October 29, 2016

Patience for the Harvest

James 5:7-11

See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains.

—  James 5:7

“Patience is a virtue,” an old proverb says. Certainly this is true when growing crops. Apples don’t blossom one day and bear fruit the next. Seeds don’t sprout and immediately offer ripe grain. People who tend the soil must wait patiently for their harvest, enduring the reality that much about growth is out of their control.

Such patient waiting is an act of faith and hope. All through the growing season, a farmer looks ahead to the promise of a “valuable crop.” The farmer may plant and tend the seed, but it is “the land” that yields the crop.

In the same way, followers of Jesus live in faith and hope that through all the circumstances of life, God promises to bring about a valuable harvest in our lives. Jesus has not forgotten his people. He has given his life for them; he will return to judge sin and destroy it forever. In the meantime, we wait patiently.

Do you presently face unfair pressure at work, betrayal from family members or friends, or injustice from society? Are you weighed down by your own sin or by temptations? Remember how God sustained his people in the past and on through many ages to the present. Trust that God will also send timely relief through Christ’s compassion and mercy as you wait for the harvest of his “valuable crop.”

Patient God, give us patience and endurance as we wait for you. Help us to trust that you will send what we need to bring about something valuable in our lives, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.

About the author — Joel Vande Werken

Joel Vande Werken has been a pastor since 2007, serving churches in Sussex, New Jersey, and in Whitinsville, Massachusetts. He and his wife, Brandie, have five young children.

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