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Read James 5:10-11.
As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the
prophets who spoke in the Name of the Lord. James 5:10

It was always about this point in December when I just knew
I was going to crack under all the pressure. Christmas is still
a whole week away. Seven more days I have to be kind and
courteous. Seven more days of not hitting my brothers even
though they are really annoying me. And, of course, seven
more days of trying to concentrate enough to finish school
while remembering every line from the Christmas program!
And if I crack and do something bad there's a good chance
I'll find a lump of coal in my stocking and no presents under
the tree.

It's a terrible strain to be a kid seven days before Christmas!

Growing up doesn't remove the impatience from life,
especially when we are suffering. And many people find the
Christmas season actually seems to increase their suffering.
These issues include sickness, depression, grief, and being
misunderstood by the people we care about.

That's what happened to the prophets who spoke in God's
Name before Christ came into this world. They warned the
people of their sins, and they called them to turn and repent.
But the people of Israel didn't want to hear what they had to
say. They rejected God's messengers, mistreating them,
beating them, imprisoning them, and even putting some of
them to death.

Still the prophets faithfully warned the people about God's
coming wrath and punishment. But Israel continued its
stubborn rebellion. The prophets kept preaching and nothing
happened. Days turned into months, months turned into
years, and yet sinners kept on sinning and everything
remained the same. The prophets were ridiculed because
their message didn't seem to be coming true.

But the prophets learned patience. Though they suffered
they knew God was true. When His time was right, all their
prophecies would come true-both the warnings God had
given in patience and the promises of a Savior God had
made in love for His people.

We can learn from their patience. Through Jesus' life, death,
and resurrection, God has given us many great promises.
These include a final victory over sin, death, and hell and an
eternal life with Him in the new heavens and the new earth.
Christmas is a great reminder of God's faithfulness. He
keeps every promise He makes.

God grant you patience through your sufferings, especially
this Christmas.


 Lord God, Your Word stands sure and certain forever. Let
me never be discouraged but give me faith, confidence, and
perseverance to always stand secure and certain in Your
promises through Jesus Christ my Savior. In His Name I
pray. Amen

(Lutheran Hour Ministries)

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