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Sermon #28 — James Series
Title: “Be Patient”
Text: James 5:7-12
Date: Tuesday Evening — December 15, 2015
Readings: Rex Bartley and Mark Henson
I have a subject tonight about which I can do very little preaching because it is a subject about which I know very little. But it is a subject about which God the Holy Spirit has been preaching to me for many, many years, reproving me, convicting me, correcting me, rebuking me, and teaching me. The title of my message is “Be Patient.” Our text will be James 5:7-12. — “Be Patient” (James 5:7-12).
More than thirty times in the New Testament you and I are told to be patient. These admonitions and exhortations to patience are given repeatedly throughout the Epistles because you and I constantly need the instruction. Our Savior’s word to us in this Book is — “In your patience possess ye your souls” (Luke 21:19). The Book of James begins telling us “that the trying of our faith worketh patience” (1:3). Then, the Apostle urges us to “Let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing” (1:4).
Proposition: In chapter five, James gives us very specific instructions about patience and gives us very clear reasons why we should be patient.
In the opening verses of James 5 Pastor James, writing to the Jews of the Dispersion, specifically addresses the rich and powerful among them who, though professing faith in Christ, were proud, ungodly, self-righteous people who oppressed, abused, persecuted, and God’s saints. These lost religionists are here condemned by God the Holy Ghost in the most scathing terms imaginable.
(James 5:1-6) “Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. (2) Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. (3) Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. (4) Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth. (5) Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter. (6) Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.”
Called to Patience
Beginning in verse 7, James addresses God’s saints, those brethren in Christ, those just ones scattered through all the earth, who are in every age oppressed, persecuted, slandered, maligned, and abused by lost religionists who have the power and the means to do them evil. And he tells us how we are to handle them, how we are always to handle them. This is God’s counsel to his afflicted and oppressed, despised and persecuted people. Let’s look at it word by word and line by line — James 5:7-12.
1. “Be patient.”
The Lord God here commands us to be patient, because while we live in this world, for as long as we live in this world, there will be, there must be dark and trying times through which we must be brought. — “We must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God” (Acts14:22). So James here teaches us to trust our God where we cannot trace him, submit to him when we cannot see him, and to wait for him when we walk through valleys dark.
2. “Be patient, therefore.”
The word “therefore” specifically refers us back to the ungodly deeds of wicked men who seek to do us harm.
· Be patient in the midst of affliction. — “Our Light Affliction!”
· Be patient in the midst of temptation.
· Be patient in the midst of darkness.
· Be patient in the midst of confusing providence.
· Be patient in all adversities.
But James here tells us, by the inspiration of God the Holy Ghost, to be patient in the midst wicked men and women who, while professing to be believers, while professing to be our brothers and sisters in Christ, while professing to love us, seek to destroy us. — How am I to handle such people? The answer is simple, clear, and forcibly given. — Don’t! — “Be patient.”
Read on (James 5:7). — “Be patient therefore, brethren.” Identifying theses saints as brethren James is telling them that if they are God’s children all is well and that they should therefore be patient, even in the midst of false brethren who seek to destroy them. — If we are God’s children, why shouldn’t we be patient? We are…
· Loved and Chosen of God!
· Redeemed, Justified, Forgiven, and Righteous!
· Regenerated, Called, and Sanctified!
· The Objects of God’s Constant Care!
“And can my heart aspire so high
To say, My Father, God?
Lord, at Thy feet, I fain would lie,
And learn to kiss the rod.
I would submit to all Thy will,
For Thou art good and wise;
Let each rebellious thought be still,
Nor one faint murmur rise.
Thy love can cheer the darkest gloom,
And bid me wait serene,
Till hopes and joys immortal bloom,
And brighten all the scene.
“My Father, God!” — Permit my heart
To plead her humble claim,
And ask the bliss those words impart,
In my Redeemer’s name.”
— Anne Steele
“Unto the Coming”
“Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord.” — Soon, our Lord will come!
· In Deliverance
· In Death
· In His Glory
When he comes, he will set all things in order and show all things in their true light (1 Corinthians 4:1-5).
(1 Corinthians 4:1-5) “Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. (2) Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. (3) But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. (4) For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord. (5) Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.”
Next, James tells us to be patient like farmers. — “Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.” The best, wisest, and only way we can rightly understand what God is doing in our lives is to faithfully serve our God in the place he has put us, like a farmer working his ground.
· The farmer’s work is unending.
· The farmer’s work requires sacrifice. — The Seed Sown.
· The farmer’s work requires patience. The farmer has to sew his seed in the spring and wait until the harvest time to see and enjoy the fruit of his labor.
· So it is with us.
(Psalm 27:14” “Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.”
(Psalm 37:34) “Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.”
(John 13:7) “Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.”
“Stablish your Hearts”
Now, read verse 8. James tells us — “Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.” How good, how kind, how gracious our God is to us!
(Psalm 103:12-14) “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. (13) Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. (14) For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.”
But we are all prone doubts and fears. Sadly, we are all prone to question God’s love and his providence! So we should seek to establish our hearts, ever seeking the grace and power and operation of God to have our hearts established in grace and faith by him. The means God uses to establish our hearts must not be despised, but cherished and used.
· Reading the Word
· Gospel Preaching
· Fellowship with One Another
When oppression and trouble, adversity and affliction, darkness and sorrow come crushing in upon you like a tidal wave of woe, “Be ye also patient…for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh!” When Christ comes and carries us home to Glory, we shall enter into the joys of our Lord and be forever free from all sin, sorrow, and suffering.
(Revelation 21:1-7) “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. (2) And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. (3) And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. (4) And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. (5) And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. (6) And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. (7) He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.”
Next, in verse 9, James tells us that patience means we are not to begrudge others. — “Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.”
· Don’t envy others. — “A man can receive nothing except it be given him from heaven” (John 3:27).
· Don’t set yourself up as the judge of others.
· Don’t even try to judge the affairs of your own life.
· Be patient. He who alone is just, and righteous, and true, “the Judge standeth at the door.”
In verse 10 James tells us to be patient, following the examples of the prophets of old. — “Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.” Look at those faithful men of old, so greatly used of God. They walked with God. They were highly favored of God. God revealed the mysteries of his will to them. And they spoke for God. Still, though they enjoyed God’s favor, they suffered much, being ridiculed, mocked, hated of men, and even put to death. Their afflictions and trials were great, yet they were patient, enduring to the end, leaving us examples to follow (Hebrews 11:37-40).
(Hebrews 11:37-40) “They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (38) (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. (39) And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: (40) God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.”
In verse 11, James tells us to be patient like Job. — “Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord.” How Job was afflicted! What sorrow, what trouble, what heartache he endured by the hand of God and the will of God!
· Physical, Bodily Woes!
· Financial, Property Woes!
· Family Sorrows and Woes!
· Woes of False Friends Setting in Judgment over Him!
· Woes of Inward Sin!
But Job endured all his woes, as seeing him who is invisible, in patience trust his God (Job 19:25-27). And you “have seen the end of the Lord.” When the Lord God got done with Job all his blessings were doubled!
· So it has been with us.
· So it shall be with us!
“Now I see, whate’er betide,
All is well, if Christ be mine;
He has promised to provide;
May He teach me to resign.
When a sense of sin and thrall
Forced me to the sinner’s Friend,
He engaged to manage all,
By the way and to the end.
“Cast,” He said, “on Me thy care;
`Tis enough that I am nigh;
I will all thy burdens bear;
I will all thy needs supply.”
Lord, I would indeed submit;
Gladly yield my all to Thee;
What Thy wisdom sees most fit,
Must be surely best for me.
Only when the way is rough,
And the coward flesh would start,
Let Thy promise and Thy love
Cheer and animate my heart.”
— John Newton
In the last part of verse 11 James tells us to be patient because we see, by the example of the way he dealt with Job, “that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.” What a great, great description that is of God our Savior!
· He is very pitiful!
· He is of tender mercy!
(Isaiah 63:7) “I will mention the lovingkindnesses of the LORD, and the praises of the LORD, according to all that the LORD hath bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which he hath bestowed on them according to his mercies, and according to the multitude of his lovingkindnesses.”
(Isaiah 63:9) “In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.”
One last thing: — Read verse 12 and ask God the Holy Ghost to teach you patience, knowing that it is tribulation that worketh patience, but it is by patience that we honor our God. Therefore, James here tells us to act like Job and urges us not to act like Moses in his fit of anger, when he smote the Rock the second time. — “But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.”
Impatience and murmuring against the providence of God manifest themselves in secret envy, sighs, and groans. And they are openly manifest when we break out in rash oaths and profanity. By such we profane God’s holy name!
“Peace, my complaining, doubting heart,
Ye busy cares be still;
Adore the just, the sov’reign Lord,
Nor murmur at His will.
Unerring wisdom guides His hand;
Nor dares my guilty fear,
Amid the sharpest pains I feel,
Pronounce His hand severe.
To soften ev’ry painful stroke,
Indulgent mercy bends;
And unrepining when I plead,
His gracious ear attends.
Let me reflect with humble awe
Whene’er my heart complains,
Compar’d with what my sins deserve,
How easy are my pains!
Yes Lord, I own Thy sov’reign hand,
Thou just, and wise, and kind;
Be ev’ry anxious thought suppressed,
And all my soul resign’d.
But oh! Indulge this only wish,
This boon I must implore;
Assure my soul, that Thou art mine,
My God, I ask no more.
— Anne Steele