- Sermon Notes
Hurry Up and Wait
When I asked the Lord for a message He put this one on my heart almost immediately!Then I thought - Wow - this is a tough topic.
One of the most common phrases we heard from our parents or one we also say to our kids…is BE PATIENT.
We are alive and impatient - No one is crushing that character quality - Driving/Social Media/Life’s Challenges/Independence - we want instantaneous results and satisfaction.
I invited the Jr High & High School students who are with us tonight to stay for the message.
God has been how patient with us?
James is a call to an uncomfortable place - It’s a call to do an uncomfortable thing - You have been called to live in the middle!
Most, if not all of you are thinking, “In the middle of what?”
Some theologians call it the ‘already’ and the ‘not yet.’Already Christ has come.Already He has suffered and died and rose again.
We already have the Word of God and the Spirit has been given to us.
But not yet has sin been completely defeated.Not yet has the world been restored to what it was designed to be.Not yet has the Kingdom come.
So, we’re called to live right here in the middle of the ‘already’ and the ‘not yet’, thankful for God’s grace, but aware there’s more to come.
•Confession - I’m not good at it.I don’t like to wait - - What about you?
A girl named Patience…
If you could have a textbook on what it means to live with faith & patience in between the already and the not yet; it would be James.
•Let’s look at the context.
•This is not James the brother of John - The author is James, the son of Joseph & Mary - James the half brother of JESUS.
•Can you imagine that house as a brother?And my boys thought life was unfair sometimes…
•He went from not believing in Jesus until the resurrection - to being an early church leader - -Account in Acts 15.
•James has already addressed believers in the midst of their trials.
•So it was written to scattered Christians - telling them that trials are important in producing depth in their faith.
•That we need to believe God’s promises and strive to grow in the midst of these trials.
•Aren’t you glad you came tonight?
I. Until the Coming of the Lord
- What is Patience - do you have these qualities in your life: quietness of heart or a resting soul in the midst of trials?
- What role do we allow sin to play in our patience - causes us to not like trials and shrinks things down to here and now.
- Self-indulgence will distance us from anticipating Jesus return.
- James reminds us of the coming of the Lord - Why?Have a perspective of eternity or you cannot understand the call to patience!
I Corinthians 9:24-27; Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.
- Francis Chan wrote a highly regarded book on the subject of preparing for eternity; You and me Forever - Marriage in light of eternity
He discusses this verse as our life’s race on this earth and points out our later years might be the only time of our life we can sprint faster - for Christ - knowing what? That we can collapse into His arms!
A. A farmer’s faith and patience
My dad grew up on a farm - a hard worker - patient living - stellar man of integrity - I always thought of him as a patient man - even when my brothers and I tested him.
Do we get that?Yet most are not good at it.
• Storms come and produce 1 of 4 reactions:
FearWe RunWe Fight it
Or…we have the faith to trust in God’s desire to teach us and give us the grace to press on.
• In waiting, you’re getting grace.
vs 8; James is such a good pastor - “You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.”
• Waiting exposes weakness, our doubts - questioning the goodness of the Lord - wondering really, will He be faithful to His promises.
Matthew 25:31-32; "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
• Our minds can’t handle this scene - But stay tuned because Pastor Matthew will get us there soon and you won’t want to miss that study.
Tonight, two choices - allow yourself to revisit God’s love and His goodness to you?Or…
B. Grumbling never solves the wait
Meditate on God’s Word
Remind yourselves of His many promises
Remember the grace of God in our own life
Feed ourselves with the richness of the Gospel rather than give way to doubt, fear or worse - we should enjoy God’s goodness.
Vs 9 James keeps going; “Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged. Behold the judge is standing at the door.”
Now be honest - when you are in traffic and becoming impatient - don’t you have the phrase in mind; “this traffic drives me crazy”?Or worse?
Rich and Jordi started this church in their living room…Now hundreds…are we grateful or do some of us long for the old days…do we celebrate what God is doing or complain about some growth pains?
C. “The judge is standing at our door”
II. The Steadfast Are Blessed
• vs. 11; Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.
Here’s another way to look at what Steadfastness & Patience is:
Maybe this call to steadfastness is a reminder that there’s never a moment when it’s more important to obey than that moment when you’re suffering.
A. Job - an unlikely example
When we wait we need to remember the character of the Lord.
• He is not meanHe is not vengeful
• He is a God of what….mercy & compassion
• And yet…and yet…we dare to be impatient with others!Remember what I said earlier, we all need to own this…
• Doesn’t He give us moments of relief?
• But hear this - doesn’t the relief He gives us come after some refinement in our life - after some changes in our life - like Job, a man blessed by God - because at the end of the story Job is a different man.
B. God calls us to integrity
•We finally hit verse 12 - seems like a completely different topic doesn’t it?
“But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your ‘yes’ be yes and your ‘no’ be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation.”
Ephesians 4:25; Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.
THIS IS A CALL TO INTEGRITY
But he knew that there was blessing on the other side!
James 5 - In its call to patience, James the Pastor preaches to you Jesus is the person.
Romans 12:12; Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
James 5:7-12 NASB
7 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. 8 You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. 9 Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door. 10 As an example, brethren, of suffering and patience, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord's dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful. 12 But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath; but your yes is to be yes, and your no, no, so that you may not fall under judgment