My Lack of Patience
I think I mentioned a few times on Sunday morning in the sermon about my own lack of patience. James states many times, “Be patient, be patient, be patient…” Day by day I can see areas where I am very impatient, and areas, hopefully, where I am growing in patience. Yet it can be difficult to react according to the Spirit instead of according to the flesh.
I guess in some ways I am a slow learner. I need to be reminded over and over again what true patience looks like. Which is why I am glad that James mentions the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Most were rejected by the people. They were mistreated and killed. That list of what happened to them in Hebrews 11 should cause us to pause when we think of our own level of impatience today. The things I get impatient about are usually not that significant. So I am learning, slowly…to pause and relax as I seek to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. And both of those things do go hand in hand, glorifying God AND enjoying Him. I can be seeking to glorify God in the way that I spend my days. I can strive to follow God and His Word in my sanctification and desire to live a godly life and yet miss the enjoyment of Him.
As we seek to follow God and His Word, it should be a blessing in our lives. Reading Scripture and prayer and Bible study and worship should be joyful things to us. May we look forward to opening up the treasure that is the Bible. May we anticipate the next Sunday beginning on Monday morning. We love the people of God and the common bond we share.
James 5:11, “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.”
This week as we study the book of James on Sunday morning, James pushes further on this idea of patience. Not only should we look at the prophets of old as examples to us of patience, but we should also consider the steadfastness of Job. Upon first look that might seem discouraging to us. Job lost almost everything. Job was steadfast under the severest of trial. How could we even begin to compare ourselves to Job? Yet we can learn a lot from a man who realized that all things were a gift from God.
James doesn’t leave us simply with a look at Job either. Following those words that point us to the steadfastness of Job as an example, we read some of the sweetest words ever uttered to those who may be suffering under affliction — “the Lord is compassionate and merciful.” Let us thank God for His compassion and His mercy. When things are difficult let us remember these attributes of our God.