Summary: James, in this passage of the book, turns his attention to the topic of PATIENCE. In the mind of James, patience is important to the Christian life. James tells us as followers of Christ, that we are to be patient people, while at the same time defining
A REASON FOR PATIENCE IN PERSECUTION
INTRODUCTION: James, in this passage of the book, turns his attention to the topic of PATIENCE. In the mind of James, patience is important to the Christian life. James tells us as followers of Christ, that we are to be patient people, while at the same time defining patience in a way we are not used to hearing.
1. PATIENCE IS A QUALITY NECESSARY FOR EVERY BELIEVER
a. James wants us to be patient until the coming of the Lord – so, everyone who is looking towards the coming of the Lord needs to be patient
Titus 2:13 while we wait for the blessed hope--the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,
b. We are to be patient until we reach the time where patience is no longer necessary.
c. Patience here in James means to have a long temper.
d. A better way of thinking about patience is to “set the timer of your life for a long run.”
i. We are often in a hurry to get things done.
ii. We are often in a hurry to get closure
iii. Our closer comes with the coming of the Lord
2. JAMES ILLUSTRATES PATIENCE
a. The farmer:
i. The farmer works the land and plants a crop that is valuable – literally precious to him
ii. He is patient for his crop through the rains of autumn and spring
iii. James in inferring that if the farmer can be patient for his crop can’t’ we be patient for ours?
1. A crop of corn is of little value
2. A crop of the kingdom is of great value.
iv. For a moment think about what would happen if the farmer would go early into the field for his crop. He would ruin his harvest AND endanger his future.
1. Out of the harvest comes food for the present.
2. Out of the harvest comes seed for the future.
b. The prophet
i. The prophets of the Bible faced severe times of testing that required tremendous amounts of patience.
Hebrews 11:32-40 And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. 35 Women received back their dead, raised to life again. Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. 36 Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. 37 They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated-- 38 the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground. 39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. 40 God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.
1. Even Jesus was ridiculed as a prophet.
Matthew 13:57 And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, "Only in his hometown and in his own house is a prophet without honor."
2. For something far less than God plans for us, these prophets valued their mission.
ii. We need to value our mission for Christ
1. Bring the gospel to a lost world
2. To be a living testimony for the Lord
i. Unaware of the spiritual battle going on while he suffered physically
ii. The Lord ultimately brought him through because the Lord is
1. ‘full of compassion” – tenderhearted, from the innermost part of his being
2. “ full of .. mercy” – a compassion for the ills of others
GOD IS MOVED TO ACT AS A RESULT OF OUR PATIENCE AND PERSEVERANCE IN DIFFICULT TIMES
3. JAMES WARNS AGAINST GRUMBLING – vs. 9
a. James says that there are more important things to do than grumble
b. Grumbling does not bring God’s intercession but God’s judgment
c. In fact God is ready to judge our grumbling.
WHY WOULD GOD JUDGE OUR GRUMBLING?
Grumbling shows a lack of patience.
Grumbling often strikes at those we love as opposed to the source of our discontent
We have forgotten that unfairness is to be expected.
John 15:18 "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.
We have stopped looking forward and have begun looking down
Romans 8:31-39 What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all--how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died--more than that, who was raised to life--is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered." 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.