The rapture didn’t happen on May 21 and I don’t think it’s going to happen when the Mayan calendar ends, either. But Jesus does want us to look forward to His return. And here are some instructions for how to wait.
Wait patiently like the farmer who waits for his harvest. The farmer knows it takes a certain amount of time and that he can’t change that. But he doesn’t just sit back and do nothing. He waters and weeds and feeds.
Don’t grumble about your brothers and sisters. If you need extra motivation to be nice, remember Jesus is coming soon.
Consider the prophets if you need an example of people who were patient while they suffered. If you’re really impatient, study Job. He sat on his ash heap and didn’t curse God. God was kind to him in the end. He knew God is full of tenderness and mercy.
If I need more encouragement to be patient in suffering, I just need to consider some people I know. Two people who have the gift of suffering are a great inspiration in this area. My son was in the hospital for a total of 12 months in two years. His attitude was, “just do what you have to do to make me better.” He knew God would heal him eventually. I have a friend who went through a long series of chemotherapy and radiation treatments. But her attitude is full of praise. What she’s gone through is awful, but she knows God will bring her to the end in His time. Now He's guiding her to use her suffering to encourage others.
The last instruction is, don’t take an oath. Just say a simple yes or no. It goes back to making plans without checking them with God. Don’t pin myself down because He may have something else in mind.
This passage is kind of a summary of the other lessons in James. Don’t criticize. Be loving. Don’t be prideful when I make plans.
Be patient. Jesus is coming back soon.