Summary: God set a journey before us and it is not an easy one, but it is worthwhile one because God is there with us.
TOPIC: DON’T QUIT ON ME!
Text: James 5:7-12
(Show Facing Your Giant Clips) (ILL. Finish It – The life of a Christian can be described in one of four ways: as a journey, as a battle, as a pilgrimage, and as a race. Select your own metaphor, but the necessity to finish is always the same. For if life is a journey, it must be completed. If life is a battle, it must be finished. If life is a pilgrimage, it must be concluded. And if it is a race, it must be finish.)
What do we need to know about being patience? Let’s open our Bible in James 5:7-12 (read). From this text we can see three important things that we need to know and do regarding patience. There are four points here why we should not quit on Him!
I. THE COMMAND
1. “Be patient…” Ecc. “The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride.”
2. “Stand firm…” Luke 21:19, “By standing firm you will save yourself.”
We are commanded, directed and instructed to become patient and to stand firm and this command is “until the Lord’s coming.” James 1:4, “Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” Hebrews 10:36, “You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.” It is easier to give up than to wait patiently. James illustrated patience and standing firm to a farmer who waits patiently for his crops to yield and to stand firm in waiting for the rains. (ILL. “God’s book never closes at the end of every harvest.”)
II. THE CONSIDERATION
1. The Lord’s Coming – “Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming…” James speaks of Christ return as drawing near (v.8). Christ will come as judge to punish the wicked and to reward the righteous and deliver them from wrongs they have suffered (v. 9). Patience is the virtue of enduring injustice, suffering, trouble and mistreatment, while committing our lives to God in the faith that he will make all things right at his coming; Rom. 12:12, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer.”
2. The Lord’s Compassion & Mercy – “The Lord if full of compassion and mercy…” “Lamentations 3:22-23, “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning, great is your faithfulness.” Titus 3:5, “He saved us not because of righteous things we had done , but because of His mercy.’ The parable of the Good Samaritan is an example of what God has done for us. Luke 6:36, “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” (ILL. God Makes No Mistakes – Oppressed by the noonday heat, a tired farmer sat under a walnut tree to rest. Relaxing, he looked at his pumpkin vines and said to himself, "How strange it is that God puts such big heavy pumpkins on a frail vine that has so little strength it has to trail on the ground!" And then looking up into the cool branches of the tree above him, he added, "How strange it is that God puts small walnuts on such a big tree with branches so strong they could hold a man!" Just then a breeze dislodged a walnut from the tree. The tired farmer wondered no more, as he rubbed his head ruefully and said, "It is a good thing there wasn’t a pumpkin up there instead of a walnut." Hopefully, when the breezes of life blow, you will remember that God, Who is great and wise, makes no mistakes. He deserves our praise under any circumstance.) (ILL. Lizard from Japan story – at my cell phone).
III. THE CASE
“Brothers, as an example of patience in the face of sufferings take….” James here gave a case study or an example of patience of perseverance and he mentioned two:
1. The prophet – “Take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.” 2 Kings 17:13, “The Lord warned Israel and Judah through all his prophets.” Heb. 1:1, “In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways.”
2. Job – “You have heard of Job’s perseverance…” The word “perseverance” indicates endurance in whatever trials we may face without losing our faith in God. It is born of a faith that triumphs to the end in the midst of sufferings Job 13:15, “Though he slays me, yet will I hope in him.” The outcome of the Lord’s dealings with Job reveals that all in Job’s troubles, God cared deeply about him and mercifully sustained him. Habakkuk also express this faith in God in spite of trials, Hab. 3:17-18, “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my savior.” James wants us to know that God is concerned about all his people and that, in their suffering; he will sustain them in love and mercy.