Summary: We are called to live our lives with a bold patience that depends on the power and faithfulness of God

Patience Pays Off

James 5:7-11

June 2, 2002


I. The young man seeking patience

A young man, a Christian, went to an older believer to ask for prayer. "Will you please pray that I may be more patient?" he asked. The aged saint agreed. They knelt together and the man began to pray, "Lord, send this young man tribulation in the morning; send this young man tribulation in the afternoon; send this young man...." At that point the young Christian blurted out, "No, no, I didn’t ask you to pray for tribulation. I wanted you to pray for patience." "Ah," responded the wise Christian, "it’s through tribulation that we learn patience."

II. Patience testers

 Long lines at the grocery store

 Having someone pull out in front of you on the highway and then drive extremely slow

 Waiting for hours at the doctors office

 Slow service at McDonald’s

 Long winded preachers who talk way too long

III. Keys to understanding patience

A. Patience is not some passive acceptance

1. Patience does not merely accept life’s difficulties

a.) Patience is not just taking what life dishes out with an I can’t help it attitude

b.) Being patient means that you face down the difficulties that are in your life and deal with them. This in turn gives us new strength to continue to face our problems.

2. Spiritual patience

a.) Patience is an active endurance that fights the difficulties of life to defeat them

b.) The purpose of patience is to gain victory and strength through the hardships that we have in life

B. Patience is a fruit of the Spirit

1. The assistance of the Holy Spirit

a.) The Holy Spirit works in our lives to lift us up and give us the strength that we need to face difficult situations in life

b.) In our own strength we cannot endure the trials and difficulties of life. It is only by the power of God, the work of Christ and the guidance of the Holy Spirit that we can have victory in life

2. The purpose of patience

a.) Patience is mean to give us the ability to stand firm in our faith. Patience gives us the ability to live victoriously through the twists and turns of life

b.) Patience is keeping our eyes on Christ and endure life’s difficulties with a fighting spirit

7 Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. 8 You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. 9 Don’t grumble against each other, brothers, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door! 10 Brothers, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.


I. Patience in work

A. The Work of God

1. God is at work

a.) James called the early church to be patient (to have an active endurance) because they were going through a time of great trial and distress

b.) God never stops working

1.) We sometimes fail to see His hand at work because we are looking for the wrong things or fail to wait for him to act

2.) Don’t judge the Lord by his unfinished work. Be patient till he unveils the perfect pattern in glory. Await the “end of the Lord” – F. B. Meyer

c.) The work of God is not done

1.) God has made a promise that the work that he started in you will be completed

2.) That work is finished when you enter heaven or Jesus returns to take the church home

2. Our role in that work

a.) Hebrews 11:13: All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth

b.) God is not on our time table

1.) God does His work, in His way and on his schedule

2.) God’s work is unfolding in the life of this church but we have to live with an active endurance to see it revealed

B. The example for humanity

1. The example of the farmer

a.) Farmers are the hardest workers

1.) Farmers work extremely hard all of the time because there is always something that needs to be done

2.) Farmers plow, fertilize, plant, add pesticides and herbicides, wait a season and then they harvest

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Brent Sorlien

commented on Mar 14, 2007

tastes like chicken

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