Sermon Notes: Sunday May 30, 2021
Sermon Title: “Patience 101” (Click Here to Watch Sermon)
Scripture Reading: James 5:7-11
Pastor Dennis Martin
If there is ever a way a believer can add value to their life, it is through developing patience. Some things you will have to do by developing patience. You are not alone. Patience is something every believer should have in them. It is one of the key things in life we should develop.
Everyone who knows Pastor Dennis, knows he is a man of patience. As a believer, husband, father, son – a wearer of many hats, he is a man of patience. Patience is something that needs to be developed. One must take the time to develop patience. There are many attributes and qualities of patience. The book of James was written to believers going through a hard time. Patience is one of the many things we can get from the book of James. James was encouraging believers to be patient. Be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain (James 5:7)
James shows us how patience can be better understood by looking at the farmer. We have to have patience for the things that are uncontrollable in life. The farmer buys his seed and he tills the ground but he isn’t certain it will rain. This is a patience that speaks synonymous to hope. To develop your patience, you have to be a person who has hope. You have to believe in something. You cannot begin to believe that all the work you are doing right now is for nothing. If James is speaking about patience, he is speaking to us to have the patience of a farmer. The farmer is a man with a level of faith that is synonymous to hope. Hope for some people means their wishes. And, the strength of their hope is consistent with the level of their desire. But the hope of the believer is based on the faithfulness of God. Where there are situations outside of our control, we still, like the farmer, have to be productive through the process. The farmer has experienced rain before. The farmer is learning to have hope for what he experienced throughout his profession. Our hope is based on the faithfulness of God. God has proven Himself faithful in the past. Thy rod and thy staff comfort us (Psalm 23:4). The rod and the staff are two different sticks with two different functions. The rod is a place of offense, the staff is the walking stick for the journey. When you look at a shepherd’s rod, it has battle wear and tear on it – our experiences can show on us. It is the grace of God that does not allow us to look fully like what we’ve been through. Even though our present situation may be the valley of the shadow of death, we don’t have to fear any evil, we can be people of patience. The farmer has experienced trouble before but he still labours – he still has hope. When you go to the grocery store, you see the fruit of the farmer’s labour. James is telling us to have the hope of the farmer.
When we have hope, it gives us courage and endurance. These are all things you can use to develop your patience. Hope can offer confidence in the face of doubt. For you to have a higher level of patience, you need to be a person that has hope. Hope by patience develops commitment to the harvest. Many of us don’t understand the life that we are experiencing right now is a result of our lack of commitment. And, we lack commitment sometimes because we don’t have the patience of the farmer. You can’t be sitting down waiting for nothing yet you are labouring. James tells us of a faith that is contingent on work. Standing still and doing nothing is not it. Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit. (Jeremiah 17:7-8)
That is the person that puts their trust in the Lord. If you develop your patience with a level of hope, you will be like the person that is planted. They that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31) It is action. Being patient doesn’t mean being indecisive or being naive. The patience of the believer hinges on the faithfulness of God. God is always faithful.
The second point, James 5:10: My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and patience. In this pillar of patience, when we consider the prophets, James is telling us to have patience for people and patience for the promise. The prophets had a level of patience. Prophets had to speak to people who would never change. Jeremiah cried for a nation that would never change. God even told Jeremiah don’t even pray for them because they will never change. He was a voice to them from the Lord (Jeremiah 7:16-28). These prophets had to be patient with the people as well as endure many things at the same time as they were ministering unto God. They had patience that outlasted the test of time. Isaiah prophesied about Jesus who never came in his time. To the people then, he probably died as a false prophet. Because of the goodness of God, we know that God won’t allow us to receive a promise and not see it in our lifetime. You could be mentoring people, and they don’t want to receive what you are saying. You play the hero for so long so eventually you become the bad guy. You have to have patience for people while waiting on the promise of God. While you are being patient with people, you need to also be patient for the Word of God to come to fruition. A patient person can face tedious and uncomfortable situations without getting outside of who they are. For you to develop your patience, you have to be able to adapt. You need to be changing and modifying yourself for a situation and you also need to be choosing to go out of your comfort zone. We learn this from the prophet Ezekiel who was a priest formally. God put Ezekiel through a season, where he had to first speak to a mountain, then another thing. Even though we get excited about him speaking to the dry bones, God allowed him to evolve. He was formerly a priest but the Babylonians tore down the temples so Ezekiel would have been jobless if not for God adapting him. We have to be able to adapt. From the prophet, it teaches us how to be patient. We have to be people that can tolerate when seasons are rough. Sometimes we have to wait until the season we finally achieve. We have to be able to abide. The prophet Elijah had to abide even during a famine. God was able to provide for him and maintain him. God enables us to abide. We can learn from the patience of the prophet.
We have to be people of accountability and commitment. We learned this from Jeremiah. Even though it seemed like nothing was going well for him, and like God cheated him, he decided to speak because the word of God was like fire shut up in his bones. We need to be self-accountable. Hebrews 4:13: And no creature is hidden from His sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. It tells us that there is nothing hidden from God. God sees everything. Therefore, whatever we say we are going to do, we have to give an answer to God. We don’t quit too easily because we know there is an accountability factor. When we have the patience of the prophets, we have the ability to adapt, abide and be self-accountable.
The benefits and the pillars of patience. James 5:11: Behold, 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. We have to have the patience of Job. The ability to be patient and to do what you think you should do despite many problems. We have to be able to be patient. This verse is talking not about the patience of the farmer (out of control situations), nor the patience of the prophet (patience for people and promises) but instead, patience with God, when you don’t know what He is doing and you wonder if He cares.
We have to know that God is always doing things that are in our best interest. Patience through Job’s life never allowed him to change who he was. Job never gave into that. Job’s friends gave false accusations. Don’t allow people to dictate who you are. Patience allows you to endure the words of people. People will say things to directly hurt you and we have to have the patience of Job. This is Job’s wife, a close person to him who told him to “curse God and die” (Job 2:9). Be confident in who you are and in who God called you to be. Patience in this talks about control with one self. Job was unwavering. He had himself. People who have themselves are people that allow God to have them. You have to be patient with God in this season as He begins to develop you and challenges desires you have. While you are going through trials, God is still merciful and His plans are still good for you. Allow the process to take its full work in your life. We have to have the patience of the farmer, be committed to our harvest, we can’t quit easily, we have to have patience rooted in hope, not in our desires of what we want to see take place in our life, but rather, the believer’s hope relies on the faithfulness of God. We have to have a high level of patience for people. We can’t allow people to get to us at this time. We must guard our hearts with all diligence (Proverbs 4:23). We must be a person of hope to others and be part of that journey. We must ask God to give us grace for the race to believe God for the word of God for the lives of others and for our own. We need to have the patience of Job which gives us a patience that endures the process. As it was for Job, God will ensure we have double for our trouble.