Summary: A common definition of Patience: “Patience is the capacity to accept or endure trouble or suffering without getting angry or upset”
I - Introduction:
1. We learned about the Long Suffering of God
a. The long suffering of God leads to repentance.
1. Romans 2:4
4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?
2. 2 Peter 3:9
9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance
b. The long suffering of God led to our salvation. (2 Peter 3:15)
15 Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him.
2. We come before our Lord with thankfulness for His long suffering. He waited till we came to our senses and learned about His Grace and Mercy.
a. We were enlightened through the words of God
b. We received the heavenly gift of faith
c. We have shared in the Spirit
d. And as we continued to abide in Jesus we have tasted the goodness of his word
e. We have a new life In Christ
3. Yet, even when we received His wonderful blessings, we still have troubles and sufferings just like anybody else
a. However, as we walked with the Lord, we have somehow gotten rid of our sensualities (the desires of the flesh) or put our sensualities under the control of the Holy Spirit, thereby minimizing our troubles or at least making them bearable.
b. It wasn’t long till we realized that there were sufferings that were added - sufferings that we did not experience before we became Christians called trials and persecutions.
1. Jesus said so. (John 16:33)
33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
2. Do not be surprised. (1 Peter 4:12)
12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.
4. We need patience in the midst of our sufferings. This is the theme in Chapter 5 of the book of James. James shared some practical teachings on how we can exercise patience in the midst of sufferings.
a. Patience in Oppression
b. Patience in Persecution
c. Patience in Trials
5. The key verse is found in (James 5:7)
7 Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains.
II – The Cost of Impatience
· James is aware about the greater suffering we may experience if we are IMPATIENT. Let us look at a few examples of impatience in the scriptures:
a. Sarah and Abraham (Genesis 16)
1. God promised Abraham that he will have descendants as numerous as the stars
2. For several years when the promise was not fulfilled right away, Sarah suggested that Abraham take Sarah’s handmaid Hagar to have a child.
3. Then when Hagar was pregnant, she despised Sarah.
4. Sarah then went to Abraham and said: “This is all your fault”.
5. What is the lesson here? They were both impatient.
1. When we are impatient, we make decisions that come from our selfish nature and not what the Spirit desires.
6. I like Abraham. He is a man of faith, humble and he loved his wife. Abraham said: “She is your servant. Do with her whatever you think is best.”
7. Ishmael was the son by Hagar and Isaac was the son by Sarah.
8. Their impatience led to a hasty decision that costs unending dispute to this day. The descendants of Ishmael (Arabs) and the descendants of Isaac (Jews) continue to fight over who should own the land in the area of Palestine.
b. The Golden Calf (Exodus 32:1)
When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, “Come, make us gods[a] who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.”
§ They fashioned a calf to worship.
§ When Moses saw them worshiping the calf, he threw the tablets out of his hands
§ He took the calf the people made, grounded to powder scattered on the water and made the people drink it.
§ What punishment!
c. Moses and the Rock (Numbers 20:11-12)
1. We see Moses frustrated and under pressure from the Israelites over their grumbling and in anger struck the rock twice instead of speaking to the Rock as God has commanded.