Read This Week’s Passage: James 5:7–12

Our Guarantee

After explaining the condition of the rich to the rich, James turns his attention to his “brethren,” who were likely often victims of the rich. While those who live for themselves and at the expense of others should fear the impending future, God’s people should look toward the future with patience and hope. For those against God, the future is worse than they realize; for those who live in surrender to Him, it’s much better than they could ever imagine.

Using parables ranging from agriculture to the devastating story of Job, James reminds his listeners that patience and perseverance are not novel concepts in the realm of the life of faith. Hopeful patience is needed for farmers desiring to feed their families, prophets repeatedly giving the same message to idolatrous nations, a man of God wondering why his circumstances are what they are, and a believer straining with eyes of faith toward the future. In all these circumstances, the individual is blind to the future (even the present!), because they cannot see it clearly. Instead, they must trust the One who can.

In this time of waiting, words continue to reveal the condition of the heart. James warns his listeners not to give utterance to grumblings or swearing, as both bring condemnation and judgment in their wake. “Establish your hearts,” he encourages, “for the coming of the Lord is at hand” (James 5:8). No matter how unlikely, how uncontrollable, or how far-off it may seem, the Lord Jesus is coming, and all that He has promised will surely be fulfilled.