Test of Patience

James 5:7-9 

7Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. 8You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. 9Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!


During the pandemic, gardening has become therapeutic activity for individuals who are required to be isolated or simply preferred to be isolated. If you love gardening as hobby or even fulltime career, you may have experimented growing bonsai plants.

Have you scrutinized the beauty of bonsai plants? Bonsai farmers wrap around aluminum wires; they coil copper wires around trunks and branches of the plant. Then, they meticulously bend it to their desire shape, form or structure of the bonsai plant. Growing bonsai plants includes routine pruning, removing leaves and branches and they are even intentionally broken but not totally cut off, if it helps bend the plant.

If plants have feeling, such process of transforming a plant into bonsai must be agonizing, but necessary measure to be carefully done. Similarly, godly discipline can be very painful process – lifestyle, attitudes, characters that aren’t useful for godly purposes must be removed. The Lord carefully designed perfect discipline for our goodness sake.

By faith, we believe what it declares in Romans 8:28-29, 28In all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son.

The ultimate result that God wants us to become is to be conformed to the image of his Son Jesus Christ. God has determined believers he disciplines to be conformed to the obedience and character of his Son Jesus Christ. He perfectly arranged series of events and situations to transform us perfectly fit for heaven. Jesus Christ instructed in:

Matthew 5:48, 48Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Or course, we are not perfect, yet! Can imperfect make itself perfect? It cannot!

“Be perfect!” This is godly command! How can we obey this godly command to be perfect? Only perfect God can make us perfect. God disciplines; he corrects us until we will be perfect in his eyes. Perfection is the final picture God desired for believers.

Jesus said in John 14:26, 26The Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

Did you personally receive the Holy Spirit when you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? How do you personally know that your received the Holy Spirit in your life? The Holy Spirit produces fruit in us, and we patiently wait for the coming of Christ.

1.  Come

7Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. 

We depend on the Holy Spirit to patiently wait for the coming of Jesus Christ. Are you waiting for the second advent of Christ, like “the farmer who waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains?” 

Waiting for autumn and spring rain implies that the farmer was dependent on rainfall to water his plants. He did not have modern irrigation system. But, while waiting expectantly for rain to water his plant, surely, the farmer did not just idly sit or lazily stand next to his plants and expectantly watch the sky for the coming of rain, right? While waiting for rain showers, the farmer removes weeds, cultivates, adds mulch or fertilizer around his plants. If necessary, he prunes or removes fruits with disease. Enthusiastically, he prepares anything essential to farming as he expects great harvest.

What do you expect when Christ comes again? Do you expect much better situation than what you have at the moment? Do you expect great rewards? Do you expect to reign with Christ? Godly patience includes great expectation for Chris’s return.

Personally, I am expecting what it says in Revelation 20:6, 6Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years. When Christ returns, all believers who died will resurrect, and we who are alive at that time will be given immortal bodies, then the seven years of Great Tribulation happens. After the Great Tribulation, Christ and all resurrected believers come down to reign with him on earth for a thousand years. Do you have any idea which position will be given to you? Designation of authority to reign depends on our faithfulness.

Noble Master

The Lord Jesus Christ told a parable about a noble master who went to a distant country to be appointed as king and then returned. Before he left, he gave money to his servants; he clearly instructed to invest it. When he returned, his servants presented the profits they have gained from the money that their master gave them. The master told the servants who invested his money in Luke 19: 17, 17‘Well done, my good servant! Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.’

The servants invested the money they get with great expectation of their master. The noble master is Christ, the appointed King of kings. He gives spiritual gifts for us to invest. Do you accept that he will grant us authority when we reign on earth? How much authority is given? It’s based on how faithful we invest spiritual gifts. Do you believe it? Wait patiently for the coming of Christ with great expectation like the faithful servants!

Waiting with expectation for the return of Christ is essential to transformation of believers into the image of Christ. By faith, God’s ways are perfectly flawless. Waiting patiently for the advent of Christ is practical proof of commitment to stand firm.

2. Commit

8You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.

When it says, “Be patient and stand firm,” commitment, steadfastness, loyalty and dedication is expected from believers who patiently wait for the return of Christ. It implies productive expectation and not just hanging around in idleness, relaxation or leisure. There’s alertness and readiness to respond productively to given instruction.

Faith in God is best displayed in personal commitment to trust that his timing is perfect. When involved in the ministry, there’s pressure; we may not see the beneficial effect of waiting. Many believers anxiously ask, “Are we there, yet?” Relax a bit but not too much. Christ’s return is planned perfectly. Keep investing your spiritual gifts!


Which season do you like most: winter, spring, summer or fall? Seasons come at perfect time that God designated. He arranged season for perfect reason. There is a season when farmers plow their field, when to plant, when to apply fertilizer, when to water, cultivate or harvest. It is not very wise to plow the field in winter when it is freezing below zero, right? There are best plants that best planted in spring or fall.

Farmers follow proper timing and expect great harvest. As farmers wait patiently with expectation of great harvest, they prepare necessary essentials and methods that may help increase their harvest and they also explore what to do with their harvest.

The Lord says in Matthew 9:37-38, 37The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.

All believers are expected to harvest for souls. Why? Leading potential believers of Christa nd sharing the good news of salvation are productive means to earn treasures in heaven. Participate and personally involve in telling the good news of eternal life. It proves practically of active faith in Christ. It’s also a manifestation of great expectation of the return of Christ and that he will reward faithfulness to our calling.

Expectation of his return finds no time to complain and grumble about anything.

3.  Complain

9Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!

There’s perfect time that God has set for Christ’s return. I hope that it would be sooner than later. With great expectation that Christ will come anytime soon, we would not waste precious time complaining and grumbling about practical inconveniences. We would rather focus on accomplishing the mission purposes of God for us.

Of course, we cannot avoid material demands for better life in this world. Why?

Practical lifestyle can be useful exhibit when we talk about God’s grace. Imagine a beggar shouting, “God’s grace is sufficient! Please spare a dollar!” It is not fitting, it does not make sense, right? And still, there are times when believers are in dire need of help, not just material things but also unspoken things or situations that are private (things we can only reveal to the Lord and don’t wish others to know). What should we do?


In biblical times, widows were the most neglected people in the society. Most wives in biblical times were very dependent on their husbands as provider for the family. When their husbands die and their children were still very young to work, they would resort to begging for help from others. The Lord Jesus Christ told a parable about a helpless widow in Luke 18:2-8, 2In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. 3And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’

4For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, 5yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’

6And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

Can you identify with the widow? How can you bother a judge today? Knock on his door, send emails, phone or video calls. The judge can block your calls, but subscribers and media can shame the judge publicly online; any judge doesn’t like that.

The unjust judge granted decision that favored the widow because he wanted to avoid unnecessary bothersome inconvenience anymore. It was for his convenience sake then and he just wanted peaceful time. He may have decided according to the law though.

Truly, human law can be interpreted in several ways and many judges decide according to their political leaning or personal opinions. And, there are judges who are strictly lawful – they honestly follow the law and cannot be pressured by outside elements.

It declares in Hebrews 1:8, 8But about the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, will last forever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom.

Friends, everything we do will be judged when Jesus Christ returns to reign as King of kings forever. Certainly, we have many essential needs in this world, even as we wait patiently for the coming of Christ. With great expectations of rewards he would give us, we should maximize every given opportunity to testify of our faith in him.

There’s a pastor and seminary professor who were creative in social media. They upload beautiful flowers and fruits, and added biblical verses that may inspire followers. Pray for godly wisdom how you may effectively use social media as instrument for you to spread the word of God. Let your subscribers know of your gratitude to God. Let them know that they can find contentment in the eternally contented God.

Does the Lord wants us to experience contentment even in this material world?

Yes! Of course! Godly principles recorded in the Scripture are actually practical guide for us to be satisfied in godly lifestyle of righteousness. Can you believe that?

Pray for stronger faith to believe what it declares in 2 Peter 1:3-8, 3His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

5For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

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