Summary: The Bible tells us many ways we can practice the spiritual fruit of patience, this sermon deals with three tings we must do in order to display the fuit of patience.
(All me sermon use illustrations found at www.sermoncentral.com and all scripture is NIV unless otherwise noted)
Many times I pray for Wisdom - to understand my teenagers; Love - to forgive them; Patience - for their mood swings; Because, Lord if I pray for Strength, I’ll beat them to death. Amen.
Don’t we all need to pray for the same? I was always warned that we should never pray for patience because if you did, God would give it to you and you would have to wait. BUT, the truth is all of us need to learn how to practice patience more in our lives. We all want, what we want, and we want it yesterday. We are not a people who like to wait for the things we want. But the Bible is full of instructions on being patient. From waiting on God to answer our prayers, to standing firm, holding on to the courage and hope we boast of, the scripture is clear about patience. Even waiting for the return of Jesus takes patience on our part.
I think this morning we will look at one particular passage of scripture that deals with practicing patience and glean whatever wisdom we can. If you have your Bibles this morning turn with me to James, chapter one and we will read verses 2-4, these are words of wisdom that every Christian should know by heart.
James 1:2-4 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
This morning let us look at practicing patience through the wisdom found in this scripture. I am going to discuss three things we must be aware of and things we must do in order to be better at practicing patience.
PREPARATION - the scripture we read this morning says WHENEVER you face trials, in other words this is not a IF situation, we WILL face trials. If we are going to be able to practice patience we must be prepared for the trails that are GOING to come. Also we must understand that God is preparing us for the trial and work that needs to be done in the future. Look at your life as a series of stepping stones preparing you for the long road ahead. I have always looked at my ministry this way. I honestly believe that God has used the past to prepare me for the future.
Gene Getz once said of God’s plan for Joseph that: At age thirty, Joseph could never have handled this world - class task without an intensive and experience oriented course in management. It began in Potiphar’s house, where he managed all of his affairs. It continued in prison where he was eventually responsible for all the prisoners. And thirteen years later, he was “put. . .in charge of the whole land of Egypt.” “God’s plan for Joseph was on schedule. His preparation was tailor-made for the task God had for him. And because Joseph passed each test, learned from each experience, and learned to trust God more, he was ready when God opened the door of opportunity. He handled prestige and power without succumbing to pride. He persevered with patience and performed his duties faithfully and successfully. He was well prepared.”
Are you well prepared for the trials that will come. Most of us get very impatient with God and our loved ones because we are not well prepared, and not well equipped, to deal with the trials that come our way.
Perhaps the greatest thing we must be prepared for is the return of Christ. Jesus told us Matt 24:42 "So be prepared, for you don't know what day your Lord is coming. (Living Version) Being prepared helps us with our patience, it allows us to understand so many more things. Jesus wants us to wait for his return, but not by sitting around and getting soft. We are to get as many people as we can, to prepare themselves for the return of Christ, while we are waiting for His return.
Recently there was a television show on The History Channel titled, “The Man Who Predicted 911.” The focus of the show was on one man by the name of Rick Rescorla. Long before September 11th, Rick Rescorla, the 62-year-old head of security at the Morgan Stanley Bank, developed an evacuation plan for the bank. The bank’s offices were situated high up in the South Tower at the World Trade Center. Rescorla was convinced that Osama Bin Laden would use jet planes to try and destroy the World Trade Center. The plan and its preparation were hugely unpopular with the Morgan Stanley staff, many of whom thought Rescorla was mad.