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Increase Your Confidence

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The construction of the Golden Gate Bridge was so risky that newspaper reporters dubbed it the “Dance of Danger.” Workers on top of swaying catwalks and high towers, sometimes hundreds of feet in the air, would be blown by powerful winds. Predictions were that for every $1 million spent, one life would be lost.
Engineers on the Golden Gate Bridge, however, believed the risks could be lowered. When construction began in 1932, numerous safety measures were put into place and strictly enforced: mandatory use of hard hats and prescription filtered eyeglasses, implementation of a no showboating policy (cause for automatic firing), use of tie-off lines, and establishment of an on-site hospital greatly reduced the casualty rate. After nearly four years of construction and $20 million spent, only one worker had died.
The most effective safety device, without question, was the use of a trapeze net. This large net, costing $130,000, was draped sixty feet below the roadbed under construction, extending ten feet to either side.
This net caught so many falling workers that the newspapers began running box scores on the total number of lives saved. Workers saved by the net were said to have joined the “Halfway to Hell Club.”
Beyond that, the net freed many of the workers from an often-paralyzing sense of fear, which helped them work more productively.
This morning we are going to talk about our confidence… What are the safety nets in our lives? What is the glue that keeps everything together?
We coming to the end of our Series in the book of James and we have been looking at Spiritual hacks for the real life.
James is writing to Jewish Christians who are dispersed - They were were looking to James to help them with some of their struggles.. On one hand they wanted to be authentic Christians but on the other things were were spiraling out of control… Some of the areas that there struggling with were external — they were being taken advantage of by the wealthy… who were withholding wages.. They were facing Financial difficulties...
..Going through financial hardship is not anything new. There are countless believers that go through financial valleys. It has nothing to do with your spirituality or lack of faith… People who have done things the right way and seemingly they got the short end of the deal.
They have pressure from without and they also had pressure from - internal conflicts… As a community there were power conflicts of those who became self appointed teachers…There were gossipers… All this was causing their confidence to depreciate!
The Bible is Clear that our confidence is important… we are hold onto confidence…
Hebrews 10:35–36 ESV
Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.
It’s our confidence that gives us the drive to get up in the morning and face life and challenges that are presented us… We need to hold onto our confidence… because our confidence is tied to receiving what God has promised..
James begins Chapter 5 by bring up the problem of misplaced confidence...
Do you know what we are told here in our culture? What are you told in every popular movie? What are you told in every elementary school class practically?
We are told, “You can be whatever you choose to be. Whatever you want to do, you set your heart to it. You set your mind to it. You can be whatever you choose to be.”
The problem is that we don’t really control as much as we thing we do.... Putting our confidence in ourselves can also be misplaced confidence… Because we can’t control everything that happens in life. When we loose control it is easy to get disillusioned.
The early church was was disillusioned by the wealth of the ungodly.
In the Old Testament the importance of paying laborers at the end of the day’s work is emphasized (Lev 19:13; Deut 24:14, 15), and employers who exploit their workers are often rebuked (Jer 22:13; Mal 3:5; Amos 8:4). The purpose of the regulations was to protect the rights of the poor laborers; they needed the wage to meet the immediate needs of their families every day; there is no way to feed the family the next day without it. There is an additional reason why immediate payment is to the advantage of the work
The Bible deals a lot with money and money in itself A moral — there is nothing inherantly evil in money.. infact it is necessary for life.… But the Bible has alot to say about the love of money … or the false confidence that comes with the dependance on money.
James like his half brother Jesus… Never pandered to the wealthy or to the gripes of the poor… He says to those who are without - count it all joy when you go through trial and tribulations, test of your faith produces endurace and want endurance has its perfect work you will be mature… If you lack wisdom ask God who gives generously..
At the same he turns to the wealthy and gives them a stern warning……
James 5:1–3 ESV
Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure in the last days.
By the way most us in America could be considered wealthy… 80 percent of the rest the world lives on less than 10 dollars a day…more than half of the world lives on less than two dollars a day…
...James cautions that things of this earth (wisdom from below) will corrode and designer labels will eventually get moth-eaten..
Putting your full weight on things that are temporary is a sure recipe for failure… in fact those who continue on the trajectory of living in self-indulgence.. theIr wealth becomes a libility because it will testify against them. James tells us that it will increase their punishment at the last judgment--- This theme of the last days is going to come up over again in this Chapter.
T/S James is setting the scene on How to live with confidence.. How
James 5:7–8 ESV
Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.
T/s How do we live our life with real confidence?

1. Submit to the process

In this text there are couple phases that are repeated… The first is Be Patient and the other is the coming of the Lord… James ties these two ideas together..
The Jewish Christians to whom James was writing were struggling with their confidence… James doesn’t just say persevere… keep you chin up… push through… He says be patient because God is coming…
Even though it seems that the Father has delayed his coming… even though there is a waiting period… between Christs first coming and his return… Hold on the the promise that Jesus gave at his ascension…
After the Resurrection of Christ , the disciples thought that it was the time for Christ to establish his Kingdom on earth… Instead they go to the Mt of Olives and tells them that he was going to the Father but He would send His Holy Spirit who would empower them to be his disciples.. then
Jesus ascends to the Father …In the book of Acts we have the scene with the disciples looking up…and two angels are present and comfort those in Galilee with these word.... This same Jesus who was take up from you to heaven will come back in the same way as you saw him go into heaven...
What these angels were referring to is the Second coming or the second Advent of Christ… The first Advent was fulfilled in Christ’s birth.. the second event is the very next event in God’s timetable of redemption, and that it could take place within a short period of time. It is at his return that God is going to reconcile all things… and all the things that are wrong in our world will turned right side up…
Why do we need the doctrine of Things To Come?
James is the most practical book in the Bible… How to deal with trials, How to live with authentic faith… How to build community… How to deal with the wisdom of the age… Even though it’s practical He is wanting us to have this Heavenly perspective… we see in the teaching of James the teaching of Jesus...
wisdom that comes from above.. James wants Christians to live with this teleological view…things in the future… He wants Christs disciples to live with the expectation and anticipation of the eminent return of Jesus.
living with this awareness would shape their lives… in very practical way… We live in a world of instant gratification… need food you have access… everything is on demand… James says be patient
What comes to mind when you think of Patience.. I think of the DMV? I think of the Emergency room? Have you noticed that when you go to the emergency room everyone seems to be on slow motion.. Pam and I have spent our fair share at the ER… I have gone with broken bones… and head wounds… You sit there with everyone else… you think shorely my case is much more important than everyone else… take your number…right..
Patience under pressure… is difficult...
There are two categories: (1) Active patience, keep doing what is right even if it doesn’t seem to be “paying off,” and
(2) Passive patience, keep enduring what comes even though you don’t “deserve” such treatment
Whether you are are seeing results or not being treated well… persevere.. literally “ stay put and stand fast when you’d like to run away.”
James uses the same phrase again in vrs 8 be patient - “Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand”
Perseverr, Strengthen your thinking and your resolve to live your life with an eternal perspective.
James illustrates the principle of Patience by using the analogy of a farmer waiting fo the harvest. harvest..
The successful farmer waits for the harvest. In the eastern Mediterranean two seasons of rain are normal and necessary for a successful crop.
The Jewish year began in the autumn. The “early rain” came in late fall, and was needed before the farmer could prepare the soil for planting.
The “latter rain” came in the spring. Until the coming of the latter rain, the farmer could not expect his fields to be productive. So, he prepared the soil. He planted the seed. Then he patiently waited for the time of harvest.
No crop ever appears overnight (except perhaps a crop of weeds), and no farmer has control over the weather. Too much rain can cause the crop to rot, and too much sun can burn it up. An early frost can kill the crop. How long-suffering the farmer must be with the weather!
Just as there is nothing the farmer can do to speed up the process of rainfall and the harvest but to wait for God’s appointed time, so the Christian community must be patient even in the midst of exploitation and suffering.
The Farmer has to to submit to the process. The Lord’s return will come at God’s time. The point then is not the length of time for waiting but the need to remain steady during that time.
Galatians 6:9 ESV
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
How should believers respond to situations over which they have no control? With patience. How should respond to finacial challenges? Patient
Why? Because the Lord himself will take care of such matters upon his return. James uses the image of the Lord Standing at the door… Christ is coming that soon.
T/s James deals with why we should submit to the process.
James 5:9–11 ESV
Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door. As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.
T/s How do we live our life with real confidence?
1. Submit to the process

2. Stop complaining about things you can’t change.

James says do not grumble against one another.. the word grumble has a wide range of meaning.. It applies both verbal and non verbal language.. It refers to any way you can articulate… A look communicates...Now those of us who have Children know that looks comunnicate.… Your child can be accross the room doing something and that look communicates something.
it can be a sound… it can be a mean a comment on Facebook… Sometimes we writing things on FB and complaining --- we want to feel justified and have other people like our complaints... We want someone to validate our complaint… Because we are obviously right.
Grumbling and complaining never produce any thing good. In fact they ony accomplish two things, both of a very negative nature. First, they ensure that the complainer himself remains unhappy, and second, they encourage others to chime in with complaints of their own. Don’t lose your patience. Don’t try the patience of others. Patience must be encouraged, not defeated.
What we learn from James is that God takes Grumbling seriously.
James insists, “Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door” (5:9).
James has already told us that we will be justified or equitted according to our words… We will be accountable… because there is life and death in the power of the tongue..
What about when you can justify your complaint..
Recently, a plane full of Hawaii-bound passengers suddenly found itself landing in Los Angeles after a passenger began to fight with an airline employee over something he found to be quite unjust: a $12 blanket.
According to CNN, "The 66-year-old man threatened the worker after he was charged $12 for a blanket." Due to the chilly on-board temperature, he "insisted he should not have to pay." Things got progressively worse: "During an in-flight call with an airline representative, the man said he 'would like to take someone behind the woodshed for this.'"
The captain rerouted the plane to Los Angeles, a choice that was defended by a Hawaiian Airlines spokeswoman: "Diverting a flight is clearly not our first choice, but our crew felt it was necessary in this case to divert to Los Angeles and deplane the passenger before beginning to fly over the Pacific Ocean."
While the man was not on the flight when it took off again a few hours later, he was able to get on another flight to Hawaii the next day.
This story might seem a little extreme—but how often have we thrown tantrums when these "$12 blankets" suddenly appear in our own lives, and we question the wisdom and will of God?
Grumbling is not to be taken lightly.... It hindered Israels progress as a community…they grumbled and complained and a Journey that should of just taken a few days took them 40 years… One of the sure ways to destroy community is through complaining… on the other hand you build community by blessing you community by your words.
God takes judging seriously Indeed, the manner in which we judge others in our grumbling against them is the way we shall find ourselves judged -
James points us to the prophets as examples — they exhibited patience and faithfulness, despite the suffering they endured..
Elijah was hounded and hated by Ahab and Queen Jazabel.. When Elijah announced to wicked King Ahab that there would be a drought in the land for three and one half years; and Elijah himself had to suffer in that drought. But God cared for him, and God gave him victory over the evil priests of Baal.
Jeremiah was thrown into a cistern and threatened with death by starvation (Jer. 38:1–13).
Amos was falsely accused of organizing a conspiracy and was told to go back to where he had come from (Amos 7:10–13).
James gives Job as a specific example of this steadfast endurance in the face of affliction. He was falsely accused by his friends. His reputation suffered. Even his wife advised him to curse God and die. And he was at a complete loss for any explanation for his troubles. But he did not lose faith. He did not quit trusting God. He endured the hardships, the pain, the false accusations, and he persevered in doing what was right, even when the immediate results were sorely disappointing. But by patient endurance and perseverance, he lived to see himself vindicated, and his “harvest” came in. “And the Lord restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before” (Job 42:10).
One of the problems with grumbling is that we fail in the thankfulness department. Instead of seeing all the good in life we look at all the negative…
“The will of God will never lead you where the grace of God cannot keep you“
no Matter what is happening we rejoice because Christ is coming…
Hebrews 12:28 ESV
Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe,
Gratitude is the opposite of complaining…Gratitude focus on all the good that is arround us.. Gratitude worships God regardless of whether you like the song or not.. because it’s about your attititude… ..
7:1–2)T/s How do we live our life with real confidence?
James 5:12 ESV
12 But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation.
T/s How do we live our life with real confidence?
1. Submit to the process
2. Stop complaining about things you can’t change.

3. Start living from place of Decisiveness.

James introduces his final admonition of the section by saying “above all,” which frames his warning as a capstone for the preceding arguments… Don’t make needless Oaths… This is about swearing by envoking Gods name… Dont say I swear to God..
This does not refer to “cursing” or swearing in the four-letter-word sense, but in the sense of promising by something to guarantee one’s word.
The exhortation is not to swear by heaven or earth or using any other kind of oath echoes what Jesus commanded his disciples in
Matthew 5:34–35 ESV
But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.
Instead James tells us..
If “yes” didn’t always mean yes. Think about it:] If I made promises or commitments and didn’t keep them, how would people know whether I really meant what I said?
Adding an oath would be like me telling my kids, “Okay, I REALLY mean it this time!”
James gets right to the heart of the matter. Instead of bolstering your statements to make up for lack of follow-through, keep your word!
Let your “yes” or “no” really mean something! Stop making Empty promises… It is your word is your bond. Not only will we have more confidence but we will build the trust of others…itbis better to be quite than to make a promise to do something and not do it!
One of the amazing thing about Church History is that you go back nearly 1700 years ago and go back to comments that were made by some Fathers of the church like....Cyril of Alexandria.. He says..
CYRIL OF ALEXANDRIA: Let the witness of our life be stronger than an oath, and if some shameless person dares to ask an oath from you, let your yes be yes and your no be no, instead of swearing an oath.
In other words let your character speak kinder than your words. Be the kind of person that your life is stronger than an Oath… that’s confidence… when it’s no longer our words but our actions that communicate.
One of The most lofty goals in life is to be people of Character .
Dwight L. Moody said the famous quotation: “The world has yet to see what God can do with a man fully consecrated to him. By God’s help, I aim to be that man.”
Conclusion
I’m wondering about our Confidence this morning? What is that safety net? That thing that enables you to get up each day and meet a new challenge?
When You got to the doctor and he puts the stethoscope on your heart and he is Listening to what is going on with your heart… sometime there is an irregular heart beat.. some indicators that he is looking for to determine your health.. Heart is your main organ in your body… This is what the book of James does..
/s How do we live our life with real confidence?
1. Submit to the process
2. Stop complaining about things you can’t change.
3. Start living from place of Decisiveness.
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