But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.
LORD Jesus, we thank You for Your Goodness which leads sinners to repentance. Guide us this day in Your Word so that we may not only hear it but that we will do what the Spirit is telling us to do. Help us as we are reminded of the things which we have to change or endure. Protect our hearts and minds and make us grow toward the Light. In Jesus’ precious name we pray. Amen.
There are two books in the Bible that I listen to quite a lot: Ephesians and James. I remember many words and even sentences of these two by now. One word I want to neglect that is found several times in the Book of James is, you’ve guessed it, patience. This virtue is definitely not one of my strong ones. In fact, it’s a weak point in my life I keep fighting against — a lot.
The Book of James, in connection with patience, also talks about suffering and how the testing of faith produces patience. I don’t like to suffer. And I don’t like it whenever my faith gets tested. It’s necessary, though. Necessary? Suffering and trials? Yes, I’m afraid so.
Naturally many of us prefer the sugar-coated talks and walks. It’s great when things run smoothly and according to our (own) plans, isn’t it? But, you see, it’s the saltiness (which often comes in form of suffering and trials) that will make us grow. Salt thrown into our wounds will make us cry out for help. It will drive us to our knees. And, it will show us that there are many things which we cannot do in our own strength. We have to acknowledge that we depend on God. Then, as James 1:4 says, patience has its perfect work, that we may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
In Luke 8:12-15 Jesus explains the Parable of the Sower. Some will hear the Word, but it won’t bear fruit because, at the slightest chance, the devil takes it away. Others are so excited when they hear the Word. Their faith doesn’t have any roots, however, so they will eventually fall away during a time of hardship. Then there are those whose faith is choked and without fruit because they set their focus on worldly things. The ones who not only hear the Word but who also keep it, meaning, they will do as it says no matter what, and who bear fruit with patience are the ones who will succeed.
Keep your focus on the LORD Jesus and, with patience, fruit will grow.