“Be patient, brothers, till the coming of the Lord. And look, the farmer’s waiting for the precious fruit out of the earth. Be patient until it drinks the first and later rains. Be patient. Gather strength, make your hearts firm. Drawing near is the coming of the Lord. And brothers, do not groan against each other for fear you may be judge. And look, the judge is standing at the doors! As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, see the prophets who spoke in the name of God.” (Yaakov 5:7-10, Restored New Testament, Barnstone)
Four times, in a span of four verses, Yaakov pleads in his letter that his readers be patient. The patience he is referring to involves matters of survival and future redemption. The patient farmer is awaiting his livelihood, and the patient prophets await the word of God to come to pass. It is worth noting that some prophets died in their patience while others only saw the fruit at the end.
Often times in our day and age, patience is presented as being predicated on our individual opportunities to eventually receive that for which we have waited. The patience Yaakov is referring to does not ensure this in our lifetime. It is not so easy to be patient when presented with the possibility that we may be working for a generation far beyond our own. The promise of eternity oughtn’t dampen that difficulty one iota. It is legitimate to long for the Kingdom, now…so long as we are also patient with its coming.
Patience is more than just trusting we will eventually get what we have been waiting for. Patience is trusting that God will give what he promised to give in his time - a time well worth the wait!