Summary: We are in a journey and this journey is not easy and we need to keep onso that we can able to finish the journey God set before us.
TOPIC: THE BLESSEDNESS OF PERSEVERANCE
Text: James 5:7-12
(Show Facing Your Giant Clips) (ILL. Finish It – The life of a Christian can be described in one of four ways: as a journey, as a battle, as a pilgrimage, and as a race. Select your own metaphor, but the necessity to finish is always the same. For if life is a journey, it must be completed. If life is a battle, it must be finished. If life is a pilgrimage, it must be concluded. And if it is a race, it must be finish.)
Why we are commanded to persevere or to be patient? Because of:
1. The Lord’s Coming Is Near
We are commanded to be patient until the Lord’s coming. And here James illustrates it by comparing it to a farmer who first patiently waiting for the land to yield its valuable crop and second for patiently waiting for autumn and spring rains. Waiting for your plant to yield is not an easy task. It takes patience to wait for the right time to reap and harvest the fruit of your labor. Waiting for rain is also not easy to do specially during the time of autumn before the spring comes. Waiting for this involves endurance and great amount of perseverance. A lot of things can happen while you are waiting for the harvest and for the rain: pest can come, typhoon can come, dryness, etc., but in spite of all of these we need to patiently waiting for His coming is sure and near. Instead of grumbling against each other we are command to persevere. (ILL. Honker or Helper – The story was once told of a woman driver whose car stalled in traffic and she was unable to get it restarted. The fellow who was behind her, and thus unable to move, thought it necessary to constantly show his impatience by honking his horn every few seconds. Finally, the woman walked back to his car and said, "If you will go try to start my car, I’ll stay here and honk your horn for you." So many times in the church this is the case. The one who is not doing anything to help is also the one who makes the most noise complaining that nothing is happening.) How long do we need to become patient? James said, “…until the Lord’s coming.” And how? James said, “…like a farmer…” who wait patiently for his crop and for the rains to come. Ecc. 3:11 said, “In his time everything makes beautiful.” Even the farmer waits for the right and proper time for his crops and for the rains that comes from God. (ILL. Butterfly if helped because we see its struggle will die because it is not the proper time, they wait patiently inside the cocoon until its perfect time, then life, strength and beauty will come out.) James warned us here that if we loose perseverance and patience v. 9 we will grumble or else you will be judge. The Israelites grumbles when they are in the desert, they grumbles giants Moses and against God and because of it they are judge by not able to enter the promise land until they died on the wilderness, so for 40 years they wander and even Moses was not able to enter the promise land because he was being influence by them to grumble to against God. Grumbling is a sin, for it shows our lack of honoring what God set before us. Grumbling is not necessary obvious but in our hearts we are grumbling or we are grumbling by telling it to others, like what Sanbalat and Tobias did for Nehemiah, or the people of Israel towards Moses, etc. The warning here is you will judge yourself because God hate grumblers. Sarah and Abraham because of lack of patience in waiting for God’s promise to them gave Hagar to Abraham and Ishmael was born and after those troubles and relationships problems comes. There are a lot of examples that when we lack patience we try to do things on our own way instead of waiting for God’s timing, yes God commands our steps but even our stops too. The pillar of cloud guided the Israelites in the morning and pillar of fire in the evening, and they stop and move depends on these pillars. And it takes patience to do this. And we are called to wait patiently because the Lords coming are near. In our journey there’s a lot of things that could side track us along the way, James mentioned some of this in the previous verses and chapters such as: possessions or wealth, ability to plan, testing and trials, sufferings, earthly wisdom, religiosity, temptation, etc.