James 5 Lesson

Patience

BEING PATIENT IN AN IMPATIENT WORLD

“Patience is not the ability to wait. Patience is to be calm no matter what happens.” – Roy T. Bennett.

This is an important quote for Christians to think about. Many times in life, we want to do things our way and on our time. But that is not how God wants us to live our lives.

He wants our focus to be on glorifying Him and serving others.

God wants followers thattrustin His plan and allow it to unfold on His timeline, not ours.

We live in a world of instant gratification that tells us we need more, and we need it now!

This is how the world thinks. But is that how Christians are supposed to think?

To answer that question, we need to see what the Bible has to say.

LEARNING TO BE CONTENT IN ALL THINGS

In his letter to the Philippians, the Apostle Paul wrote:

  • “I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.  I know how to get along withhumblemeans, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and sufferingneed.  I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” –Philippians 4:10-13.

When we pray for something to happen and it does not, we need to understand that God has a plan. And like Paul said, whatever that plan involves, we need to accept it, embrace it, and trust it.

  • “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” -Jeremiah 29:11.

GOD’S TIMING

In Mathew’s Gospel, Jesus made the following statement. Notice how Jesus makes no mention of time.

  • “Truly I say to you, if you havefaith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ it will happen.   And whatever you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive it all.” – Mathew 21:21-22.

Too often we pray to God and expect to have our prayers answered immediately.   That is not how God operates.  As we think about Jesus’ words, we need to remember two things:

  1. Jesus says that we need to have faith in order for our prayers to be answered,
  2. Faith requires work.

In his epistle, James wrote:

  • "For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.” –James 2:26.

If we pray with a pure heart and put our faith in God, He will answer our prayers.   The answer may come in a day, a year, or much further down the road, but God will answer our prayer.   As we wait for God to answer our prayer, we need to remain patient, behopeful, and we need to keep working!

BIBLE VERSES ABOUT PATIENCE

There are many verses about patience in the Bible.  For today’s lesson, we have selected the following five:

  1. “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” - Romans 12:12,
  2. “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” - Galatians 6:9,
  3. “For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have?    But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.” - Romans 8:24-25,
  4. “Restin the Lord and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.   Cease from anger and forsake wrath; do not fret; it leads only to evildoing.   For evildoers will be cut off, but those who wait for the Lord, they will inherit the land.” - Psalm 37:7-9,
  5. “Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.” - Isaiah 40:31.

CONCLUSION

Sometimes in life, things will go as planned. But many times they will not. In good times and bad, we need to remember that God loves us and has a plan. It is a plan for good and not for evil, to give us a future and hope!

As we meditate on these words, we need to ask God to grant us the patience and trust that we will need to allow things to play out on His timeline, not ours. Like Paul, we can learn to be content in all things, regardless of our circumstances.

We will end today’s lesson with the following scripture on patience from the Book of James:

  • “Thereforebe patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near.” – James 5:7-8.

Comments

Michael

"The world" and God are running in two opposite directions.

Where God teaches us to be humble and to serve others.

"The world" tells us to look out for ourselves, see how much money we can make, and to buy more "things".

This scripture is telling us that when we are running in the direction that the world wants us to go, we are running away from God and therefore being hostile towards Him.

God wants to come first. He commands it.

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