By Brooke Holt
“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. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.” James 5:7-8
James teaches us that we must be patient in waiting for the return of the Lord. As the Israelites eagerly awaited their Messiah, it seemed the time would never come. Once he came, many did not recognize him. In the long wait, had their hearts become so hard and their minds so dull that they could not recognize the Messiah once he arrived?
Once again, we find ourselves waiting for the Messiah's return. James and the early believers were waiting, too. People have been eagerly awaiting this day since Jesus’ ascension. Thus, James writes to teach the disciples of Jesus how to wait well.
James used the example of the farmer waiting on his crops. Just as a farmer must work his soil then await the growth of the harvest, we must do the work in our hearts – trusting, surrendering, loving, believing, and hoping. We can develop these godly characteristics through reading God’s Word, prayer, worship, and meeting together. God’s people are to spur one another on in faithfulness.
This Advent season, the Lord reminds you of the need to establish your heart! Then, you will wait well for the Lord.
What does it look like for you to establish your heart in preparation for the coming of the Lord? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Let's face it, the Christian life is hard. Relationships take work. Christians forget. Sometimes it is tempting to go back to the days when God was not the center of our lives - to backslide. We are all faced with tremendous pressures to drift away from intimacy with Jesus and the community of the Church. However, the Lord invites us to pay attention, to move forward, to draw near, and to live lives of worship. Draw Near: Hebrews on Christian Worship is a small group Bible study on the Book of Hebrews intended to lead participants into a deeper intimacy with the living God in the context of New Testament worship. Draw nearer to God in authentic worship today!
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