James 5: 7-12
Introduction: John Quincy Adams said
“Patience and perseverance have a magical effect
before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.”
Our scripture today started with the words:
Be patient, then, brothers and sisters,
until the Lord’s coming.
There are present struggles in every life in this room –
be patient – they will end.
No wonder Billy Graham said: “Heaven gives us hope and
makes our present burdens easier to bear.”
The fruit of the Spirit is Patience –
but I recognize today that patience needs a goal.
Illustration: If you are patient, the 1000 dollars you invested with
5% compound interest back in 1995 will double in value
but if you take it out again in just one year
you will have made about $50.
Patience needs a goal.
A. The Reason to be Patient
1. The promise of the second coming of Jesus is
either one of the world’s cruelest hoaxes
or one of life’s greatest prospects.
The hope of His coming has energized so many
in the midst of their trials. Christians have said
these words to each other in many times of suffering:
7 Be patient, then, brothers and sisters,
until the Lord’s coming.
So the obvious question arises:
“Why is it taking sooo looong to happen?”
The answer is supplied by Peter in his 2nd letter at the back
of the Bible: God is giving the maximum number of chances
for conversions. For Him a day is just like a thousand years.
Yet you can see why patience is required. Those who came
to Christ in the 1970s are growing older now. They expected
the Lord’s return to be in their lifetime. Some of them are
here this morning: Are you’all still patient
about the promise?
7 Be patient, then, brothers and sisters,
……………until the Lord’s coming.
2. Pastor – I need an example. Oh you do?
Well how about this one right here:
See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable
crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains.
8. You too, be patient and stand firm,
because the Lord’s coming is near.
By developing the fruit of patience you start to take the
“long view” of life. When that happens you aren’t easily
shaken by the little crises that come to all of us.
The progression is: be patient and stand firm,
Evil likes to upset you with bad news.
The reason for your patience is in these words:
the Lord’s coming is near.
Now that could be for you either his coming on the clouds as
the angels promised in Acts 1 vs 11 or
it could be His coming for you at the moment of your
earthly death. Either way - the Lord’s coming is near.
The most often occurring need for patience is among the
people in your life – friends, family, neighbors –
9 Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters,
or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!
So here’s what will become of you
if this spiritual fruit grows in you:
B. The Rewards of Patience
1. I believe that God was gradual in the way He revealed
Himself in the Bible. Its only when you get to the last book
in the Bible – the last book was given probably no later than
95AD – Only then do you have the FULL revelation of God.
So each time He inspired a new Bible Book God added new light.
So where did God start? In my opinion He began in
the days of Abraham. The first book time-wise in the Bible
would be the book of Job.
10 Brothers and sisters, as an example of patience in the face of suffering,
take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.
Job was God’s first spokesmen and Job could speak of the
need for patience in the face of suffering. In English there is
a saying “He or she has the patience of Job.” Patience
sometimes implies going through a time of suffering.
11 As you know, we count as blessed those who have
persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance
and have seen what the Lord finally brought about.
The Lord is full of compassion and mercy
One of the rewards of patience is that it is
able to teach you meaning in times of suffering.
2. Consider these words: “We could never learn to be brave
and patient, if there were only joy in the world.”
Who was Helen Keller?
Helen Adams Keller (June 27, 1880 – June 1, 1968)
was an American author, political activist, and lecturer.
She was the first deaf-blind person to
earn a bachelor of arts degree.
At 19 months old, she contracted an illness which might
have been scarlet fever or meningitis. The illness left her
both deaf and blind. How does a child born blind and
deaf learn anything?
Long story short – Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone,
led to Anne Sullivan, herself visually impaired,
to becoming Keller's instructor.
Many struggles led to Helen Keller learning to speak.
“we count as blessed those who have persevered.”
Patience won’t just keep you calm –
it will open up new ways for you to advance in life.
But let’s end this morning by talking about the calm.
C. The Rest through Patience
So many regrettable words get spoken during fits of rage.
The devil lies to us that by forcing people with our angry
words we can get a lot done.
Here’s a story from my limo driving days.
There was a vice president I used to take to the airport.
He told me of his boss who was a short-fused man
who flew into rages at the least little provocation.
When he got mad nobody dared to speak!
One year the boss invited this VP to bring his wife and
join them on a short vacation. The limo dropped them
at Newark Airport and they were shocked to see how
long the line was at the check in desk.
Red-faced, after just ten minutes of waiting, the boss began to
swear and call out to the check in staff.
Suddenly a lady’s voice was heard:
“Clarence – shut up!
All these people in line ahead of us also want to go somewhere.”
…..Clarence said not another word.
12 Above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear—not
by heaven or by earth or by anything else.
All you need to say is a simple “Yes” or “No.”
Otherwise you will be condemned.
If you want to avoid becoming a Clarence –
start letting patience bring rest to your speech!
Don’t worry – things will still get done.
As Leo Tolstoy said: “The two most powerful warriors
are patience and time.”
Conclusion Today’s fruit of the Spirit – Patience – will
produce in you the kind of person
they are looking for in heaven.
But long before you get there patience will produce in you
the kind of person your family and friends want to be with.
Let it grow! Oh and that’s important – fruit grows –
it doesn’t arrive on the plant instantaneously.
Illus: I went cherry and blueberry picking with my grandsons.
We only picked the ripe ones.
Why? Obvious isn’t it!
Let the fruit of patience grow in you –
expect it to take a while to get fully ripe.
Let’s not have the prayer “Lord, give me patience
and hurry up about it!”
How about rather pray “teach me Lord, to wait”