Be patient therefore, brothers, to the coming of the Lord. Behold, the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth…
I. THERE IS A PERIOD HASTENING ON THAT WILL TERMINATE FOR EVER THE TRIALS OF THE GOOD. This period is not far off. It really takes place with the individual man at death. It emphatically "draweth nigh," and emphatically may it be said to us all, "The Judge standeth at the door." It is not something that is far off in the distant ages; it is all but transpiring. We shall soon have struck the last blow in life's battle, and won the crown; heaved over the last billows in life's ocean, and reached the desired haven.
II. THE TRIALS OF THE GOOD ARE CONGRUOUS WITH THE PRESENT STATE OF OUR HISTORY. It is a fitful spring with us — a moral April: the struggle of sunshine and shower — the genial glow and the nipping frost. It is a season of fluctuation, not settledness: outlay, not income: labour, not wages: seeds, not results. It is the season for burying the grain, not for plucking the golden ear. It is wise and well for the husbandman to labour patiently in the spring, for he has the assurance from testimony and experience that the glorious summer will reward him for his toil.
III. A MORAL ENDURANCE OF TRIALS IS ESSENTIAL TO AMIABILITY OF CHARACTER. The man who has not that "patience" which results from a loving confidence in the character and a loving acquiescence in the will of the Supreme Ruler, will feel an annoyance in every trial. He will pass through the trials of life, as we have sometimes seen a little cur passing through a hailstorm, barking at every step. But the man who cultivates this magnanimous quality of soul will be, in trial, like the imperial bird in the storm, when beaten down from its heavenly flight, it still keeps its wings expanded, looks calmly up, and with the first gleams of sunshine soars away into the radiant and the high again.
IV. THE GREATEST TRIALS HAVE BEEN ENDURED BY THE MOST ILLUSTRIOUS MEN IN HISTORY. "The prophets" were men of genius and of God; great in talent and in virtue, the loyal servants and moral organs of Heaven; the most majestic trees in the forest, the brightest stairs in the firmament of their race. Yet they suffered (Matthew 23:37; Acts 7:32). The morally great have always been sufferers.
V. TRIALS HAVE EVER BEEN THE CONDITION OF TRULY HEROIC AND HONOURED LIVES "We count them happy which endure" — not only because affliction tendeth to spiritual good (2 Corinthians 4:17, 18), but because they are enabled by their sufferings, when rightly endured, to display the highest attributes of greatness. In the history of true men, when the sun of prosperity goes down, the brightest orbs of virtue come out to light up the moral firmament of the world.
V. ALL TRIALS BEING UNDER THE DIRECTION OF AN EVER-MERCIFUL GOD, WILL, IF RIGHTLY ENDURED, YIELD A GLORIOUS RETURN.
Parallel VersesKJV: Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.