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James 5:7-12

Hurry Up and Wait

  • Shawn Dean
  • April 23, 2018

James reminds us of the coming of the Lord - Why? Have a perspective of eternity or you cannot understand the call to patience!

  • Sermon Notes
  • Scripture

Hurry Up and Wait

James 5:7-12(pm)

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?

James 5:7-12

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

  • 4-5 months of wait in the Palestine fields
  • We can’t rush fruitfulness can we?
  • When we are there, this wait we all struggle with will seem like a very short wait.
  • But we like to sit down and read 1 verse and “I’m good to go” - Lord - give me patience!
  • James uses a Farmer to explain this; his analogy is like a theology lesson.
  • Why is the farmer able to wait?
  • Because they understand that waiting is not useless; it’s not meaningless.
  • Something amazing happens as a farmer waits.Wouldn’t you agree that the farmer understands radical change is happening even though he can’t see it?
  • Seeds are generating shoots, going deeper into the earth and up toward the topsoil.
  • In our faith, most of us farm after we see the shoots show themselves, grow into a plant, grow blossoms and then grow fruit…
  • 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.

  • Radical change is happening in the midst of our wait on the Lord.
  • Patience is not the reward you will get at the end of the wait.
  • Hear this, waiting is about what you will become as you wait!
  • Transformed more into the image of the Lord Jesus Christ - waiting has meaning and purpose!
  • 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

  • Don’t you just love what it says in Romans about Abraham?As Abraham waited those long years for his promised son, Isaac, he grew strong in faith.
  • That’s the way it should be! We don’t need counseling or a book on the subject do we?
  • Isn’t the answer for you and me as we wait and become impatient; isn’t the answer
  • 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.”

  • If there’s one very prevalent and common sin when we’re forced to wait, it’s the sin of grumbling - agree?
  • When life overwhelms us we often grumble?
  • Suffering most often creates selfishness instead of patience - patience in knowing God is preparing us for His return.
  • Using us as ambassadors
  • 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?

  • James wants us to be careful about being quick to impatience.
  • C. “The judge is standing at our door”   

  • Vs 9; I think when James says this, he wants us to understand the seriousness with which God views grumbling; it is not a little sin.
  • Is your life a grumble or is it a hymn of praise?
  • Are you resting in the purpose of the Lord?
  • In Deuteronomy, Israel was on the border across the river from the Land of Promise, and spies came back and said, “It’s filled with other nations and giant warriors and the like,” the people grumbled against God.
  • And God names that grumbling as an act of rebellion against Him.
  • I think I need to own this - I think you need to own this…
  • If it’s easy for you to sit here and sing, “Great is thy faithfulness” and yet hours later, grumble through the Dutch Bros coffee line or against circumstances in our lives - that’s a problem - address it!
  • This whole topic of patience this evening is NOT about the struggles of our mouth; they are much deeper - the struggles of our hearts.
  • 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:

  • I really do believe His way is right and best
  • I really do believe that He is infinitely wiser than I would ever be.
  • I really do believe I am never qualified to judge Him for what He’s doing in my life.
  • If that’s what the attitude of patience is, then Steadfastness is patience in action.
  • It’s the firmness of direction, the firmness of purpose, the conviction that I have surrendered patience to the Lord.
  • 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

  • I know - here we go again - Job
  • But God allowed Satan to take it all away from Job, everything but his life.And yet Job was still singing & worshipping.
  • Imagine when his wife said, Curse God and Die?”Wow - thanks my suitable helper!
  • I suggest the reason Job is given as an example is because it demonstrates how great God’s grace and patience are in our struggles.
  • Job did wait, and yes, he waited in a messy way. But he did not forsake God - no addictions, no curse of God - no lack of faith.
  • And God returned wealth & more to Job - the blessing of steadfastness & patiently waiting.
  • When you read Job 42 you are reading a living, historical demonstration of what James is trying to teach us tonight.
  • The end of Job’s debate with God and the end of God’s very powerful lecture of Job.
  • So what is the blessing?What is the blessed condition of steadfastness and patience?
  • You can not purchase it!
  • You could not deserve it -
  • You could not earn it -
  • It is the blessing of radical heart change - isn’t that what God’s after from each of us?
  • Job is reformed in his trial, this is a new man, better equipped to speak of God’s greatness.
  • 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.”

  • James appears to be speaking into a culture where people are making oaths constantly.
  • We are reminded NOT to allow our impatience to cause us to lose our tongues and say something we can’t deliver or will regret.
  • But look more closely at this verse with me because there’s more than just a warning.
  • He doesn’t just say, “don’t make an oath”.
  • He’s telling us that our speech should be able to be received at face value…
  • The character of your heart…
  • 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

  • No matter my grief, how great my trial, I will be a person of character - speak what is clear and true.
  • Be committed to the integrity of the heart!
  • How does this passage greet you?
  • How’s your patience?How do you build it?
  • Can you pick out those moments God is patient with you?
  • Use those to motivate you - to hold you accountable…
  • Do we recognize that you have to have patience in order to have more of it?
  • I know every word of this passage is right.
  • I know how important it is for us to embrace that we don’t rule our own lives.
  • We are not alone in this struggle.
  • He knew that He would be facing injustice and rejection.
  • He knew he’d be facing the cross.
  • But he knew that there was blessing on the other side!

  • He did it all for our salvation, not just so we could have an eternity with Him - - yes praise Him for that.
  • But He went to the cross so in the Here and Now, we could run to someone who gets it.
  • He understands, He purchased our forgiveness, our empowerment, our deliverance.
  • James 5 - In its call to patience, James the Pastor preaches to you Jesus is the person.

  • He’s your hopeHe’s why you wait
  • He’s how you wait
  • He meets you in the wait with glorious grace
  • 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

     

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