Main point summary
While waiting for Jesus to return, be patient ; namely, stand firm on God's sovereign timing, and do not undermine yourselves by grumbling because Jesus, the Judge, is very near.
This passage has two main pieces (vv. 7a–8a and 8b–9c) which themselves two primary elements. ( 1 ) In the first main section, the main imperatives of being patient (vv. 7a, 8a; μακροθυμήσατε) sandwich the agrarian comparison. This comparison connects God's sovereign sending of rain in his own timing to the patient waiting of the farmer. ( 2 ) In the second main section, James lays out what this patience entails in the form of a positive and negative set of actions. The key to observing this contrast is that each is grounded by the same concept : the Lord is very near (vv. 8c, 9c). Thus, the two primary elements of this second main section are: a ) standing firm (v. 8b, στηρίξατε) and b ) not grumbling (v. 9a, μὴ στενάζετε). These two are sides of the same coin. We will not stand firm if we undermine ourselves with grumbling, and we will surely fall into grumbling if we do not strive to firmly embrace God's sovereign timing. Therefore, as we wait for our Lord's return, I exhort you to a patience that firmly and gladly embraces God's sovereign timing, without grumbling because our Lord Jesus is very near.
Be patient, therefore, brothers, 1 until the coming of the Lord.
Therefore, be patient until Jesus returns!
See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives k the early and the late rains.
We may compare this with a farmer, who waits for a good harvest, patient until God gives the rain in its time.
You also, be patient.
In the same way , you be patient, content upon God's timing.
l Establish your hearts,
What I mean by patient is : stand firm with your hearts fixed upon God's sovereign timing
for the coming of the Lord m is at hand.
because the coming of Christ is very near.
Do not grumble against one another, brothers,
Stop your grumbling (read: a house divided will not stand firm)
n so that you may not be judged;
so that you will not incur worse judgment;
behold, o the Judge is standing p at the door.
because Christ the, judge of all, is very near.
**Note: the "MINE" column contains my paraphrase which attempts to incorporate logical relationships.