Summary: Patience is the key of getting through life.
Patience Is the Key (Part 2) – James 5:10-12
August 26, 2012
Patience is the key of getting through life.
Have you ever hit the rock bottom where you just couldn’t go on any longer, when the worst thing that you could imagine happened and all you wanted to do was give up? I’m going to show a short video clip from the movie “The Patriot”. Mel Gibson, who plays the main character Benjamin Martin has fought against the British during the war of independence. He has fought with all of his strength and ingenuity, inspiring the American troops. But in one battle his son is killed and this video clip shows his reaction. (Show video)
How can we keep going when the world seems to be caving in on us? How do we patiently endure when the suffering we are experiencing is killing us? This passage tells us how. Read passage. Pray.
As we saw a couple of weeks ago this passage talks of patience but falls in two parts. It speaks of two different kinds of patience. The first, which we looked at two weeks ago, talks of the patience that is needed when waiting for something good to come. Specifically this good is the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. In verses 10-12, the theme is patience again, but it is a different kind of patience. It is the patience that is required to endure through pain and suffering. This passage gives us five motivations to patiently endure when we are experience suffering. The first motivation is this: Others have gone before us. Take a look at verse 10 (read verse). The example is the prophets who spoke the name of the Lord. What sort of suffering did the prophets encounter? They experienced suffering through persecution. When they brought the message of God to the people, it was often a message of condemnation and judgement. The people didn’t want to hear it, so they attacked the messenger.
In fact, let’s take a look at some of these prophets and what they went through. The first person with the official title of prophet was Elijah. Remember his story and what he had to go through? His story is found in 1 Kings 17-19 with sporadic mentions of his exploits until 2 Kings 2. When we first meet Elijah he declares that God is going to bring a famine on the land because of the sin of the king, Ahab and the people. Look at 1 Kings 17:1 (read verse). Right after that God sends him to live in a ravine to be kept alive by ravens. God sent him there so the king wouldn’t find him and kill him. After that the brook dries up and he is sent to live with a Gentile woman in a foreign town. When the time comes for Elijah to declare the end of the drought, he has a huge confrontation between himself and prophets of Baal. Fire falls from heaven to eat up Elijah’s sacrifice and the followers of Baal are rounded up and killed. When Jezebel, Ahab’s wife hears of this, she threatens to kill Elijah. In response, Elijah runs into the desert where he is so depressed he wants to die. Look at 1 Kings 19:3-4 (read verses).