Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned. Behold, the Judge is standing at the door My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and patience. Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord-that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful. But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath. But let your “Yes,” be “Yes,” and your “No,” “No,” lest you fall into judgment.
James in this section of scripture gives us some very godly advice. While this advice may be difficult to do under our own power we are to turn to the Lord for strength. We are to rely on the Holy Spirit who indwells us and not on our own will power. James tells us to look at the conduct of the prophets and the behavior of Job as they went through trials and persecution. We are to study the godly examples of patience and waiting on the Lord, they displayed for our edification. The prophets delivered God’s messages to the people. Often times their hearts broke over the sins of the people and the impending judgment they knew was coming. Yet in patience they trusted in the Lord and carried out the duties God had called them to. They showed great patience and courage as they trusted in the Lord, even though many of them knew they would not see any positive results from their actions. Yet they still trusted in God and completed what God had called them to do. And part of the message James has given to his readers, helps us to understand we do not always know God’s plans. We just know what God has called us to do for now. And that’s what it means to place our trust in the Lord! Ours is to in faith, through our submission to the Holy Spirit’s guidance, do the best we can, to fulfill God’s calling on us.
Therefore, because of our faith we trust in God! We do not complain, we do not grumble against one another, but instead we carry out faithfully the work God has called us to do. This is such an important concept for us to understand. Because often times we may not fully know why God has called us to a certain task. We may not comprehend why God has let certain trials affect us until much later in our lives. Many times it’s only later, after we have stepped out in faith that God makes his plans known to us. It’s only then that all the pieces fall into place and we understand. This can be especially true when going through severe trials and we cannot understand why God would let us or our families experience such pain. Sometimes we may not know till much later and in some cases it may not be till we see the Lord face to face that we fully understand. But we still trust in the Lord by faith and not sight. This is why James reminds us that we trust in the Lord and not in anything else. We are walking by faith and not by sight. This means we do not swear by anything else because we do not have the power or the sovereignty to guarantee things will turn out the way we think they will. This also means when we say yes, because we are children of God, we mean yes, not “maybe”, and not “only if I can work things out.” But as James says we let our yes mean yes, and our no means no. And in humility and integrity be open with one another and submit to God’s guidance.