Monday, May 7, 2018

Patience and Standing

Patience and Standing
May 7, 2018
James 5:8  "You, too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord's coming is near."

The Christian life is one of faith, no questions. It takes faith to believe that the Lord is in Heaven and created the universe.  It takes faith to believe Jesus was the Son of God, born in human form to die as a sacrifice for our sins. It takes faith to believe that Jesus will stand on your behalf, to cover your sins and allow you to one day enter the Lord's presence. While many Christians take these truths to be fact, it still takes faith, as none of it can be proven by human measurements. Nonetheless, Christians accept these faith articles as facts. The Bible is filled with stories that take faith to believe as fact, like Noah and the Ark, Moses and burning bush, Jonah and the big fish, this list could go on. The Lord says that taking these faith articles as fact is commendable. But most Christians stop there, they stop with the old stories in the past, failing to look at the faith-story they are living out today.

In James, the author tells us to consider the farmer, who plants his crop and waits patiently for the autumn and spring rains. In like manner, the author continues, we are to stand firm and be patient in our faith. The analogy suggests the farmer stands firm, after planting, for the rains and the yield that will come. It takes great faith to be a farmer, as it is weeks and months before he might see anything. I imagine in those weeks of waiting, he gets stressed and starts to worry about the rain or lack thereof. I imagine he tends to worry about a late frost after planting or too much heat in the summer. But the point the author makes in James is that the farmer stands firm. Firm. He doesn't dig up his seed and take it back. He doesn't quit after a few weeks and sell his fields, looking for other work. He doesn't try to sow a different seed over the top of the previous. He stands firm and waits, patiently, with faith.

Your life, whether you realize it or not, is like this farmer. You planted a seed of faith in your walk of life, when you came to the understanding of Jesus as your Lord and Savior. And now, just like the stories in the Bible that require faith to believe, you now need faith to believe your story is being written and lived out right now. Only, right now you are having to wait patiently, like the farmer who is anticipating his yield. Your harvest may not come for a while, your patience may be required for quite some time in this present life and specific situation. You are to stand.

You are to stand firm and stay in the story, your story of faith. You are not to dig up the seed. You are not to sell your field. You are not to find alternate means. You are not to worry and doubt and fret and fear. You are to stand. Stand firm. Your life, though seemingly faith, is fact when viewed in hindsight. You, unfortunately, do not have the luxury of hind sight yet. You, unfortunately, do not have the freedom to measure your life with human means, to evaluate the faith required for the outcome the Lord is anticipating. or the outcome anticipated. Just as the farmer must sow seed in faith, and wait for the Lord, standing firm, you are to wait. Doing something, while you are supposed to be standing firm, looks a lot like doubt.

Don't take my word for it; look it up: Eph 6:13, Hebrews 11, James 5:7-11

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