of the Lord Jesus – either to remove you by death, or to destroy the city of Jerusalem and bring to an end the Jewish institutions, or to judge the world and receive his people to himself.”
However, Tony Evans explained, [James] “isn’t referring to Christ’s return to rapture the church. He’s exhorting them to be patient until the Lord comes to intervene in their historical circumstances.” Evans’ explanation makes more sense to me because the poor are crying out to God for immediate relief from the mistreatment of the rich. I welcome your comments on this difference of interpretation between Barnes and Evans.
James gave three examples of how the hurting poor Christians could be patient while waiting for God’s judgment on the oppressive rich and for God to bless the poor. Because each example of patience is different and meaningful, we will study them in three separate blogs.
In this blog we will study the farmer. “The farmer waits [expectantly] for the precious harvest from the land, being patient about it, until it receives the early and late rains. 8 You too, be patient; strengthen your hearts [keep them energized and firmly committed to God], because the coming of the Lord is near” (James 5:7b-8).
“The early rains normally lasted from mid-October to mid-November while the late rain spanned key portions of March and April. Thus the two main harvest and planting seasons came in fall and spring. Farmers, however, hardly sat idle in between but rather worked hard in weeding, hoeing, fertilizing, and doing whatever they could to bring their crops to full fruition.” (Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament).
The farmer can do nothing to force God to send rain or control the growth of the seed, but he can position himself to be blessed with an abundant crop by doing all he knows to do. Then he must wait for the appointed time for the harvest.
“In a similar way, when we are waiting for God to bring something to pass for us, we keep doing what we know to do – praying, believing, spending time in the Word, fellowshipping with God, and being a blessing to other people” (Joyce Meyer).
My Sisters and Brothers, God hears your pleas, sees your tears, feels your hurt, and He will respond. While you are waiting to be delivered from your enemies, consider the rest of James’s action plan:
- Verse 8 – “You too, be patient; strengthen your hearts [keep them energized and firmly committed to God], because the coming of the Lord is near.” Stay focused on God. Do not dwell on the wrong done to you. Place your enemy in the hands of God and leave them there. Strengthen your heart by staying committed to God.
- Verse 9a – “Do not complain against one another, believers, so that you will not be judged [for it].” Do not resort to judging your enemy. You have cried out to God. Trust Him to move on your behalf. Do not abort your deliverance with complaints.
- Verse 9b – “Look! The Judge is standing right at the door.” Praise God in advance. In due season He is coming to rescue you. Do all you know to do and prepare to be blessed!
In what ways are you like the farmer? In what ways are you different from the farmer? Join the conversation.
Dr. Dorothy J. Haire
Author & Blogger
Both church planter and pastor of Bread of Life Christian Church for the last 18 years, Dr. Haire is a beloved mother and successful author. Empowered to deliver the word of God to His people, Dr. Haire uses her digital platform to educate and develop Christian communities that are rooted in the word of Christ.