Day 3

December 5

James 5:7-10

7 Be patient, therefore, brothers and sisters, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious crop from the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. 8 You also must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. 9 Brothers and sisters, do not grumble against one another, so that you may not be judged. See, the Judge is standing at the doors! 10 As an example of suffering and patience, brothers and sisters, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.

Waiting Patiently

by Daniel Pack, Ph.D.

James 5, verses 7 through 9 instruct us to wait patiently for His coming, a good reminder for all of us during this Advent season. It is noteworthy that the instruction was given to Christians at the time when they were persecuted physically, mentally, and spiritually. Being patient during the time of persecution?  That is indeed difficult.   

Waiting patiently for anything is not easy for me. In fact, I must watch what I plan, as it is easy for me to fill the calendar with activities and meetings, with the intention not to wait for something to happen. Yet, God often wants me, and us, to be patient and be still, as instructed in Psalm 46:10 [KJV]: “Be still and know that I am God.” Being patient and being still to see who He is and to witness His work being unfolded are essential for the faith journey He planned for me.  Why is this important? First, God desires me to be transformed daily in the image of His son, Jesus Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit. As it is the case, we must inherit his patient character. We find His patient character everywhere throughout the Bible. The passage that reminds me how patient He is with me is in Isaiah 30:18 [KJV]: “And therefore will the Lord wait, that He may be gracious unto you, and therefore will He be exalted, that He may have mercy upon you: for the Lord is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for Him.” 

When we have the patient character of God within us, we can live in peace with hope, the assurance of the victory He already won, and the love for others, as He told us in Romans 5:3 [KJV]: “… we also glory in tribulations. For tribulations produce patience, patience experience, and experience hope and hope does not make us ashamed for the love of God is shed in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which was given to us.”  

As we inherit His patient character, He also wants us to be patient toward others. He teaches us in I Thessalonians 5:15 [KJV]: “… comfort the feeble minded, support the weak, and be patient toward all men…” These are His commands to me.  Speaking of His commands, I am learning more about the correlation between my obedience to His Word and blessings I experience.  We are also told in 2 Peter 1:5-8 [KJV]: “… be diligent in adding to your faith, virtue, and to virtue knowledge … patience … and if these things be in you, and abound, then you will neither be barren or unfruitful in the knowledge of Christ.” So, to be fruitful with our lives for His purpose, being patient is one of the key ingredients we must have. 

During this Advent season, let us build in us His character of patience and let us be patient toward all others. After all, He designed us to be so, through the power of His Spirit! 

About the Author

Daniel Pack, Ph.D.

Daniel Pack, Ph.D.

Daniel J. Pack, Ph.D., became Dean of Baylor University's School of Engineering and Computer Science on June 1, 2023. Pack joined Baylor after serving since 2015 as dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC), providing leadership of departments in civil and chemical engineering, computer science and engineering, electrical engineering, engineering management and technology and mechanical engineering. 

Before joining UTC, Dr. Pack was professor and The Mary Lou Clarke Endowed Chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at The University of Texas at San Antonio and as professor (now professor emeritus) of electrical and computer engineering at the United States Air Force Academy. At the USAFA, he served as director of the Academy’s Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Research. He has co-authored seven textbooks on embedded systems and published more than 130 book chapters, technical journal/transactions and conference papers on unmanned systems, cooperative control, robotics, pattern recognition and engineering education. He was a 2005 Carnegie U.S. Professor of the Year.