Take Heart and Have Patience (James 5:7-12)

Pastor Anthony Bacino, March 22, 2020
Part of the Preaching series, preached at a Sunday Morning service

In South Jersey a parking lot at Camden County Community College has been turned into a coronavirus testing site, but the director Louis Cappelli says despite promises from the federal government, they haven’t received any tests kits. This is really testing our patience. This virus is testing all of our patience’s.
David prayed in Psalms 70:1. “Make haste to help me, O Lord!” Like David, we don’t like to wait. We dislike the long lines at super-market checkout counters, and the traffic jams downtown and around the shopping malls. We hate to wait at the bank or at a restaurant. Now we all are experiencing a greater wait, the wait at home for covid-19 to be dispelled from all our lives. How we long for those much simpler and less threading waits.
David said,” PS 40:1 I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.
Patience is hard for people who await the drug or vaccine that will cure this disease, the wait to embrace those we love and to get our lives back to normal. In uncertain times, you can find yourself on edge, tense and nervous waiting for a better future. However, we all have internal and social resources to get through this challenging time. You have God’s Holy Spirit and are far more resilient than you give God credit for. We Christians can be resourceful, incredibly kind and generous even with social distancing we can confer support and prayers to one another! That is what makes us different and strong in the spirit.
Hymn-writer Phillips Brooks admitted, “The hardest task in my life is to sit down and wait for God to catch up with me.” Yet patience is part of God’s strategy for maturing us as Christians. It’s a lost skill we all are task to cultivate in these trying times.
Patience is a virtue. It is the fruit of the spirit and we must practice patience. We are call upon to wait this out until the storm passes and we can. Patience can be learned by the Spirit of God if a person desires to give themselves to the Lord and learn from Him. Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control…”
It’s easy to lose patience in times of great anxiety. That is what James is talking about. James gives us 3 examples of patient endurance, the first is…
I The Farmer (verses 7-9)
1. “Therefore” refers back to the trials and injustices inflicted on them by the rich. The word patience comes from a compound Greek word (makros) “long” and “temper” (thymos). The idea is to set the timer of one’s temper for a long run. Think long. Focus on the final lap in the race of life. Have a long temperament and be looking ahead to the Lord’s coming.
2. He gives an example of the farmer. If you are an impatient person you shouldn’t be a farmer. They must be patient. They must be patient with the soil. The farmer must pain and toil preparing the soil to sow the seed. The Jewish farmer would do this after the early rains. They must be patient with the seed. After the soil is prepared and the seed sowed, they must be patient with the season and wait on God. God gives the increase.
3. Verse 7 tells us because the fruit is “precious”, precious means costly. The harvest will bring reward. James is picturing the Christian here as a spiritual farmer, waiting for a spiritual harvest. — I Co. 3:6-8.
He reminds the Christian, the secret to endurance when the going gets tough, is that God is producing a harvest in our lives. He desires the fruit of our spirit to grow. The Lord’s return should stimulate every believer to patience, persistence and perseverance.
From the earliest stages of their faith these Jews were taught that Jesus was coming back soon. They lived with the expectancy of his imminent return. As far as they were concerned at any minute the sky might open up and with Jesus would return as he promise he would. We ought to live expecting the Lord’s return and to wait patiently on the Lord. Psalm 37:7….
So many times in our Christian walk we become impatient – Impatient with God. Let God have His perfect timing. He will complete in you what He desires in His time. — Phil.1:13 James exhorts these believers not to “grumble against one another but to be patience with each other.” The Lord is not done working on you and the same is true of others.
Verse # 9– Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.
4. Grudge not–rather “Murmur not”; “grumble not.” The Greek is literally, “groan”: a half-suppressed murmur of impatience and harsh judgment, not uttered aloud or freely. Having exhorted them to patience in bearing wrongs from the wicked, he now exhorts them to a forbearing spirit as to the offenses given by brethren.
Folks, when you become impatient it will flow out against others. We will be impatient with the people we live with, work with, recreate with, and now those we are shut-in with. One of the marks of impatience is to grumble and complain. —Do all things without murmurings and disputings: Phil 2:14
Illustration: A man’s car stalled in the heavy traffic as the light turned green. All his efforts to restart the engine failed, and a refrain of honking behind him made matters worse. He finally got out of his car and walked back to the first driver and said, “I’m sorry, but I can’t seem to get my car started. I tell you what – if you’ll go up there and give it a try, I’ll stay here and lean on your horn for you.” James gives another illustration of:

II. The Prophets (verse 10)
1. These early believers would have been familiar with this example of Old Testament prophets. When we read how these faithful servants suffered it offers us encouragement. This encouragement comes from knowing that God is in control.
These prophets encourage us by showing they were in the will of God, yet they suffered. They were proclaiming their message in “the name of the Lord.” Pain and suffering is sometimes due to your faithfulness to God. But how many of us can truly say that? The prophets encourage us by reminding us that God cares for those who suffer for His sake.
2. Someone once said “the will of God will not lead you where the grace of God cannot keep you. Remember the apostle Paul said; “God’s grace is sufficient.” James last example is…
III. Job (verse 11)
1. Job is the classic example of a man that patiently endured suffering and was blessed by God for his persevering faith. James reminds the believers there are blessings for those who persevere. Job lost all he had except a nagging wife and judgmental and non- supporting friends. Job did not understand what the cause of his sufferings was. He did not know what was going on behind the scenes with God and Satan, yet Job endured.
We Christians whine and complain over inconveniences, slights, and minor afflictions.
We can be thankful God is patient. We can be thankful God is long suffering. We can be thankful He has a long fuse and He’s long tempered because as Peter says in II Peter 3:15.
We need to be thankful that our God is long suffering, long tempered, very patient.
Patience is the trait that displays tolerance, compassion, understanding, and acceptance toward those who are slower than you in developing maturity, emotional freedom, and coping abilities. Patience is the ability to remain calm in the midst of turmoil because you know God is in control.


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James 5:7-12

7Be 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. 8Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. 9Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door. 10Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. 11Behold, 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. 12But 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. (KJV)

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