Summary: This sermon looks at three aspects of developing Patience. I. WHEN should I wait? II. WHY should I wait? III. HOW should I wait?
As many of you know – I am in the Army Reserve. There is a saying in the Army that has been around as long as I have been in the Army and I’m sure it was there long before I arrived. The saying is:
Hurry up and WAIT!
It seems there is a lot of waiting in the Army – but you know what? - There is a lot of waiting in life too – in fact life is full of waiting. As a child we wait to start school. Then we can’t hardly wait till we can get out. We go to college and we wait for graduate. We wait to find our first good job. We wait at stop lights. We wait in line at the store. We wait in the doctor’s office. And you know what – we hate to wait.
Did you know that when you go into a restaurant there are five distinct waiting points? Let me tell you what they are: Number one: You wait to be seated. Number two: You wait to place your order. Number three: You wait for the food to arrive. Number four: You wait for the bill and Number five: You wait for the change if you use cash or if you use a credit card you wait to sign the slip. There is a lot of waiting in a restaurant. No wonder the person who serves you is called a “wait-er” or a “wait-ress”. They assist you in waiting.
Today we are continuing our walk through the book of James. We have been dealing with – Living Life Wisely. Today we are going to find out how to develop patience. Our text for today is found in James chapter five – verses seven through twelve. Let’s go ahead and read those verses at this time:
"Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. 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 5:7 - 12 (NKJV)
Today I want us to look at three questions about “Developing Patience”. They are:
I. WHEN should I wait?
II. WHY should I wait?
III. HOW should I wait?
Let’s look at the first question:
I. WHEN should I wait?
I think that there are three special times when all us of need an extra dose of patience. They are:
A. When circumstances are UNCONTROLLABLE
Did you know that a lot of your life in not in your control? There are a lot of things that you have no control of. What you do have control of is: “How I respond to the circumstances of life.” James uses the example of a farmer to prove his point. Follow along in verse seven with me:
“Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain.” James 5:7 (NKJV)
Don’t become a farmer unless you have a lot of patience. Part of a farmer’s job – is waiting. They wait to till the soil – they wait to plant the seed – they wait to cultivate – they wait to harvest. There are many factors that are out of the farmer’s control – the economy, the price of fuel, and the greatest factor of them all – the weather. Rain – heat – drought – flood – frost. You have to have a lot of faith to be a farmer. You deal with a lot of uncontrollable factors in life.
Do you know how most people try to control the uncontrollable? They worry about it. Is anyone in here a worrier? We think that somehow by worrying – we can fix the situation. But to worry about something you can change is dumb – and to worry about something you can’t change is useless. Either way – to worry is senseless. We need to develop patience when situations are uncontrollable.