Summary: Today, we’re going to look at what James has to say about patience, about endurance.
A Study in James - Patience
In the book of James, there are: 5 chapters, 108 verses…and out of these 108 verses, this little book of the bible contains 54 Imperatives/commands/encouragements
This shows that this is a very practical book that will help guide us in daily living.
The Book of James is the very first New Testament Book written. They didn’t have any other New Testament Books of the Bible available to them. They were living approx. 10-15 years after the death/burial/resurrection of Jesus Christ. So, all these people want to know is “how do the scriptures & the resurrected life of Jesus Christ relate to my life – practically?” What do we do now?
Life was tough for the 1st Century readers of this little book because they are getting persecuted during this time. In fact, if you want to read about the various persecutions that were going on during this time, all you have to do is read Acts chapters 8-12.
These people were literally running for their lives!!! Their anxieties were HIGH! Fear is on high-alert! They were gripped with insecurity, gripped with fear, gripped with confusion on how to live! Sound familiar!
They definitely needed Patience, Wisdom, and Faith to guide them through their lives!
Over the next three weeks, we will be studying the book of James. In this tiny book, we can find many truths that will guide us in our insecurities, guide us in our fear, guide us in our confusion. We can find words here that will show us how to live! And, the overriding thought here is that we should always LIVE DIFFERENT!
Today, we’re going to look at what this book has to say about patience, about endurance. What to do in the midst of life’s trials? What to do in the midst of life’s pains?
In the Book of James, James likens “patience” to the idea of “being content as you endure” through what God wants us to go through in our lives.
Sometimes in life, people become impatient and they miss out on the fullest blessing that God intended. In America, especially, we have a consumer mindset –
“I want it now! I want it fast! And if I don’t get it from you…I will go to someone else who will serve me now & fast!” It’s the fast food philosophy of life!
And because this is the way we live now, we lack the ability (or desire) to “be content as you endure.”
But because God is all-wise, all-powerful, and never-changing, He knows what is best for us…and having everything NOW is not the best thing!
James 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
Today, I would like to share a few thoughts on patience and endurance from the book of James.
Four Thoughts On The Trials of Life
Three Guarantees If We Endure Life’s Trials
FOUR THOUGHTS ON THE TRIALS OF LIFE
1) Life’s Not Easy
… when you fall into various trials (v2)
Notice here the writer doesn’t say IF, he says WHEN!
II Timothy 2:9 And because I preach this Good News, I am suffering and have been chained like a criminal. But the word of God cannot be chained. (NLT)
Just becoming a believer in Jesus Christ doesn’t make life any easier. You know, America is probably the only place on the planet that you can say, that Life will be easy as a believer in Jesus Christ. For, on a mission field, some people become believers in Jesus Christ at the risk of their lives!
So, if you recently accepted Jesus Christ as your savior – maybe last Sunday in Friend Day – please know that life will not get amazingly easier now…but NOW you have both a God & godly friends to walk this path with you!
If we patiently endure, we can have a powerful testimony of trust in God…and people will look on us and glorify God – even accept Him as their Lord & Savior!
2) Our Trials Have A Purpose
a. it produces patience
…knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. (v3)
The word “testing” is the word dokimazo (pronounced “Dock-ee-MAH-zo) is always used in the bible to describe a challenge or situation that provides the opportunity for the recipient to prove himself! It is always spoken of as a positive thing to happen to us.
What is interesting, is that this same word for “testing” was used to describe the refining process of metals like gold. They would take the metal – heat it up to a liquid form - all the impurities would rise to the top – they would skim off all the impurities from the top – then allow the metal to cool…making the precious metal much more valuable because the impurities had been removed.