Be 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. 8 You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. (James 5:7-8)
Q. How can we work for justice without veering into retaliation?
Having suffered incredible injustice, first-century Christians certainly felt the pressure to retaliate and to take their own revenge. Instead, James offered two better solutions to revenge: (1) choose patience and (2) strengthen your hearts.
The word “patient” in Greek is a compound word, combining the word “long” (makro) and “anger“(thumos). Patience is choosing to keep your cool and take a long time before you blow your lid. Patience is the choice to endure and bear suffering without staying angry.
You may be thinking patience isn’t your spiritual gift; and that’s true. Patience isn’t a spiritual gift exercised by a few; it is the fruit of the Spirit to be demonstrated by all Christians (Gal. 5:22). Patience is a choice, not a feeling. Patience is evidence of God’s love inside of us (1 Cor. 13:4). Choosing patience strengthens our hearts (Jas. 5:8).
Why choose patience? God can do a better job of repaying than you can. A day is coming when God will make all the wrong things right. When Jesus comes, His power and glory will be revealed, and He will overthrow every enemy. In that day, the wicked will be judged and our faithfulness will be rewarded.
God’s justice may take time. But like a farmer waiting on the early and late rain, you trust that in due season, God will make all things right. -Pressure Points, Chip Henderson