Summary: Patience is something that brings to mind the idea of doing nothing under difficult or trying circumstances. But the idea that the Bible gives us of patience is the thought of patience in its work clothes!
“Patience in its work clothes”
Intro: *** Walking along practically any street in any city you’ll see people in what we call their high viz gear – bright orange / yellow shirts / pants / vests / jackets.
When I was flying in & out of Perth 2/3/4 x a month I would often have early flights out. The airport terminal would be a sea of men / women in their high viz gear boarding their early morning flights…… miners going up north to work in the mines / rigs / oil fields.
As soon as you see someone dressed in their orange / yellow high viz gear the first thought to come to you is – that’s a worker!
People don’t wear their high viz gear to go to the restaurant / go shopping / cruising around town.
High viz clothing says I’m on the job / I’m at work!
I came across a line the other day that I read about patience working.
When I read it the idea immediately grabbed me b/c most of the time we don’t think about patience actually working – think about that!
Not just nice, calm, placid patience hanging around waiting for something to happen but patience dressed in it’s high viz gear – ready for work!
It’s that same thought we want to follow through today & give our thoughts to …..
‘Patience in its work clothes’.
Text: James 1:4 ( NKJV ) 4But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
# 1. Getting your language right.
A. To really u/s patience we have to begin by establishing what patience is not.
a. When most people think about patience what they think about is not what the Bible is talking about.
i. Getting your u/s of language right is impt if you really want to u/s what the Bible is saying.
*** A number of years ago one of our pastors was in the Philippines preaching at a conference. During one of his messages he began speaking about the plan of God to redeem & rescue our lives from sin. One of the words he used to describe this was the word ‘salvage’ ….. pointing out to the people that it was the plan of God to salvage our lives. As soon as he said this there was a ripple of response that went through the congregation. Noticing this he used the word again …… again there was a response that rippled through the assembly. Recognising that this was the case he used the word several more times throughout his message. After the seminar that morning the interpreter asked him what he meant by ….. God wants to salvage you! So the pastor explained that God wanted to rescue your life from sin! It was then that the interpreter realised that there had been a language breakdown & he explained to the pastor that salvage to them meant to take someone out into the jungle some place & shoot them in the head!
ii. If you’re not speaking the same language then you’re not going to come up w/ the same conclusions.
b. When most of us think about patience b/c we get the language wrong we also get the idea of patience wrong.
i. Most of us immediately think of the idea of passive waiting or biding our time.
ii. It carries in most of our minds the idea of inactivity or a period of tiem when nothing is being done.
iii. Now think about that b/c all of these things are negatives – inactivity / passivity / biding your time / even waiting.
iv. But what we need to u/s is that patience in the Word of God is always painted in a positive light – it’s not a negative thing!
B. Patience is never just standing around w/ its hands in its pockets.
*** I’m sure that most of you have been driving down the road at some time & hit road works. And one of the things that you are going to see w/ road works at some time is a group of men standing around leaning on their shovels.
For some reason there never seems to be enough work to keep them all busy! There’s never enough dirt to get every shovel working, never enough activity to get everyone busy.
a. Now patience hasn’t got time to stand around w/ its hands in its pockets or leaning on its shovel.
i. There is no such thing as inactive patience – inactive patience is an oxy moron / contradiction of terms!
ii. By its very nature patience is a positive thing ……it’s always doing something / achieving something / working towards some goal.
iii. Think about the context in which it is used in our text ……. James is writing to believers that are undergoing persecution / ridicule / even death.