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James 5:10: As An Example Of Suffering And Patience, Brothers, Take The Prophets Who Spoke In The Name Of The Lord.


James 5:10
[10] As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. (ESV)

Suffering and patience. These are challenging words and concepts, and yet for the believer in Jesus Christ they are our daily bread and butter. James invites his readers to consider the prophets of old as our examples for suffering and patience. It would be helpful for us to have a better understanding of who these prophets were.

You have most likely heard of the likes of Isaiah, Jeremiah, or Ezekiel. They are names that figure prominently in the Old Testament. Their prophetic words fill up many chapters that we view as Scripture to this day. We love to read Isaiah's description of Jesus as the suffering servant, or read of Ezekiel's vision of a wheel within a wheel. These men did not have easy lives.

Prophets knew what it was like to suffer. While we know that prophets were "fore-tellers" of future events one of their other primary purposes was in "forth-telling." They were the ones who pointed out the sinfulness of their society and brought stern rebukes from the Lord to His people. You can imagine that not everyone wanted to hear their words of rebuke. Many prophets suffered abuse from those who did not enjoy having their sins pointed out by prophets.

Prophets also had to be patient. Many of the prophets gave prophecies that spoke of things that were to happen in the future. They never got to see their prophecies come true. Isaiah spoke of things that were to happen when the Messiah came to Earth. Hundreds of years later Christ came and fulfilled the words of the prophet.

We are to be like the prophets. We need to be willing to suffer. We need to be patient. God is in charge. He will direct things his way and for his glory. Trust him. Ask him to help you. He will.

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