The Life of a Follower: Living in Contentment and Paitence


James 5:7-11

The life of a follower is a life built on Patience and waiting.  Our entire life of faith is built on waiting for the promise of God’s return. Everything else we go through in life whether blessing or suffering is really nothing compared to the blessing of Christ, and what we will have in our eternal heavenly reward.

Beware of letting your impatience and Pain hurting your relationship with others. (v.9-10)
I have watched people in pain or suffering go through it with dignity and honor. They never complain, but trust in God at every turn. I have also been with people who became bitter. When they went through or go through times of hardship or suffering they become angry at the world. This causes them to lash out at the very people who are trying to love or show kindness to them. This is why it often takes a special person to work in nursing or other heath care industries, because some people are very angry people when they are going through treatments. I was recently with someone who apologized to a friend saying, “Sorry, my pain is making me grumpy.” This is a very true statement, because being uncomfortable can spill into every area of our lives.

James gives us the faithful example of facing suffering and trials in looking at Job.  Much of what we see in Job is the attitude of his heart and the trust of his faith.

I thought about all of this and was inspired to write this short story:

 A Story of Two Brothers,  by D.G. Shipton 

      There were two brothers who were very successful farmers. They both worked hard and had gained a vast amount of land and money. Their families were strong and faithful, and they were a blessing to all who knew them. Like most farmers in their community they would gather at the local diner and drink coffee and share the stories of how their crops were doing.
One year they came in sharing how the crops were growing and the weather couldn’t be better. Several days later a harsh storm ripped through the valley and flooded a quarter of their lands.
The next morning the farmers gathered at the diner. The older farmer shared about his farm, “Well boys, I lost nearly a quarter of my crops, but the house and equipment is all fine. God is blessing us through this year.”
The younger brother came in a few minutes later and sat with their friends, “You wouldn’t believe it. The whole southern part of my land was wiped out. We’ll be lucky if we can make it this year.”
The summer went on and the remaining crops grew strong and tall. The ears on the corn filled out and the beans were loaded down. In the early part of fall another storm blew in and hail and strong winds flattened crops and damaged lands all around the county.               The next morning the farmers gathered in for their usual time of sharing. The older farmer came in and shared with his friends, “What a storm we had. It looks like we might loose another part of the crops. We even had damage to the house and the barn.”
A neighbor looked at the older brother, “You don’t seem too upset.”
The older brother smiled, “Well, I’m thankful that all the equipment and all our vehicles were inside. The insurance will take care of the rest.”
A short while later the younger brother came in and sat down shaking his head, “Here we go again. First, we lost a quarter of the crops and now just at the peak of the season another storm destroys over half of what we have. We will never break even now.”
About a month later the farmers finished the harvest and had the crops safe in the bins. Again the farmers gathered to share. This day the younger brother arrived at coffee first. “Well, like I told you guys before. We gathered less than ever before. I don’t know if we’ll make due.”
One of the other farmers said, “But aren’t prices on the rise?”
“Yes,” the younger brother said, but it will never be enough.”
Later the older brother came in and everyone was sure that he would finally loose his constant joy, “Well, I’d say in the end everything will work out fine. Between the insurance and higher prices we will have just about as much as we always do at the end of the year.”

Two brothers facing the same blessings and destruction. Yet, in the end one is happy and content, while the other is growing bitter. Why? I think it has to do with a maturity of faith and a realization that God is with them in all circumstances.

May you be filled with the Holy Spirit and have your eyes open to how God is blessing and see that he is working in your life, even in the tough times.

 

(Photo via <a href=”https://www.goodfreephotos.com/”>Good Free Photos</a>)

 

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