As we near the end of our James series we see that James continues his pointed and concise teaching about how our faith and actions not only need to be consistent with each other, but they also need to be humbly in obedience to the Lord’s authority and will in our lives and our world. Perhaps James is reinforcing the proverbial wisdom, “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.” (Pr. 16:9), or referencing many of Jesus teaching about the brevity of life and being accountable to fact we will die one day. All such teaching should help us form courage and trust around the simple phrase “If the Lord wills”; furthermore, as this courage and trust grow it can open a level of patience and perseverance in times of suffering. As Scottish philosopher John Macmurray said: “The maxim of illusory (motto of hollow) religion runs: ‘Fear not; trust in God and he will see that none of the things that you fear will happen to you’; that of real religion (real faith and practice), on the contrary, is: ‘Fear not; the things that you are afraid of are quite likely to happen to you, but they are nothing to be afraid of’. (Gifford Lectures, 1953-54) James reinforces at the end of this little section, something that we need always remember in light of what he has written and what may come:, “The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.” My hope and prayer is that you would experience such qualities as you continue on in your journey of faith and practice.