Focal Passage: James 5:7-9, 13-20
Everyone’s waiting for something, whether it’s a new job, a spouse or the weekend. Waiting is a part of living, it seems. But as Christians, we are ultimately waiting for one thing. Concluding his letter, James reminds his readers that what we are waiting for is the return of our King. He also reminds us how we should wait.
We know God did not promise us a life free from trials. In this time between Christ’s first and second coming, we have and will experience hardship. Praise God that we have an eternal hope in Jesus! Though we struggle, we know that at just the right time, our Savior King will return and put an end to pain forever! In our sickness and suffering, then, James reminds us of the importance of turning to God in prayer. Because of the righteousness we have in Christ, our prayers are powerful and effective. Just as Elijah’s prayer moved God to stop the rain (and start it back again!), so our prayers move God to help us in our sin and sorrow.
Sometimes, life’s difficulties cause believers to falter in their faith. Scripture tells us to seek out those who have strayed. We are to show grace to those who have fallen into sin and seek to restore them. In verse 20, James teaches that this seeking and reclaiming can save a person even from physical death. In this way, we help others wait well.
When Jesus returns, every evil thing will be upended, and we will live forever with the One who died for us. We wait in hope, knowing that our God is faithful and will return as He promised.
We wait in prayer, knowing that He is the only one who can sustain us through our every circumstance. We wait in faithfulness, encouraging others to be faithful too. With anticipation we wait. For we know that our minds cannot even conceive the half of what God has prepared for those who love Him!