February 24, 2018

James 5:10-11

James points to another example of patience, the prophets. Throughout the Old Testament, God’s prophets spoke his messages to his people. As the people of Israel chose to disobey God, follow other gods, and go their own way, God sent his prophets to give them messages of the coming judgment, and of ultimate forgiveness and grace. The prophets were patient in life through the delivery of their message and patient in the suffering of their death as well. According to The Apocrypha, Isaiah was sawed in two, Jeremiah stoned to death. The list goes on. I think it’s safe to say none of God’s prophets would have won a popularity contest. And yet, they faithfully, patiently, and sometimes unwillingly spoke the word God had given them.

What about us? We’re certainly not prophets. And yet, we are Christ’s ambassadors—his representatives in a lost and dying world. 2 Corinthians 5:19b-20 (NIV) says, “And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf. Be reconciled to God.” Did you catch that? God is making his appeal to people to be reconciled through us. We have the hope a lost world needs. Will it be easy? No. But as we endure patiently, allowing him to make his appeal through us to others, our suffering will bring a harvest of those who come to know him.

Who in your life desperately needs God’s words of hope found only in a relationship with Jesus? Pray for opportunities to patiently, lovingly share God’s message of reconciliation and hope.