James Smith, 1842
"Be patient, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord." James 5:7
Sick people have great need of patience, both on their own account, and theirs who attend upon them. The Christian, of all people, has most reason to be patient, yes, to let patience have its perfect work. Think, believer, you might at this moment have been suffering the hopeless torments of the damned; you have deserved them, the law doomed you to them, and only grace has preserved you from them. You might, with your present affliction, have been driven out by persecution, to hide yourself in rocks and caves of the earth, in hunger, cold, and nakedness. You might have been in some of the miserable hovels in our land, with no one to read a Bible to you, and unable to read it yourself; with scarcely a friend to do anything for you, and none to speak comfortably to you, or point you to Jesus. Think of these things, and check every uprising of impatience.
Look also at the sufferings of Jesus for you — He suffered in every part, in body and soul; His sufferings had the dreadful curse of God in them. His sufferings were to atone for your sins, to satisfy justice on your behalf, and to procure you a title to eternal life.
Remember, all your sufferings are necessary, they are merciful, and they are bounded by time. When you have put off this tabernacle, you will have done with sufferings and sorrows, and all before you will be peace, joy, and endless pleasure.
There are thousands besides you, suffering at this moment, thousands of the Lord's family; for the like afflictions are fulfilled in your brethren who are in the world.
Think of the glory that awaits you, and if you at all realize that, you must exclaim, even if your sufferings were much greater than they are: "I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us!"
Your present light affliction is but for a moment, and it works out for you a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while you look not at the things which are seen — but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal — but the things which are not seen are eternal. Look forward then beyond your present sufferings, and in patience possess your soul. "Trust in the Lord forever, for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength." He can not only enable you to bear it — but to rejoice in it; and in the very midst of it, fill you with joy unspeakable and full of glory.
Impatience is wicked, highly offensive to God, injurious to the sufferer, and a torment to all about him. Therefore be patient until the Lord comes, either to restore you, or remove you to himself.