Summary: We must wait patiently for the Lord’s return because it will be worth the wait.
Text: James 5:7-11
1. Read James 5:7-11
2. Illustration: Do any of you remember the old Heinz Ketchup commercial that played the song "Anticipation?" The point of that commercial is that the best things in life are worth waiting for.
3. Well I know something that else that is more worth waiting for than ketchup. It’s that day when:
a. In the twinkling of an eye
b. That trumpet will sound
c. We will see the One riding a white horse whose name is faithful and true.
d. The King of Kings and the Lord of Lords will return to take us home.
Proposition: Until that day comes, we must be patient in waiting for the Lord, because it will be worth the wait.
Transition: James tells us...
I. We Must Be Patient in Waiting For the Lord (7-8)
A. Unto the Coming of the Lord
1. In verse 7 James says "Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord."
a. “Be patient” comes from a compound of “long” and “temper”. —Bible Knowledge Commentary
b. The idea is to set the timer of one’s temper for a long run.
c. Focus on the final lap in the race of life.
d. Look ahead to the Lord’s coming.
2. Even though he doesn’t specifically state it, there is another side of this that I believe James is getting at: don’t become impatient.
a. What I believe James is getting at is do not lose heart; don’t get discouraged; don’t give up.
b. 2 Tim. 4:7-8 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.
3. The world tried to tell us that our hope is in vain. That we are waiting for something that is never going to happen.
a. But we know that when God makes a promise he keeps it.
b. We know that the return of Christ is being delayed to give more people a chance to respond to the gospel.
c. 2 Pet. 3:8-9 But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
4. James tells us instead to be like the farmer who "waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain."
a. The early and late rains are the rains of autumn and spring. The first germinates the seed; the second matures it. - New International Bible Commentary, Pradis CD-ROM
b. The farmer may wonder if he is ever going to see the fruit of his labor, but he waits patiently and receives the harvest and the financial benefits that come from it.
5. Illustration: John and Charles Wesley were blessed with a patient mother. At one time her husband said, "I marvel at your patience! You have told that child the same thing twenty times!" Susanna Wesley looked fondly at the child. She said, "Had I spoken the matter only nineteen times, I should have lost all my labor."—Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations
B. The Coming of the Lord is at Hand
1. James tells us that we should be like the farmer and Mrs. Wesley and "Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh."
2. Believers are to allow the assurance of Christ’s return to help them be patient and take courage.
a. Whatever the circumstances, James encourages us to be rock solid in our faith and to have a faith-inspired joy that permeates every part of life.
b. Like the farmer, we invest a long time in our future hope.
c. Even though we face difficulties in this life we must hang on to the hope we have in Christ.
3. We are to establish our hearts.
a. To stand firm; to strengthen; to take courage; to stand firm in one’s mind,—Practical Word Studies in the New Testament
b. We must set our hearts upon the Lord’s coming, for His coming is near. The idea is that it is drawing ever so close and can happen at any moment.
c. We must focus and set our hearts upon His return—be looking for it every day just as the farmer looks for his great day of harvest.
4. We must always remember what James says that "the coming of the Lord draweth nigh."