You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. (ESV)
In the previous verse James used the illustration of the farmer waiting for the rains to come so that he can have a plentiful harvest. There is nothing to do but wait for the rain to come. He cannot make it happen as much as he may want to. In this verse he says, "You also, be patient." Just like the farmer, you also be patient. We cannot speed the Lord's coming, but we must be patient.
Establish your hearts. Our hearts are such fickle things, chasing after things that distract us from what we should be focusing on. The world claims that we should "follow our hearts." Yet Jeremiah tells us that our heart is "deceitful above all things" (Jeremiah 17:9). We need to have a conversation with our hearts guided by the authority of God's Word. Tell it to focus on the Lord's return.
Have you considered that the coming of the Lord is at hand. We do not know when he will come. James wrote this letter almost 2000 years ago and yet he says that the Lord's return is at hand. Will it be another 2000 years? We do not know. We do know that he is returning. That truth needs to be a rock and support to us during times of struggle and persecution.
So many people look at the Lord's coming as a point of mystery and intrigue. They study biblical texts side by side with the latest newspaper. They make their calculations. It is almost as if they think they can speed the coming of the Lord with their obsession over the actual date and time. Instead, what we all should do is comfort ourselves with the truth that the Lord is returning, no matter when that is.
I am sure that you are either going through a hard time, or you will be. Be patient. Establish your heart. The Lord is coming again!
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