Summary: What to do about all of the hassles and abrasive people that come into our life. How to develop patience when there is no patience in sight.
A truck driver stopped 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 trying to pick 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, but he’s not much of a truck driver.
He just backed over three motorcycles out in the parking lot."
I’m not sure at what stage in the patience process this truck driver was in. I think the Lord may have had to do some more work.
The point that James wants to make is--”when all kinds of trials come your way, do not resent them as intruders but welcome them as friends.” Another translation says, “don’t try to squirm out of your problems.” The Message Bible says, “Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides” (v. 2). The New Living Translation says, “when trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy...”
What good are these trials? James goes on to say that “you know that under pressure your faith is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely.”
Perhaps this is the only way where we can see what we need to work on.
2. Let Problems Do their Work: In spite of the fact that James says that trials are a friend, or a gift, or an opportunity to produce patience in us, most of us would agree that we sure don’t want them to hang around very long. We say, “I want patience and I want it in a hurry!”
Story: A woman driver was having difficulties getting her automobile started after it had stalled in traffic. The gentleman (?) in the car behind her insisted in expressing his impatience with her by blowing his horn every few seconds.
Finally, the lady, irritated by his thoughtlessness, stepped out of her automobile, walked back to the honker’s car and said, "I’m having some difficulty in getting my car started. If you’ll go and see if you can start it, I’ll honk your horn for you!" PULPIT HELPS, Sept., 1990
James is saying, “Slow down awhile--vs. 4 says, “Let patience have her perfect work” (KJV). The NIV version says, “Perseverance must finish its work, not lacking anything.” “Let it do its work so you become mature and well developed, not deficient in any way” (Message Bible).
Can you think of a time when you tried to hurry something up and you ended up completely messing it up? I think we all have seen the results of our impatience. James reminds us to let trials do their work. Do nothing to limit it or weaken it. Let it have its full scope.