Waiting with Patience James 5:7-8; Romans 8:18-25
A. Verse 7 of our text speaks of both “be patient,” which is the present, and “long patience,” which is endurance. Paul spoke of this in the Book of Romans:
Romans 8:22-25 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. (23) And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. (24) For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? (25) But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
B. Waiting in patience is tough to do. There are times when we wait because we have no choice, but we do not wait in patience. These are two words that we do not like: Wait and Patience!
C. One of the hardest things that you and I will ever do, is wait “open ended.” To wait for something to happen but not knowing if it will happen tomorrow, next week, or next year. It is so much easier to wait for something when you know the time of the event you are waiting for.
D. The Old Testament saints, with a few exceptions, waited for a period of 4,000 years—gave up on the promises of God and slept spiritually before Jesus came to earth.
E. God’s men have preached over 2,000 years concerning the Second Coming of Christ.
1. In John 14, Our Lord said, “If I go away, I will come again.”
2. In Acts 1:11, the angel said, “Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.”
F. 2 Thessalonians 3:5 And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.
G. God is not in a hurry, we are. If God can accomplish anything immediately and He can, then why does He often make us wait for the answers to our problems? Often, His silences are hard to understand because His ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are higher than ours.
H. The word “patient,” in one form or another, is found 15x in 14 verses. All but three are found in the New Testament. Not that the Old Testament saints had no problem with patience, but the New Testament saints live in busier times with more things to distract.
J. By being patient, James is not saying to just sit still and do nothing. While we wait, we have things to do.
1. Rest In Patience – Psalms 37:7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. (I began with this one because I dealt with learning to rest in the Lord as we wait this morning.)
2. Pray In Patience – Psalms 40:1 I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. (God has a time and we have a time. Thus the human problem arises when we expect immediate answers to every prayer. As the widow before the unjust judge, we need to continue to pray until the answer comes.)
3. Continue In Patience – Romans 2:7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: (Patient in godliness is one of our greatest witnessing tools. People watch to see how long we will last.)
Hebrews 6:15 And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.
4. Suffer In Patience – Romans 12:12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; (One of the harder aspects of patience is patient in suffering.)
1 Peter 2:20 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.
5. Fellowship In Patience – 1 Thessalonians 5:14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. (Love the brotherhood, though they may say and do things that offend. (Be ye kind, tenderhearted, forgiving one another. Christ set the example to follow.)
6. Labor In Patience – 1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. (We plow, sow, water, watch, and wait for the fruit of our labors.)
7. Witness In Patience – James 5:7-8 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. (8) Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. (Never give up on a lost loved one!)
8. Hope In Patience – Hebrews 6:15 And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. (“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” John 14:3)