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How Do You Face Trials Patiently?

The Book of James - James 5:7-12  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Introduction

In the first six verses of chapter 5, James sharply rebuked the wicked rich people who abused the righteous poor.
In verses 7–11 he shifts his focus from the persecutors to the persecuted, moving from condemning the faithless, abusive rich to comforting the faithful, abused poor.
James also instructs the suffering poor as to what attitude they are to have in the midst of persecution. The theme of this section is defining how to be patient in trials.

James gives six practical perspectives enabling believers to patiently endure trials:

I. Anticipate the Lord’s Coming

James 5:7–8 ESV
7 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. 8 You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.
Do we really live as if the Lord could return any moment?
Every Christian is to live in the hope of the certainty of Christ’s return.
“The end of all things is near,” wrote Peter; “therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer” ().
With his own death imminent, Paul could confidently say, “In the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing” ().
The sure hope of Christ’s return is especially comforting to those undergoing trials and persecution.
Focusing on Christ’s return motivates believers to Godly living.
In John writes, “Everyone who has this hope [the Second Coming—v. 2] fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” The study of end time events should not produce speculative eschatological systems, but holy lives.
To reinforce his point, James uses “the farmer” as an illustration:
II. Recognize the Lord’s Judgment
1 John 3:3 ESV
3 And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.
The farmer, he points out, waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains.
The early rains in Palestine arrive at the time of the fall planting season (October and November), the late rains just before harvesttime (March and April).
Why wait? they may not be to full maturity if you dont wait
Note: this is the answer no christian wants to hear ever! .... WAIT! But it is the best for us.

II. Recognize the Lord’s Judgment

James 5:9 ESV
9 Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door.
James 5:
What is complaining? What does it accomplish?
This verse points out that a complaining attitude hinders us from developing patience and long-suffering.
“Grumbling” involves the development of criticism and faultfinding against one another.
Hardship may have driven some believers to despondency. They may have blamed their troubles on one another.
Some may have questioned the devotion of other Christians or faulted the way others had treated them.
God will judge and punish “grumblers.” - “The Judge stands at the Door”
Your mother or Teacher standing at the door when you do something bad.
How inappropriate it is for Christians to be fighting when the return of Jesus is a certain event.
Jesus will bring with him a complete knowledge of our feelings, thoughts, and reactions. We should be living in readiness for his coming.
Instead, too often we behave like a group of students fighting in a school classroom while the absent teacher walks rapidly toward the room. Jesus is coming! How are you living?

III. Follow the Lord’s Servants

James 5:
James 5:10 ESV
10 As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.
To further encourage believers to endure unjust suffering, James pointed out the example of the prophets who had endured suffering with patience.
Meaning: Patiently endure the evil treatment of others.
Moses had to put up with the stiff-necked, rebellious Israelites who left Egypt ().
David was hunted by Saul as remorselessly as one hunts a partridge in the mountains ().
Elijah faced hostility from the evil king Ahab (; ) and his wicked wife, Jezebel ().
Jeremiah endured opposition throughout his ministry (cf. ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ), bringing him such sorrow that he became known as the weeping prophet.
Ezekiel endured the death of his wife during the course of his ministry ().
Daniel was torn from his homeland as a young boy and later thrown into a den of lions because of his faithfulness to God (.).
Hosea endured a heartbreaking marriage (),
Amos faced lies and scorn (),
and John the Baptist was imprisoned and beheaded for his testimony to God’s truth ().
These are all given as examples of how we can and should endure through trials we face.

IV. Understand the Lord’s Blessing

James 5:11 ESV
11 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.
James
What does Steadfast mean?
The word refers to patiently enduring difficult circumstances.
People who endure are the objects of divine favor. Paul understood this and revealed it in the rich words of
2 Corinthians 12:7–10 ESV
7 So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
God’s blessing does not come to people who do great things, but to people who endure. John McArthur

V. Realize the Lord’s Purpose

James 5:
James 5:11 ESV
11 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.
What is the overall purpose of the Lord? To be Glorified and Worshipped!
Job endured unimaginable, unexplained suffering—the fierce attacks of Satan, the loss of his children, his wealth, his health, his reputation, and, worst of all, his sense of God’s presence.
It is true that Job vocalized his misery (3:1–11), bemoaned the fallacious counsel of his misguided, would-be comforters (16:2ff.), and cried out in confusion to God (7:11–16). Yet “through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God” (; cf. 2:10).
Job’s triumphant statement “Though He slay me, I will hope in Him” (13:15) exemplifies his patient acceptance of his trials.
Does God always make known his purpose for a specific trial? No, however, like Job you and I can endure if our hope and trust is in Him.

VI. Consider the Lord’s Character

James 5
James 5:11c ESV
11 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.
It is not uncommon for those in the midst of severe trials to, like Job, question whether God really cares about them. But in all their trials, believers can take comfort in the indisputable truth that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful.
In the Christian bubble world, we speak of Grace and Mercy. What is the difference? What do they each mean?
Grace is getting something I don’t deserve.
Mercy is not getting what I deserve.

Conclusion

Any trial, suffering, or persecution that Christians face can be patiently endured by anticipating the Lord’s coming, recognizing the Lord’s judgment, following the example set by the Lord’s faithful servants, understanding the Lord’s blessing, realizing the Lord’s purpose, and considering the Lord’s compassionate, merciful character.
Those who do so will be able to say triumphantly with the psalmist, “For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for a lifetime; weeping may last for the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning” ().
Psalm 30:5 ESV
5 For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.
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