In a Nutshell
Patience is another of the miracles that God works in human lives by keeping faithful to His promises.
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How is patience part of the image-bearing character of humans. How does being re-made fresh in Christ Jesus relate to the patience we are called to show?
Maintain patience, therefore, brothers and sisters, for the coming of the Lord. Take note of how the farmer anticipates the precious crop from the earth, being patient with it until he receives the early and the late rains. In this way also you must be patient, strengthening your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is drawing near. And belovéd, in order to avoid judgment, quit grumbling against one another. Note well, the Judge who is standing at the door! And to take as your precedent, consider the evils endured and the patience needed by the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Indeed we call those who showed endurance the happy ones. You have heard about Job's endurance, and you have seen how the Lord signs off [on His promises], that the Lord is full of compassion and merciful.
Once again, James reiterates what has been the theme of his letter. His fellow slaves of the Messiah, God's anointed ruler of the princes of the earth, are now freed from the intractable tendencies that had captured their lives. These have been overpowered by "a wisdom from above" (3:15), a Holy Spirited power from on high. How do the disciples of Jesus find this power, this peace? Have they no cause whatsoever to worry about? Don't they have to take the strain, keep their fists clenched just in case? How are they to hold their ground? How do they resist those moving in on their turf? If they don't assert themselves won't they become known as a pack of wimps? Well, when Jesus calls, He actually calls people to leave such impatient and competitive striving behind.
Why should the disciple of Jesus be patient? Shouldn't the gospel provoke the disciple to a deep-down holy impatience to see the coming of the Kingdom of God? We are again reminded of the opening sentences of the letter. It is by a deep-down joyful patience under trial that the work of God comes to its complete perfection (TELEIOI 1:4 c.f. 5:11) in the lives of those God is designing to be the fruit of His purposes. That indeed is what the Lord God guaranteed when He "signed off" on His promise, maintaining His compassionate, tender mercies to His servants. It's all about His timing. The timing of the Lord. His promises have been made. They are completely reliable. There's not a shadow of doubt in what He has contracted to bring to pass in our life (1:13). We can depend upon it. If we need extra encouragement, we can recall the prophets! We can remember Job!
So, writes James, as you draw near to God, be assured that He has drawn near to You! (4:8). The Lord is surely on His way since He has promised His vindication - and to you personally, in the completeness of your person! The One who will lift you up and restore you fully and completely is not far off. As you anticipate His re-entrance into this creation, the domain of His justice and mercy, there is simply no reason at all for you to posture yourself as judge and jury in your own defence. Not necessary. The announcement of Divine amnesty has already been declared!