Summary: A classic sermon by Adrian Rogers about the power of patience and how God grants it to his children.
This sermon from the Adrian Rogers Legacy Library © 2010 Rogers Family Trust. Used by permission. www.pastortraining.com www.adrianrogerslibrary.com
Would you take God’s Word, and turn to James, chapter 1. Now, James is one of the most straightforward men in the entire Bible. He never minces words. If you want to know what James is thinking, then he’ll be very happy to tell you. And, of course, he tells you by divine inspiration. Tonight, Brother James is going to talk to us about patience, and I want to talk to you about the purpose and power of patience, or patience’s perfect work.
James, chapter 1, and verse 1: “James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting. My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;”—that literally means, “various trials”—“knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways” (James 1:1–8).
Now, that’s James, chapter 1. Turn to the last chapter of James, now—James, chapter 5. James begins this work on testing and trial by talking about patience, and he ends it talking about patience. Now, I begin in James, chapter 5, and verse 7: “Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord.” Now, we sung tonight about the coming of the Lord, but he says, “Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman”—that means, “the farmer”—“waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the
judge standeth before the door. Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord;”—that is, the fulfillment of what God is going to do—“that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy” (James 5:7–11). Well, what a wonderful, wonderful scripture! If we didn’t do anything else but just read the Scripture on patience, how it seems to move our hearts and speak to us!
I really believe, if you don’t learn patience, you probably will learn very little of anything else. If you don’t learn patience, you probably will not learn much of anything else. For example, you certainly wouldn’t learn to play the piano without patience, could you? You won’t believe this, Brother Jim; but there was a time when I took violin lessons. And, there was a time when my teacher took me and shook me by the shoulders. Now, I didn’t have patience, and I caused her to lose patience. You can’t learn to play the violin or the piano without patience. You can’t learn Greek without a certain amount of patience to do those Greek verbs. Anything worth learning, really, it seems to talk of patience.
Now, patience—when we use the word patience—we kind of think of the idea, to do tedious things—and that’s involved. But actually, the Bible word patience, and the word that I’m using here from the Book of James, means “to be able to bear up under great pressure.” “To bear up under great pressure”—that’s what the Greek word means—“to bear up under.” Literally, it means, “to endure.” And, it just might be better, rather than translating it patience, if we translated it endurance.
I picked this little thing up, and I read it. And, it blessed me so much that I just thought I would read it to you, because many of you think that one of these days you’re going to come to some great trial in life, and then, you’re going to have to have patience. But, listen to this: Most of us dream of becoming rich, or famous, or doing great things for the Lord. We thought life would be meaningful and exciting, but instead, our lives are routine. Our daily work seems of no consequence or, even worse, we’re unemployed, ill, or aged. Others do exciting things and tell of their successes, while day-by-day-by-day, we seem to go unnoticed. But God knows. He saw the poor woman throw two coins in the collection plate. He knew that Moses was tending sheep for 40 years. Jesus often used the services of ordinary people on His way to do great things: