Summary: James exhorts Christians to understand that patience is an continual process and that the farmer provides a good example for us on being patient and he warns that we must not become guilty of the blame games when things get difficult.
1. Open your bibles to James 5:7-9.
2. In this passage James gives the exhortation to be patient until the Lord returns.
3. James also gives the example of farmers being patient.
4. James also tells Christians that they must be patient with one another and not start blaming one another when problems show up.
5. Let’s begin to read and discuss these things that James teaches us about patience.
I. FIRST, JAMES 5:7a TEACHES US THAT PATIENCE IS NOT A ONE TIME EFFORT, BUT THAT WE MUST BE PATIENT FROM TODAY UNTIL THE LORD COMES BACK.
1. Let’s read James 5:7a, “Therefore be patient, brethren until the coming of the Lord.”
(1) “Therefore” always refers us back to what was said before.
(2) “Therefore” is a signal to let our mind go back up into the six verses right ahead of this statement. There James teaches that often times the rich will hold back the wages of the laborers – the selfish and abusive rich will sometimes condemn and even murder the just and righteous.
(3) James is exhorting the mistreated to never cease to be Christ like, even under the worst of physical and verbal abuse, but patiently continue to be a faithful Christian, even if it is waiting until the Lord’s comes again, before the abusive receive their punishment.
(4) In the first six verses of James 5, James assures Christians that God will eventually punish the wicked. In the short-run, the abusive rich would seem to win, but in the long-run, only the faithful saint or Christian would be victorious. The N. T. uses the words saint and Christian interchangeably in reference to the same people.
2. From verse 7, “Be patient” has to do with our normal view of patience. It means to “hold the mind in check.” This same word is used to describe God in 2 Pet 3:9 as “longsuffering.” Rom 6:23 teaches us that the payment for sin is “spiritual death.” “Spiritual death” refers to being separated from God. Due to God being “patient or longsuffering” God does not bring physical death upon us at the exact second or moment that we commit our first sin and then keep us “spiritually separated from Him for all eternity”. 2 Pet. 3:9 teaches that God is “longsuffering, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”
(1) God’s example of patience with each one of us is an example that should motivate us to patiently wait for the 2nd return of Christ and allow Christ to be the one that brings punishment upon those who have mistreated us, instead of taking vengeance into our on hands.
(2) The saints or Christians who patiently endure, and will not give up their faith, will be richly rewarded by the Lord, according to the Lord’s time table and schedule.
(3) According to Thayer (the author of a Greek dictionary), the words "be patient," from the Greek verb [@makrothumesate] (from [@makrothumeo]), mean "to be of a long spirit, not to lose heart ... to persevere patiently and bravely ... in enduring misfortunes and troubles" (Thayer, p. 387).