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Daily Reading: Ezekiel 42:1-43:27 ESV, James 5:1-20 ESV, Psalm 119:1-16 ESV, Proverbs 28:6-7 ESV

Daily Verse: “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.” (James 5:7 ESV)

MAKROTHUMEO (3114): “To be of a long spirit, not to lose heart; to persevere patiently and bravely in enduring misfortunes and troubles to be patient in bearing the offenses and injuries of others and to be mild and slow in avenging to be longsuffering, slow to anger, slow to punish.  It means “to be long tempered.”[1]

Long spirit.

Patience means settling in for the long haul, enduring the ups and downs of life until God calls us to our heavenly home.  The mortality rate throughout the world remains 100%.  Whether Jesus returns or we go to Him, we will experience the coming of the Lord.

In the meantime, we must wait well, trusting God’s plan for us.  Farmers learn the art of waiting better than most; planting seeds in the spring, they must wait months to see the fruits of their labor, trusting God to provide the proper amounts of rain.

Practice gratitude.

Farmers wait well by living a life of gratitude.  Each day that passes and their crops remain intact gives them a reason to praise the Lord.  When misfortune happens, they trust God’s provision through the trial.  Farmers understand the fragility of life, facing its truth every day as they watch their crops grow.

Visiting my childhood home this summer, I saw my friend’s massive garden full of God’s goodness.  Two rows of corn grew strong and tall in the hot sun.  A few weeks later, a wicked storm destroyed part of her crops.  One moment thriving, the next day gone.

Having a long spirit means trusting God no matter what the circumstances.  Recognizing life’s temporary nature helps you appreciate today because tomorrow doesn’t come with a guarantee.  And one day, this life will end, and you will rest peacefully in the arms of Jesus forever.

Focus your eyes on Jesus when your patience wears thin.  Remind yourself that this, too, shall pass.  One day, the coming of the Lord will take away all your earthly troubles.

[1] Strong, J., & Strong, J. (2010). The New Strong’s expanded exhaustive concordance of the Bible. Greek Dictionary of the New Testament (p. 155) Thomas Nelson

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