FAITH WORKS PERSEVERINGLY

 

James 5:7-11

FAITH WORKS #15

 

Often Christians are called to persevere under the most difficult of circumstances.  We already know that we could at anytime face trials, tribulations and/or persecution.  In such situations we are called upon to persevere. The Christians that James was writing to were facing various trials, tribulations, and persecution or mistreatment. One of the problems they faced was mistreatment or persecution from wealthy land owners who would withhold or cheat them out of their pay.  These wealthy land owners are rebuked in James 5:1-5.

 

James next encourages those who are persecuted or mistreated to persevere in spite of their circumstances. In James 5:7-11, we learn that we are to:

 

PERSEVERE BY EXPECTING THE LORD’S COMING – Vss. 7-8

 

Vs. 7 – The word patient here means to be ‘long-tempered’. It has to do with our reaction to people who persecute, abuse, or cause us difficulty.

 

We are to be patient until the Lord comes. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18

 

When do people most want the Lord to come?

Not when things are going well, but when things are not going well.

The church and individuals are most anxious for the Lord to come when there is persecution and discomfort. Perhaps you have been most anxious for the Lord’s return during times of adversity. If you have, you are very normal.   

 

James gives us an illustration of the farmer waiting for rain.

 

Vs. 8 – Just as the farmer is patient. We are also to be patient.

 

In our patience we are to establish or strengthen or confirm our hearts.  One of the ways we do this is by anxiously anticipating His coming whether we things are going well or not so well. Matthew 25:13, Mark 13:35-37, Luke 12:40, Titus 2:11-13, 1 Peter 4:7

 

Vs. 8 – James next tells us that the coming of the Lord is “drawing nigh”.

 

It’s been almost 2000 years now since He left.  How can we say that his coming is near?  There are many who don’t think that He will return at all!  Things haven’t changed since Bible times!

 

2 Peter 3:8-9 - According to these verses, Jesus has just been God a couple of days according to God’s perspective. That’s not long at all! 

 

The Lord is not a slacker!  

The Lord is delaying so more can be saved!

 

PERSEVERE BY EXCLUDING GRUMBLING

 

Vs. 9 – This grumbling was probably an inward sigh or groaning.  It was a bad attitude towards others. There was bitterness towards others that would easily be displayed in the ways others were treated.

 

There was a critical spirit afoot.

 

And James warns that we will be judged for that critical spirit! Matthew 7:1-2

 

“The judge is standing at the door.”   

If Jesus is coming back soon, and He is, the judge is close by! 2 Corinthians 5:10, 1 Corinthians 4:5

 

When we persevere we don’t grumble or whine.

We might not be able to change things, but we won’t complain about others and let it get us down.   

 

PERSEVERE BY EXAMINING BIBLICAL MODELS

   

Vs. 10 – To be called a “servant of God” is a honor.

But with that designation has often come suffering and affliction at the hands of men.

 

James audience, which was suffering affliction was encouraged to remember the example of the long suffering and patience of the Old Testament prophets.  Here was a group whose suffering for the cause of righteousness were legendary. Matthew 5:11-12, Matthew 23:37, 1 Thessalonians 2:14-15

 

Some Old Testament Prophets that suffered persecution or hardship:

·       Moses – children of Israel, Aaron and Miriam

·       David from Saul

·       Elijah by Ahab and Jezebel

·       Micaiah by Ahab – sent to prison for speaking the truth. Diet was bread and water.

·         Amos - Amos 7:10-13

·       Jeremiah – thrown into muddy pit and left to die

·       Ezekiel – wife died

·       Daniel – lion’s den

·       Hosea – unfaithful wife  

   

And besides this formidable list, we can add those who have suffered as martyrs for Christ in times past, and even in our present day.

   

   

Compared to what others have suffered for the cause of Christ, I have had to endure very little.  If I am forced to suffer I am to endure with the same patience of the Old Testament prophets and the Christian mar

 

Vs. 11 – The prophets that endured were blessed.

 

Then there was Job who persevered.

He lost all things and became dreadfully sick.

And yet, although Job did question God, and curse the day he was born, and argue his righteousness with his comforters, Job never denied or cursed God.

 

Job 13:15 - Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.

 

Job 19:25-27 - For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: [26] And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:  [27] Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.

 

And in the end, after God appeared to Job and Job repented, God blessed Job once again.   

 

Job 42:12-13 - So the Lord blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses. [13] He had also seven sons and three daughters.

 

PERSEVERE BY EXPECTING THE LORD’S COMING

PERSEVERE BY EXCLUDING GRUMBLING

PERSEVERE BY EXAMINING BIBLICAL MODELS   

 

 

 

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