Waiting for the Harvest: Study Notes on James 5:7-8

Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. James 5:7-8 NASB

James doesn’t say be patient until our desires are met. Not until our prayers are answered. But to be patient until Jesus returns. And He will return. His Kingdom will reign in ultimate victory. So, in the meantime? We must sow good seeds, do the hard work, cultivate the soil where we are right now. Remember the early blessings and inspiration that prepared the soil for our dreams to be sown. Be patient for the blessings that seem late in coming. Draw strength from God and show love in the waiting. The ultimate Good will come.

When a farmer works the land, he cannot see the seeds he’s planted. So too, my life may seem barren in the places where I long for a harvest. I know what I think I need to fill the empty places. I have dreams for the beautiful bounty I desire. But, I cannot predict what is to come. I cannot control the outside influences or the choices of others that affect the soil of my life. Just as the farmer waits for rain, I must wait upon God. I must trust Him with my seeds and dreams.

In verse 8, “strengthen your hearts” means to establish, render constant, and stabilize my heart. To quiet the swirling thoughts. To stop the anxious chatter. To stay in the present and remember the power of God. This is the key to patience. The world may fool me into seeking instant gratification, or entertain me to the brink of numbness. But when my heart is tethered to my faith in God, I am strengthened. And I can wait for what will truly satisfy.

Lord, Steady my heart and mind with Your truth and merciful kindness. Remind me of Your beautiful promises for my life. Enlarge my capacity for patience in the waiting. Reveal to me glimpses of the harvest that is to come. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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