James continues to look toward Christ’s return with this counsel for his readers: “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” (5:7). This patience he writes about is characterized by good relations with brothers (“do not grumble against one another”), steadfastness, clear speaking (“let your ‘yes’ be yes and your ‘no’ be no), prayer, cheerful praise, and confession of sin. In short, we do not await our Lord’s coming with frowns and complaints about how difficult our lives are; rather, the anticipation of his return puts smiles on our faces and in our hearts. We live with the promise given us by Jesus: “So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you” (John 16:22). As some would say, “Now, THAT’S livin’!”
Be still, my soul; the Lord is on your side;
bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
leave to your God to order and provide;
in ev’ry change he faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul; your best, your heav’nly friend
through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
Be still, my soul; the hour is hast’ning on
when we shall be forever with the Lord,
when disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still my soul; when change and tears are past,
all safe and blessed we shall meet at last. --Jane Borthwick (1855)