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…
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……
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
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.
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.
How should believers respond to situations over which they have no control?
How should respond to finacial challenges?
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.
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..