Be longsuffering; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not complain, brethren, against one another, that you yourselves may not be judged. … Those who spoke in the Lord’s name are an example of patience and longsuffering. Behold, we count those fortunate who endured. James 5:8–11
If we had no hope, no certainty, that the Lord would provide an eternal future of happy tomorrows, it would be very difficult to endure, especially the antagonism and annoyances of colleagues and friends. It would be very difficult to stand for what is right when those around us are falling for what is wrong. But the Lord certainly will return to “vindicate his chosen ones” who maintain the faith in the face of difficulties. Moses didn’t complain when Israel rebelled in the wilderness. He prayed for God not to give up on them; for he trusted in God’s commitment to glorify himself by doing the impossible. When Israel demanded a human king, Samuel remained so committed to them that he continued to pray diligently for them; for he trusted in God’s willingness to forgive and renew sinful people. After Job’s friends abused him while he wrestled with God, he prayed for them. So we count them both among the fortunate whom God has satisfied. And we can count ourselves fortunate to have such hopefully patient examples.
O God, I see how you have blessed those who trust you enough to continue patiently to do right in the face of opposition. Grant me to know the joy they knew as I await the return of Jesus. Amen.
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