In James 5:7-12, James begins wrapping up his letter. with advice on how to get through the suffering of this life. He calls his readers to be patient in the midst of their suffering, to focus not on the challenge but on the purpose behind it.
Suffering confronts me with the question: will I acknowledge that God is God? But it confronts me not as a religious question I debate on Sunday, nor as an academic philosophical question. Suffering forces me to confront this question when I make my daily choices. Is God truly God? Is He the source of mercy and life? Is He the one who determines what is right and what is wrong? Is He the just and holy judge who will condemn sin? Is the author and creator of the universe who numbers my days?
Those sound like big lofty theological questions, but they are in fact the issues I must confront when I must choose how to treat my neighbor, how to love my kids, how to work with my boss, how to treat my professors, how to spend my time and how to spend my money — and how I respond to suffering. In every choice I make in every aspect of my life I reveal whether or not I believe God is God and whether I trust Him or not.
Questions – James 5:7-12
- Define patience.
- How do you think patience relates to the second coming of Christ?
- How do we “grumble against” each other? How is grumbling related to patience?
- What do you think James wants us to learn from the examples of the prophets and Job?
- What helps you exercise patience and avoid grumbling?