September 24, 2023 | Doug Sauder
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“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. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.”—James 5:7–8 (NIV)
Think back to when you were a child. Was there ever a moment where your parents, a teacher, or a friend made a promise to you? I remember making promises with friends about keeping secrets. We would pinky promise not to tell anyone else who we had a crush on. There is something about making a promise that promotes trust and deepens a bond. According to Oxford Languages on Google, the definition of promise is “a declaration or assurance that one will do a particular thing or that a particular thing will happen.” Another definition from Merriam-Webster is “a cause or ground for hope.”
When you think about promises; however, you may also think about promises being broken. I still remember the simplest promises that were broken to me as a child, such as my mom promising we would get a dog someday or my brother promising to save the last Chick-fil-A sauce for me. You may be thinking of more serious broken promises, such as a friend talking behind your back or a spouse having an affair. Broken promises are the result of our broken world. Broken promises always weaken and damage trust.
Whether your initial thoughts on promises are more joyful or pessimistic, it’s still true that promises involve trust. The reason we’re talking about promises today is because we serve a God who has given us promises to hold on to. You see, God is a good promise giver and promise keeper, but the brokenness of this world makes it hard to believe that sometimes. In today’s Scripture, James is encouraging Christians to patiently hold onto the promises of God because He is trustworthy and has promised to restore all things one day!
The beauty of this specific promise is that it relates to our future. The promise of Christ’s return is a promise that gives us eternal hope. Patience isn’t just about waiting, it’s about waiting without becoming angry or upset. As we wait for various things in life overall, we’re also waiting for Christ to come and establish His kingdom forever.
In order to wait well through all of these things, we must live with patience. Patience means we wait with hope and that hope comes from knowing who the promise giver and promise keeper is. Patience also enables us to treat others with the same love and kindness that Jesus treats us with. From small inconveniences to other more difficult problems, patience looks like being gentle, humble, servant-hearted, and trusting. A strong faith in our perfectly patient Father will lead to an increasingly patient heart within us, His children.
Therefore, patience can only become more natural in us when we root ourselves in Christ. His promises and character must be at the forefront of our minds. The Holy Spirit will help us live patiently because He helps us live by God’s truth and live in full surrender. In order to embody patience, we must therefore remember God’s promises like how James did in our Scripture today. Our patience comes from trusting in God’s promises, especially His promise to return and restore all of creation once and for all! Let’s live in light of that promise today!
Pause: Think about God being a good promise keeper and promise giver. Think about how you have seen this to be true in Scripture or in your own life.
Practice: Try to make a list of promises God gives us to hold on to in the Bible. Then, think about this question: How does knowing His promises help you live more patiently?
Pray: Father, thank You so much for being a good promise giver and promise keeper. You promised us redemption and salvation, and You gave it to us in Jesus Christ. You promised us a helper, and you gave us the Holy Spirit. The list goes on and on. I want to walk in patience by walking in complete trust. I know You will come back one day, so I can patiently wait for Your return because You promise to be with me in the waiting! Thank You for being faithful even when I struggle to be. Amen.
Samy Rodriguez has been serving with the Calvary writing team since 2020 as a senior at Calvary Christian Academy. Before going to study communications, biblical studies, and intercultural studies at Palm Beach Atlantic University, she interned with the Calvary Communications Team and was a student leader in HSM (High School Ministry). She is passionate about communicating God’s Word and looks forward to continuing to serve in ministry after college.