Summary: Part 18 in a series of messages on the book of James
A Life Of Works Produced By Faith
“The Practice of Patience”
Date: November 17, 2002
Place: Allendale Baptist Church
Text: James 5:7-12
I can never say this too often: I love God’s Word. I believe it to be the inspired and inerrant. I believe it to be God’s revelation of Him self to man. As someone once said no matter whether I believe it or not, the Bible is still God’s truth.
I love God’s Word. It is our tool to gage our life. It addresses every topic you will ever face, and has every answer we need to live a righteous holy life. I love God’s Word.
I do have to say, I love some of its subjects and matters it deals with more than others. I love to preach on heaven, but I must also preach on the reality of hell. I enjoy conveying the message of forgiveness, but I must also address the issue that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
I Love God’s Word. I do have to confess I do not enjoy some of the topics. As we have studied this wonderful book that James penned, I have had to examine many areas of my own life. Much like our topic this morning.
PATIENCE. I said it… the P word… Now I would rather skip over this… But you listen as I preach to myself this morning…
James is again speaking to suffering Christians, as he was in 1:3 when he tells believers, "But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect & complete, lacking nothing.”
James tells his readers 3 times of the coming of the Lord. And he tells them to be patient until His return.
The word James uses for patience and endurance in the original Greek implies for Christians “to stay put and stand fast when you would really like to run.”
James gives us 3 examples of patient endurance
I. The Farmer (verses 7-9)
A. If you are an impatient person you should not desire to be a farmer. I have met several farmers but I have never met one without patience. They must be patient.
1. They must be patient with the soil.
a. The farmer must pain and toil preparing the soil to sow the seed.
b. The Jewish farmer would do this after the early rains
2. They must be patient with the seed.
a. After the soil is prepared and the seed sown
3. They must be patient with the season.
B. Why does the farmer willingly wait so long?
1. Verse 7 tells us because the fruit is “precious”.
a. I very seldom use the word precious. It is not what I would call a manly word.
b. But precious means costly.
c. Can I stop and tell you dear Child of God that you are precious.
d. Remember the song Jesus loves the little children… they are precious.
2. The harvest will bring reward.
C. James is picturing the Christian here as a spiritual farmer, waiting for a spiritual harvest.
1. James reminds the Christian, the secret to endurance when the going gets tough, is that God is producing a harvest in our lives.
2. He desires the fruit of our spirit to grow
D. We also must remember the farmer does not stand around doing nothing. He is always working
E. Then in verse 9 James exhorts these believers not to “grumble against one another.”
1. So many times in our Christian walk we become impatient.
a. Impatient with God. Let God have His perfect timing. He will complete in you what He desires. In His time.
b. Impatient with others. My friend when you become impatient with God, it will flow out against others.
Next James gives the illustration of …
II. The Prophets
A. These early believers would have been familiar with this example of Old Testament prophets. When we read how these faithful servants suffered it offers us encouragement. Encouragement knowing that God is in control.
B. These prophets encourage us by showing they were in the will of God, yet they suffered.
1. They were proclaiming their message in “the name of the Lord.”
2. Pain and suffering is sometimes due to your faithfulness to God.
3. But how many of us can truly say that?
C. The prophets encourage us by reminding us that God cares for those who suffer for His sake.
1. Someone once said “the will of God will not lead you where the grace of God cannot keep you.”
2. As the apostle Paul said; “God’s grace is sufficient.”
III. Job (verse 11-12)
A. Job is the classic example of a man that patiently endured suffering and was blessed by God for his persevering faith.