Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. James 5:7-8, 11
I finished my study of James. I see how he came full circle with his admonishment to remain steadfast while enduring trials. In the beginning of the letter addressed to his scattered brothers and sisters, James told them to consider their trials a joy, and remain steadfast until it had its full effect. He spent the rest of the letter detailing practical ways of living out genuine faith.
Near the end of the letter, James reminded them to be patient for the coming of the Lord. He pointed them to the farmer who waited patiently on the rains. This wasn’t an idle kind of waiting. The farmer had plenty of work to do. As do we.
But like a farmer, we are to be patient. James wrote, “establish your hearts.” The NIV says “stand firm” and the NLT, “take courage.” All of those say it well, but what says it even better is Luke 9:51.
When the days drew near for him to be taken up, Jesus set his face to go to Jerusalem.
The Greek word in the phrase ‘set his face’ is the same word James used in the phrase ‘establish your heart’ in verse 8. We are to ‘make stable, place firmly, set fast, fix’ our hearts in order to do the work we’ve been given and wait patiently as we endure trials and suffering.
In verse 11, James recalled the steadfastness of Job after he affirmed the blessing of those who persevere. And the blessing, or full effect of steadfastness, is maturity and completion (verse 1:4) and the crown of life (verse 1:12).
Jesus set his face to give his life. Now let us establish our hearts and wait patiently for our crown of life.