Saturday, August 1st, 2009
"Exercise patience . . . , brothers, until the presence of the Lord." (James 5:7)
Like farmers, Christians are cultivating things that often grow slowly - understanding of God's Word, love for Jehovah, and a Christlike spirit. This calls for patience. James wrote: "Look! The farmer keeps waiting for the precious fruit of the earth, exercising patience over it until he gets the early rain and the late rain. You too exercise patience; make your hearts firm, because the presence of the Lord has drawn close." (James 5:7, 8) James was urging fellow believers to 'exercise patience until the Lord's presence.' If the disciples did not understand something, Jesus patiently explained or illustrated matters. (Matthew 13:10-23; Luke 19:11; 21:7; Acts 1:6-8) Now that the Lord is present, there is a similar need for patience as we endeavor to make disciples. Those who become Jesus' followers in our day require patient instruction. (John 14:9)
(Watchtower issue: 11/15/07, 1:13)
*having patience in such a high-speed, high-tech, modern society, can be extremely difficult to say the least. -Life in general has been sped up to such a super-fast pace already as it is, that we've been trained and accustomed to expect INSTANT gratification and results in all areas of life. Plus, we've got a constant flow of information rushing in at us 24-7, keeping all of us in this constant, hyper-adrenalized state of mind. So I don't think its any coincidence that the word "exercise" preceeds the word "patience" in this scripture, since it's obviously not something thats going to come easily or naturally to any of us.
The basic meaning of the word "exercise" is: "to train." But here are some additional definitions (which indicate the type of effort that's involved and required): "exertion," "regular or repeated use," "something performed or practiced in order to develop, improve, or display a specific capability or skill," "the act of bringing into play or realizing in action." So just like any other form of physical exercise, its something we have to make the time & effort to do, and its not always pleasant. =) But on the positive side, you also get stronger and better at it the more you practice. So since the ability to exercise patience is such an important aspect of maintaining our faith and endurance, while teaching others to do the same, its something we don't want to overlook or fail to 'put into practice' on a regular basis. (Because it sure aint gonna show up on its own! lol)