Summary: A patience that triumphs is a faith that patiently endures the trials of life even when it is very difficult.
A PATIENCE THAT TRIUMPHS--James 5:7-12
Proposition: A patience that triumphs is a faith that patiently endures the trials of life even when it is very difficult.
Objective: My purpose is to challenge God’s people to realize and trust God even when it seems impossible to do so as God will help us to have a patience that eventually will triumph.
Illus: I heard a story about a truck driver who dropped in at an all-night restaurant in Broken Bow, Nebraska. The waitress had just served him when three swaggering, leather-jacketed motorcyclists - of the Hell’s Angels type - entered and rushed up to him, apparently spoiling for a fight. One grabbed the hamburger off his plate; another took a handful of his French fries; and the third picked up his coffee and began to drink it. The trucker did not respond as one might expect. Instead, he calmly rose, picked up his check, walked to the front of the room, put the check and his money on the cash register, and went out the door. The waitress followed him to put the money in the till and stood watching out the door as the big truck drove away into the night. When she returned, one of the cyclists said to her, "Well, he’s not much of a man, is he?" She replied, "I can’t answer as to that, but he’s not much of a truck driver. He just ran over three motorcycles out in the parking lot." That’s what some might call a picture of patience but is it really?
Illus: Sometimes it does seem as if God delays long. We want God to zap someone and to zap them NOW! What is that saying? "Dear God, Give me patience...and hurry! I need it right now." We are not willing to accept God on God’s time, or that God knows better than we do just what our needs truly are. We laugh at babies and their need for instant gratification, and then don’t notice our own impatience when we must wait in a line, or our dinner is not brought immediately. And sometimes we want to find God’s answers "out there" some-where, instead of looking on our own heart. We search in places that have easy answers or that make us feel good, at least temporarily.
In this passage, James tells us, we need to be patient with God, we need to be patient in circumstances and we need to be patient with one another. We need to be patient with God because he is in control and everything will work out in the end. For now, we often get discouraged because it looks like evil is winning while good is losing. It is hard to see the rubble from the twin towers without asking God why he doesn’t intervene and triumph over evil. Exactly what He is going to do--in His time. Like Job, James wants us to be patient with God, patient with our circumstances and patient with one another. And if we will, we will find "God’s best" for us and experience the compassionate and merciful outcome God has planned for our life.
No matter what the circumstances of our lives we always, in all situations act as Jesus would. As believers we never very in our behavior or appearance regardless of pressure from the world or flesh or actions of Satan in our lives.
I. A PROCESS FOR A PATIENCE THAT TRIUMPHS (v. 7) “See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth” The Farmer will reap his harvest (5:7)--Be patient for God is working. The farmer waits patiently for the grain to grow. It requires time to mature the crop, and he does not become impatient. The idea seems to be, that we should wait for things to develop themselves in their proper season, and should not be impatient before that season arrives. In due time we may expect the harvest to be ripened.
1. Appeal “Therefore, be patient brethren”--The Greek word for patience means ‘to be long-fused." A patient person is one who sets the timer of their life for extra time. Because our time and God’s time are not always the same thing. Be long-fused. Because when we go through adversity, we tend to be short-fused. Be long-tempered, not short-tempered. Catch your wind for a long race (long-tempered as opposed to short-tempered). The sense of patience in this case includes waiting and endurance until the Lord takes action on their behalf. What does it mean to be patient until the Lord’s coming? It means to do what God also is doing: enduring human evil for a season. The idea of being patient is to set the timer of one’s temper for a long run. Think long. Focus on the final lap in the race of life. Have a long fuse.