James 5 Lesson

Patience

Today we will conclude our 5-day study on the book of James.   During our previous studies, we covered the following topics:

Now in Chapter 5, James will turn his attention to the subject of patience.   Our focus verse for today’s lesson is:

  • “Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord.” – James 5:7.

Patience is a characteristic that God wants us to have.   Whether in a worldly sense, or spiritually, we are commanded to be patient.

We live in a world of deadlines and other pressures that can make it easy for us to lose our focus if we are not careful.   As Christians, our top priority is Jesus and obeying His commandments.As we follow Him, we need to let things unfold along His timeline, not ours.

Jeremiah 29:11 says:

  • “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.”

If we believe this scripture, we understand that everything in our lives will happen according to God’s plan, and we should be at peace with that.

In Mathew’s Gospel, Jesus said the following:

  • “Truly I say to you, if you have faith 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.

Is there any mention of time in this passage?

No there is not!  

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 we need to have faith for our prayer to be answered.
  2. Faith requires works.   A few chapters back, we read the following scripture, “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’s answer to our prayer, we need to be patient, and we need to keep working!

There are many scriptures that talk about patience.   Here are a few:

  • “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” – Galatians 5:22-23.

  • “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” - Romans 12:12.

  • “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.

  • “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.

  • “Rest in 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.

  • “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.

Whatever we do, and wherever we go, we are first and foremost children of God.

As we are filled with hopes and dreams, sometimes things will go as planned, but more often they will not.   As children of God, we are to be obedient to His commands and acceptant of His timeline.   When we allow God to lead us down His path, everything will fall into place as it should be, and we will experience, “The peace of God, which surpassed all comprehension.” – Philippians 4:7 (a).  

The Bible says that this peace will:

  • “Guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:7 (b).

We will conclude today’s lesson with the following scripture on patience:

  • “Therefore be 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. Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door.” – James 5:7-9.

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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