05/08 – The Beautiful Reward of Pursuing Patience

05/08 – The Beautiful Reward of Pursuing Patience Shoe Leather Theology: Study of James

This Week: James 5:7-11

Date: May 8, 2016

Series: Shoe Leather Theology: Study of James

This Week’s Resources:


This Week’s Lighthouse Lesson

Overview of this Lesson

The focus of this week’s study is on the topic of patience. We live in a “give it to me now” culture, but James is talking about more than simply making an impulsive purchase or expecting our order from Amazon to be here the next day; he is talking about patience connected to suffering. That’s different, isn’t it? He gives us two examples to follow from the Old Testament: Job and the prophets. Both lived their life without understanding of all that was happening to them and around them. We have the Bible today and can watch the scene unfold in Job 1-2 or read the prophets with certainty, knowing that in the end, everything works out just as God intends it to work out.

We have something that Job and the prophets didn’t…we have perspective. This is what James is giving us. He’s telling us to be patient, because as much as life may seem pointless and meaningless in the midst of suffering, there is hope beyond the horizon–Jesus is coming again!

The challenge is to keep our eyes on the prize of eternity, not focused on the despair of today. James compares it to a farmer waiting for a harvest. It’s coming, but there is nothing anyone can do to hurry it along. In the end, even the timing of the rain is in God’s hand, we must trust Him.

Let this week be one of encouragement to your group members who are suffering and dealing with difficulty. Life is but a vapor, and one day this life of trials will be restored with a glorified existence with our Lord and Savior.

NOTE: Many groups will not meet this week due to Mother’s Day. We did not provide a custom lesson this week because so many will not meet to use it. This lesson is a shorter lesson based on the a group lesson in James: Faith At Work by Serendipity House and is for groups that will meet in spite of Mother’s Day.

Memory Verse for This Week

“You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.”– James 5:8 (ESV)

Core Virtue

Patience (Proverbs 14:29): I take a long time to overheat and endure patiently under the unavoidable pressures of life.

Introduction

  1. Looking back at your notes from this week’s sermon, was there anything that particularly caught your attention, challenged or confused you?
  2. Patience is something we seem to be in constant need of, whether dealing with a serious problem or just remaining peaceful in heavy traffic and long lines. Answer the following questions about your own patience level before we go on to the rest of the study.
  3. What situation wears a hole in your patience the fastest?
    • A long line at the checkout.
    • Waiting for the “dawdlers” in your family when you are already late.
    • Dealing with kids fighting in the car.
    • Trying to teach someone something that seems easy to you and difficult to them.
    • Other __________.

This Week’s Take Home Truth

“Patience is pursued best when the Lord’s return frames our perspective, for then and only then will all be settled by our Righteous Judge.”

Read the Text (James 5:7-11)

None of us likes suffering, but when we must endure it, it helps to know that the reward is worth the struggle. Read James 5:7-11 and be encouraged as you think about the Lord’s return.

James 5:7–11

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. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door. As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 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.

Digging Deeper

In this section, feel free to develop your own questions to help guide your group’s discussion. Below are some suggestions.

  1. What event are you patiently (or impatiently) waiting for right now?

  2. What are you looking forward to the most about the Lord’s coming?

  • No longer struggling with the difficulties of this world.
  • Having a more complete understanding of spiritual things.
  • Getting to sing in a really big choir.
  • Being in the presence of the Lord.
  • Other __________.
  1. How do you relate to the metaphor of the farmer waiting for his crops? What other illustration for waiting patiently can you think of that relates to your life?

  2. How can you apply verse 9 to your life? How does the knowledge that Christ might return at any time affect the way you behave?

  3. What kind of blessing comes with enduring through suffering (v. 11, also see 1:12-18)?

  4. How good are you at keeping your word (v. 12)? How could you improve this area of your life?

  5. Where in your life do you need God’s help to patiently persevere? What can you do to follow the example of the prophets as they dealt with suffering (vv. 10-11)?

Concluding Thoughts

  1. With what situation or problem can you ask God for help and patience this week?

  2. What steps will you take this week to avoid judging others in your home? workplace? church?

 

 

 

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