How does faith work when you are suffering? James 5:7-12
- XN & Non – Same hardship, diff’t perspective, diff’t reaction
Bedside story of the elderly woman
-XN, fiancé ran off friend, never married, health problems in & out wheelchair, worked @ church, denom stole bldg., @ church every Sun, phone book, 0 visitors
“Pastor this is the best day of my life. My suffering is over, & my Savior is coming for me!”
-I’m crying. She’s laughing.
– I’m a preacher. her life a sermon. “patient”; “not grumble”; “judge”; “suffering” “steadfastness” “the Lord is at hand” “the Lord is compassionate & merciful”
God’s Harvest is Coming
James 5:7 Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. 8 You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.
Human history like farming = respect the seasons, cannot rush the harvest
:7 “Be patient”, “being patient”: 8 “be patient” :9 “patience”
:10 “patience” 11 “steadfast” “steadfastness”
If God is all-powerful, all-knowing, and all good why is there suffering and evil?
- There is no God – Atheism
- God is not all-powerful – Finite Godism
- God is not all-knowing – Evolutionary Godism, Open Theism
- God is not all good – Pantheism, Panentheism
- There is no suffering and evil – subjectivism, pluralism
- God is not done yet so patiently live by faith – Christianity
-Harvest = pick fruit, burn dead branches
God’s Judgment is Coming
James 5:9 Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door.
- Suffering people become selfish people
- Suffering people become leaky people
- Suffering people become judgey people
JESUS 1. is coming 2. not when we want
- Indicative: What God does. Jesus’ 2nd Coming – 300+ X in NT, 1 every 13 verses
- Imperative: What God commands us to do – be patient & prepared for Judgment Day
1. Jesus judge for you 2. You judged by Jesus
Do what you can do and wait for God to do what only He can do
James 5:10 As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 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. 12 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.
Matt 5:34–37 Do not take an oath at all…Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.
Example #1 Prophets – “As an example of suffering & patience…take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord”
Heb 11:35-38 “Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated— of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.
- God’s heroes = world’s villains
- We go through a little hell to get to heaven
Example #2 Job – “the steadfastness of Job”
1. Godly 2. Healthy 3. Wealthy
Family – 7 sons, 3 daughters
- Lost everything but his God
- Honest about the grief, struggle of faith, pain
- Got most everything back (not kids until Kingdom)
Warning: inner vow & outer oath
=w/self counterfeit to covenant w/God (“never again”)
1. We make vows rashly amidst pain.
2. Some of us make vows at a very young age.
3. Some vows become entrenched as generational curses.
4. We become loyal to the vow instead of the Lord.
5. Violating a vow often triggers an emotional overreaction.
6. We have a hard time not seeing our vows as equal to God’s laws which is legalism.
7. We punish people who break our vows.
Spiritual Warfare/Demonic Stronghold
1. Satan 1st vow: Is 14:13-14 “I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly…I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’”
2. Job – backdrop Spiritual Warfare (3 people in ur relationship w/God)
2 Train Tracks (keys up)
James 5:11 we consider those blessed who remained steadfast…you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.
1. God blesses the steadfast (favored, graced, joyful) HOLY SPIRIT
2. God has a purpose for the steadfast (“the last part of a process”)
-Heb 2:10 Jesus was made “perfect through suffering.”
3. God has compassion for steadfast (“concern about another’s unfortunate state or misery”)
4. God has mercy for the steadfast (“a high degree of affection…for someone”)
-Jesus followed James & this life is currently .0165% of their life & goes forever
-If you live 75 years, this is the equivalent of 30 hours of your life
-2007, 2014, 2021????