Part 2: FOCUS ON PATIENT IN AFFLICTION AND FAITHFUL IN PRAYER
Key Points from last week’s “Be Joyful in HOPE”. 3 things we need to do is to
- See the Purpose of The Tests God is Allowing into our lives
- Realize that through each test we will see more of Gods Faithfulness…And
- Remember Gods Promise, He will Never Fail You or Abandon You Heb 13:5
Today we discuss the rest of verse 12: “Patient in Affliction, Faithful in Prayer.” Patience is one of the Fruits of the Holy Spirit: Gal 5: 22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
As with all fruits of the Holy Spirit, Peace Represents the Character of God. God is Patient Because it’s His Nature, It’s a Result of His Compassion and Love.
- 2 Peter 3:9-10 says the Lord is patient with us so that we may turn back to Him. God knows that things and people change…You and Me – thru the Holy Spirit.
Chapter 5 of James, tells us a number of things we are to be patient with. In James 5:1-6. He’s been talking to the rich who failed to pay their workers, who had let their workers suffer while they lived in luxury and self-indulgence. Then in verse 7 he Turns to the Christian’s Response to Adversity.
James 5: 7-11 Patience in Suffering Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. 8 You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. 9 Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door! 10 Brothers and sisters, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion & mercy.
This represents the wickedness and unfairness of this world. We want justice to prevail, especially when we are mistreated ourselves…Why does God Not do something about these situations? But in the midst of mistreatment and adversity, James says “Be Patient”.
Do Not trust in your own sense of timing but in God’s timing. The Lord will come and when He judges these things, these people will be taken care of. KEY TO PEACE…TRUSTING GOD AND HIS TIMING
To Not be patient is in a sense, is, Practical Atheism. It is leaving God out of our thinking, – Forgetting that He is God and is in Control.
Patience shows an attitude of self-restraint that does not try to go Ahead of God’s Perfect Timing… Patience is About Putting it in Gods Hands and Leaving it there!
James tells us to be patient with circumstances and growth within our own lives and ministries. He uses the example of a farmer who waits for autumn and spring rains…The early rains come in Oct or Nov soon after the grain is sown and later rains in Mar & Apr as grain is maturing.
- Both rainy seasons are necessary for a successful crop.
- Requires Trust in the Lord, As we have to Wait upon His Showers of Blessings!
- Whether growth happens quickly or takes more time than we would like…James says to stand firm and not to lose heart. Do not be moved by trouble but remain steadfast in the Lord.
KEY: So, a life that is joyful because it is hopeful will be full of calm endurance and strenuous work. ‘Rejoicing in hope; patient,’ persevering in tribulation.
The 3rd Clause in Verse 12 says, Be Faithful in Prayer. James 5 continues in Verse 13 saying that it is the Prayer of Faith that is Powerful and Effective.
James 5: 13-20 13 Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. 17 Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18 Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops. 19 My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, 20 remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins
Point…Our Lives will be Joyful, Hopeful, and Patient, in Proportion as they are Prayerful! To be Faithful in Prayer is to be Steadfast In Prayer.
1 Thess 5: 16-18 Paul says, “Rejoice Always, Pray Continually, Give Thanks in All Circumstances” “If You Pray Without Ceasing You Can Rejoice Without Ceasing”.
- You May Ask, Can I Really Pray Without Ceasing? If by prayer you mean Only with Heads Bowed and Eyes Closed, We Speak Words of Supplication and Petition…Then NO!
- But if by Prayer you mean an attitude of devotion, and a sub-conscious reference to God in all that you do, Then…Unceasing Prayer is Possible! It’s About…Practicing the Presence of Christ!
There is a verse in the Old Testament which we may well lay to heart: “They cried out to him during the battle. He answered their prayers, because they trusted in him.”
- Suppose your standing in the thick of battle with the sword of an enemy at your throat, there wouldn’t be much time to Bow Your Head and Pray…Would There?
- But the cry of your heart could go up, and Your Trust in God could go up, and as they Went Up…Down would come the strong Arm of the Lord which He puts between His Servants and all Evil.
- This is the prayer that you, in the battle of Your business, in Your warehouses and shops, Students in Your studies, and You Mothers in your families and your kitchens, can send up to heaven.
If we ‘Pray Without Ceasing,’ then we shall ‘Rejoice Evermore,’ and our Souls will be kept in Patience and filled with the Peace of God.
Prayer brings a connection with God through the Holy Spirit. Roman’s 8:26–27 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.
- God Hears and Helps, in Response to Even Our Clumsiest Attempts to Communicate with Him.
In loving one another and serving the Lord (Rom. 12:9-11), Paul indicates that we will face tribulation and he tells us how to endure it. (12:12): “Rejoicing in Hope, Persevering in Tribulation, Devoted to Prayer.”
As I’ve said with reference to 12:12, these commands are built on 12:1-2: “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”
- Everything in 12:12 assumes that you have personally experienced the many mercies of God that are spelled out in chapters 1-11.
- Our Desire Needs to be that we Seek to grow in these Qualities because we have received God’s many mercies in Christ, shown to us while we were yet sinners.
Point…Our Lives will be Joyful, Hopeful, and Patient, in Proportion as they are Prayerful!