hc_logoHOPE Community

Message Text

James 5:7-12 ESV

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. 9 Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door. 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.

Message Notes

James has turned his attention back to the church. He painted a picture at the beginning of chapter 5 of how the rich oppress people, then he looks at the church and says, “In your difficulty, be patient” - almost to say, “If you are at the other end of an injustice, be patient - Jesus is coming.” This is a topic that the American church has totally abandoned: patience and the return of Christ all in one little paragraph.

1. Be patient.

7 Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord.

Patience was the evidence of a life relying on God. James was not directing them to be patient until they got justice, or fairness, or revenge, or a bigger salary. He instructed them to be patient until they got Christ. They were not waiting on something - they were waiting on Someone.

How would that change the way we react to the people who have wronged us? I’m not waiting on you to make it right - I’m waiting on Jesus, who will make everything right. How often do we settle for having a little right at the expense of being right with the one that will fix everything?

Psalm 25:4-5 Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths. 5 Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.

Psalm 27:14 Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!

Psalm 33:20 Our soul waits for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.

Psalm 62:5 For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.

Psalm 130:5-6 I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; 6 my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning.

Example: 7 ...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.

The farmer knows there is going to be a waiting until he is able to benefit from the good that he has done. Impatience doesn’t grow crops and doesn’t bring peace.

Do something while you wait:

1. Establish your hearts.

2. Be confident that the coming of the Lord will make all things right. Your faith doesn’t have to waver, because the product is guaranteed.

3. Fill yourself with things that enable you to stand.

2. Don’t fight

9 Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door.

The word for “grumble” here is a term used often to indicate a sigh or a groan - the idea of an inward bitterness toward each other.

Christians who are experiencing injustice or trial can oftentimes turn that bitterness toward each other. James is telling the church that the last thing they need to do is start fighting each other. Don’t be inwardly bitter toward each other. Part of establishing your hearts while waiting is making sure that we are not harboring resentment toward our fellow believers.

Other believers are imperfect people who suffer injustice while waiting on the perfect God. Stop being shocked when other people who are also waiting frustrate you. They are not perfect yet, either. Bitterness will lead to fighting.

Proverbs 15:18 A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel. NIV

Proverbs 16:32 Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city. NIV

The judge is standing at the door. James is saying, “Stop thinking that you can get away with bitterness toward others. That is not a judgeless sin. That’s not something you can get away with just because you are not being outwardly mean.” It will be judged unless we get forgiveness.

3. Jesus is coming!

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.

James uses the story of people they admired to point them to patiently wait for the Lord - He is coming. James was confident in that, and he was encouraging the church to stand ready and with patient confidence that Jesus was returning to make all things right. Job persevered to the end, and James is imploring the church to be patient until God does what God does.

James 5:10 - 12 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.

As long as we are here on this earth, suffering and injustice will exist. Jesus gave us the example of how to treat everyone and how to respond when we are mistreated. Our confidence does not come because things are fixed now, but that the only one who can permanently fix things is coming, and when he does it will be fixed.

Connect Group Discussion Questions

​1. What stood out to you most from this week’s message?

2. What is happening in your life or in the world right now that makes it easy to be anxious or angry?

3. James is saying that in this life, things will never be exactly how we want them. How can we change our mindset from trying to be patient until our circumstances get better to being patient until Jesus comes back and fixes everything?

4. How can we remain focused on God’s patience - that he is waiting so as many people as possible can come to him?

5. What are things we can fill ourselves with that will enable us to stand firm while we wait for Jesus to return?

6. What are some things that cause conflict with others? How do we prevent bitterness from building against them?

7. If we wait for Jesus to return and fix everything instead of waiting for people to fix what they have done wrong, how will that change the way we treat others?

8. How would it look if we remained focused on the fact that our circumstances are temporary, and someday God will make everything new?

9. How can we remember that no matter how much better we imagine things could be, it can’t compare to what God has planned for us?

10. What do you plan to do differently because of this week’s message?