Summary: How to develop patience into our lives.
Patience, just the word alone reminds us of how much more of it we need. It’s like having small children and traveling a good distance in the car and hearing that alarm go off every few miles, “Are we there yet?”
One dad had heard enough of that and he told his four year old son if you say that one more time I’m going to spank you. The little boy thought for a moment and then he said “Dad, how much farther?”
The dad said, “90 more miles and don’t as again.” The little boy thought for a moment and then said, “Will I still be 4 when we get there?”
We live in a world that is not patient. I heard a story about a man whose car stalled at the red light. He tried and tried to start it but no luck. The guy in the car behind him just honked and honked on the horn.
Finally the man in the stalled car got out walked back to the other guy’s car and said this, “I can’t seem to get my car started. Why don’t you go try and start my car and I’ll sit in yours and blow your horn for you.”
We even have an expression time is money. The annual cost of people running red lights in the United States is 7 billion dollars. The average time saved by running a red light is 50 seconds.
We are always trying to figure out how to cram more and more things into less and less time. That is why we are constantly struggling with this word patience.
Thomas Jefferson tried to help Americans with patience. He thought his plan was so good he included it in his “Rules of Living” where he outlined how men and women should live. He wrote, “When angry count to ten before you speak; if very angry count to 100.”
About 75 years later Mark Twain revised Jefferson’s words and wrote, “When angry count to 4. When very angry swear.”
Many have tried to define patience. Someone said that “Patience is the ability to put up with people you’d like to put down.” James told us when we began our sermon study this in James 1:3, “knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.” (NKJ)
This is why James comes back to this all important topic at the end of his book. He knows that we all struggle in this area of life so James very masterfully writes why God is perfecting patience into our lives. So let’s look at the two truths God is building into the life of the believer so we can learn patience.
I. The Explanation of Patience (v.7-9)
Here in verses 7-9 we have the explanation of Patience. Patience is a word that stresses non-retaliation. It means to hold one’s spirit in check. The hindrance to patience is a lack of hope. That is why James speaks of the reasons we are to be patient:
A. The Biblical Reason (v.7a, 8-9) Here we have two biblical reasons for us to develop patience.
1. Jesus and His Second Coming—(v.7a, 8) James was written some 30 years after Jesus returned to heaven He says to the church of Jerusalem The Lord Jesus Christ is coming back.
That is why we are to develop patience. He is coming for His church and we need to never, never, never, lose that hope. Just think this was only 30 years after He left and now another 1900 have passed and we are still awaiting His return.
Pastor and author G. Campbell Morgan said this, “To me the second coming is the perpetual light on the path which makes the present bearable. I never lay my head on my pillow without thinking that, maybe before the morning breaks, the final morning may have dawned. I never begin my work without thinking that perhaps He may interrupt my work and begin His own.”
Folks that’s our hope! That is what the church must keep its eyes on, He is coming again. That’s why we witness, give, serve, and care for each other.
2. The Judge is standing at the Door—(v.9) Here is an interesting illustration. The bible is saying that you and I are not to grumble or complain about each other because the Judge, the Lord Jesus Christ is ready right now to judge.
Make no mistake there is coming a judgment day. We will be judged according to our service and sacrifice as Christians. There will also be a day when every wrong is made right. God never promised here on earth the scales of justice will be balanced. However, the lost world, filled with its immorality will one day drink the cup of God’s wrath.