by Miles Seaborn

James 5:7-9

INTRODUCTION: Socrates had a friend by the name of
A-l-c-i-b-i-a-d-e-s. He had great talents and abilities, yet
he lived a reckless, riotous, debauched life. There were times
when he used to say to Socrates, "Socrates, I hate you. For every
time I see you, you show me what I am."

The Word of God shows us what we are. In the first part of Chapter 5,
we dealt with the challenge to be mature by being prayerful in troubles,
especially economic troubles. God's Word cautioned Christians to
leave these things in God's hands rather than to take them in their own.

One reason why the readers of James' letter could endure their
difficult circumstances was that the Lord Jesus was coming.

The return of Christ would be the consummation of the victory won on
the cross, and therefore existing evil was really insignificant in
comparison to the great joy which would be theirs as Christians when
Christ returned.

While Christians sought to change evil conditions they were willing
to trust God and believe that He would make things right. If not
in this life, certainly in the life to come.

The early church lived in the expectation of the immediate second
coming of Jesus Christ, and James exhorts his people to wait with
patience for the few years which remain.

ILL. First, he used three simple illustrations to point out
the need for patience. The farmer has to wait for his
crops until the early and late rains have come. The
early rain came in October, November and without
it the seed would not germinate at all. Th late rain
was April and May, without which the grain would not
mature and grow out to full head. The farmer needed
patience to wait until nature does its work, and the
Christian needs patience to wait until Christ comes.

Second, he needed to be patient like the prophets
and faithful to God's prompting in spite of persecution
oppositio ...

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