“You also must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, because the Lord’s coming is near.” (James 5:8 CSB)
Patience is something we should avoid praying for, but something we should definitely practice. That which creates patience is generally something very difficult, like suffering, and if you ask God to give you patience, He may well answer and give you some circumstances that will build patience in you.
The concept of patience James has in mind here is not the kind where we sit idly by, waiting for something good to happen. Rather, this patience means we proactively pursue the fulfillment of our calling, which is a call to endurance, to continue bearing whatever load may be necessary as we move forward.
The way we do this is to “strengthen” our hearts. Strengthening comes from habitual exercise. The “heart” deals with the will. We are, thus, to habitually exercise our resolve to follow the Lord faithfully as we anticipate His return, enduring any and all experiences that come our way, regardless of the nature of those experiences. In doing so, we will see the compassion and mercy of God at work both in our own lives and in the lives of those with whom we have fellowship. We will also see it at work as He brings more and more people into His kingdom through us.
Lord, We commit to strengthening our hearts so we may serve You faithfully. Amen.