Christian Patience.
James 5: 7-11
 

Jas 5:7  Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. 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. 

Jas 5:8  Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. 

Jas 5:9  Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door. 

Jas 5:10  Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. 

Jas 5:11  Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy. 


We’ve all heard the age old saying, “Patience is a virtue”; We are told “Good things come to those who wait” but what does patience really mean to those who claim Christ? What does it truly mean to be patient and how can we be more patient?

Its not an easy subject to write about, for it reveals all the weaknesses in me. Every time I look at what patience is, it reveals how impatient I often am.

We live in a world that is the epitome of impatience. We very often want what we want now. “I want it and I want it now”.
We live in a society of instant gratification. More and more over the years, we have seen how people will get themselves into debt because of impatience.
It is no longer a case of saving up for something and when you can afford it you acquire it, No, get it on higher purchase or credit card, buy now pay later.

I can remember the days when we only got jelly and custard at Christmas or special occasions. When Christmas and birthdays were special. Nowadays, if we want something we get it, we don’t want to wait for anything.
It is a quick fix, throw away world.

It is interesting to read the definition of what patience really is.
Patience is equivalent to Calm – Perseverance – Tolerance – Understanding – Compassion – Mindfulness and Hopeful.

We could also look at what patience is not.
It is not Impulsive – Complaining – Judgemental – Pessimistic – Hasty – Frantic or Anxious.

So, knowing what patience is and what it is not, how should we practice this virtue as Christians?

Patience with people.

How should we as Christians exercise this quality concerning our families, our brethren in Christ, friends and enemies.


Jas 5:9  Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.
 

We are very quick to judge others, jumping to conclusions, without sometimes knowing the full story or having all the facts.

We must try to understand where that individual is coming from before we judge them. We must always remember that there are always two sides to an argument.
It is essential to be an active and present listener when they speak to you.
Remembering the scripture that we should judge not lest we be judged.


Mathew 7: 1. “Judge not, that you be not judged. 
2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 
3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 
4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 
5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.


It is imperative that we learn from the examples given to us in God’s word.

Our text says in
V11 Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord.

We have heard of this patience and we have observed the end product of that patience, in that God rewarded Job’s patience.
However, We may observe or read of others patience and the faithfulness of God but we must exercise this virtue to receive the end result.
We must put it into practice, emulating these men of patience.
The Apostle Paul tells us to follow the examples laid.


Phil 3:17 Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern.
 

We have a great example in the Lord Himself.

2Pe 3:9  The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 

The ESV says The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

We are to walk in the way we have been called, in patience/longsuffering.

Eph 4: 1 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, 
2 with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, 
3 endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

 

1Co 13:4  Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 

Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
 

Patience with Self

We must not be too hard on ourselves, God is patient with us.
He deals with us 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  We can only imagine how much we test God all the time, yet He is patient and longsuffering towards us.  He never buckles under our weight. It is at times like this that He carries us like the shepherd carries his sheep. He has an endless supply of patience, and He’s willing to share it with us.   
The scripture exhorts us to love our neighbour as ourselves.

Speaking of the two greatest commandments, Jesus said:


Mark 12:31 And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

It is very difficult sometimes to love ourselves, for we know what we are. However God knows us better than we know ourselves and yet He still loves us.
It was whilst we were yet sinners that Christ died for us.
We must learn to love ourselves.


Patience in the Faith
 

It would be easier sometimes to give up, especially when trials or persecution come. Our faith wanes, we get weary but we know we must press on.

Luk 8:15  But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience. 

Luk 21:19  In your patience possess ye your souls. 

Patience is character building, If we want patience, it does not come easy, it is something that is nurtured.

Rom 5:3  And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 

Rom 5:4  And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 
 

This is why the Lord lets us suffer tribulations and trials, because this works patience in us.
However, we know that He is right there in it with us.


Psalm 46:1“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
Deuteronomy 31:8 “It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”

Col 1:11  Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; 


Our text tells us we are to be like the farmer that plants his seed and waits for the result. He cannot rush it, it comes with time.

Jas 5:7  Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. 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. 
Rom 8:25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

 

We cannot see the future, we don’t know what is in store for us, whether it is trial or tribulation but we do know from what scripture says, that God does know the future.
We know that God knows the end from the beginning.


Isaiah 46:10  Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done,
Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure,’

 

We are also exhorted in scripture to press on in faith believing and to finish the race. As the Apostle Paul did himself and urged each of us to do the same.

Phil 3:14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
2 Tim 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

 

For this race we will need patience and no doubt we will experience the trials and tribulation that results in patience.
God is working with us and though us and we need to pray for His strength as we face our future.


Phil 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

We don’t have to go it alone, when doubt and fear comes and when we feel weak and feel like giving in, we can remember what we learn from the Word of God.

 

Joshua 1:9 "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

Isaiah 41:10 "Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

Deuteronomy 31:6 "Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you."

We see how all the prophecies in the Old Testament of Jesus first coming, came to pass. There are more prophecies concerning His second coming. It is not if He should come but when He comes. It is a certainty and we must walk by faith letting patience have her work in our lives whilst we wait for the fullness of our salvation.

James 1:4-8  But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

Galatians 6:9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

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