Journal Entry ~ 08/14/18

7 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.8 You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.9 Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door.
10 As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.11 Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.12 But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your "yes" be yes and your "no" be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation. - James 5:7-12

The truths found in this portion of James have always settled my heart and brought me peace. I need the frequent reminder to be patient because I struggle to wait well. 

Patience is another way we love others, yet something so many of us struggle to do. Patience is accepting a delay or suffering without getting angry or upset. In a busy world of immediate gratification, patience is an attribute that can get pushed aside. Patiently loving people means allowing them to move at their own pace, to be who they are, and allow them to have and work through their struggles without judgment from me.

We have such a tendency to look at the struggles of others and condemn them because we would never struggle where they are struggling, but that thinking is so self righteously sinful. We look at another person’s sin and think we have the right to judge and hand out consequences. But that’s now how God looks at us or our sin. When He looks at us, He sees Jesus. God loves us with a steadfast, pursuing love and He is abundantly patient with us, even when we’re struggling with temptation. He never turns his back on us, He never walks away from us, He never ends our relationship. He continues to love us despite our ugly sin, and that’s how He calls us to love others - with the same patience and compassion. 

Whether it’s getting out the door or getting their life on track, whether it’s trusting God is moving in His timing in a trial or in His timing in a person, patience involved waiting. I don't wait well. I like things to move at my pace. But when I am pressing my agenda on others in my life, I am not loving others as God calls me to do. 

It all comes down to this: if I ultimately want what God wants - for Him to rescue the people in my life - then I need to love them as He loves them. And if I am going to love them well, I need to put on a compassionate heart and I need to be patient. Those attributes don’t come easily or naturally - they all only come from the Holy Spirit moving in my heart. And if I am going to love as God loves, I need to allow the Holy Spirit to do the transforming work on my heart that He needs to do. 

Press on  ~ you are loved 💗


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