Five times we are going to hear James referencing the virtue of patience in our study this morning (James 5:7,8,10,11). He uses it in the context of living in the last days (James 5:3,8). (1 Peter 5:7).
When Jesus gave His last days discourse as recorded in Luke’s gospel, the exhortation to us is, “by your patience possess your souls” (Luke 21:19). James had already told the saints that one of the purposes of trials in our lives is meant to develop patience (James 1:2-4). Paul would tell the saints in Rome that patience develops experience (or character – Romans 5:4). Peter tells us that one of the things that must be added to our faith is patience (2 Peter 1:5,6). The writer to Hebrews tells us that we are to run the race of following Christ with patience (Hebrews 12:1). Thus it is crystal clear that patience is indeed a key ingredient in Spirit-filled, fruit-bearing living.
In the midst of trials and perplexing circumstances, you and I are told be patient, not panic. Patience means that I recognize that God is in control of my life (Psalm 31:15a) and His universe (Hebrews 1:3). Patience with what God is doing (Philippians 2:13) and how He is doing it prevents me from taking matters into my own hands, or leaning upon my ability to work things out via human ingenuity (Proverbs 3:5-6). Patience and faith are twin virtues of spiritual development (Hebrews 6:12). And notice that the warning about holding grudges towards (or grumbling against) others (James 5:9) is couched between passages that refer to patience, which tells us that patience is meant to affect our relationships with one another.
“Now may the God of patience and consolation grant you to be like- minded toward one another according to Christ Jesus.” (Romans 15:5)