OVERVIEW: James gives a warning to the rich and encourages believers to be patient as they wait on the Lord and care for one another through prayer.
BIG IDEA: Be patient. Wait on God and encourage others in their faith.
KEY VERSE: James 5:7 (James’ encouragement to believers)
Dear brothers and sisters, be patient as you wait for the Lord’s return. Consider the farmers who patiently wait for the rains in the fall and in the spring. They eagerly look for the valuable harvest to ripen.
IF GOD WROTE YOU A LETTER
There is nothing wrong with material wealth, but it will rot and not satisfy when you acquire it through deceptive methods or ignore others’ needs. Everything I have given is a blessing. Use it to bless others. And don’t flaunt your wealth as a status symbol. Confess your sins to other believers so that they may pray for you. I want you to befriend and pray for those who bring their needs to you. Love and serve others as they love and serve you.
And even if you don’t think you are wealthy, you are compared to others. Don’t focus on accumulating items, but do get excited about the coming day when Jesus returns. Live every day as if it might be your last. But take time to encourage others and build their faith. Remind them that I am near and that Jesus is coming back. He will rule victoriously, and I will make everything new. Pray for those who suffer and for those who mourn. Be present and remind one another of all the examples of faith throughout the Bible. Wait on me, for I will deliver.
Is there someone in your life who needs encouragement as they persevere through a trial? Pray for them privately, but then text or call or mail a card of encouragement. Follow-up and ask if you can pray for them in person or over the phone.