How to (Slowly) Get Patience
Pastor John Sloan
Introduction: By contrasting false religion with true religion, false faith with saving faith, James answers the question: how does the gospel change us? While James knows that perfection in this life is unattainable, he asserts that those who belong to Jesus will, over time, begin to resemble more and more the One who saved them. Because of this baggage of the flesh, the residue of original sin, we will fail in many ways. But if we are in Christ, our lives will be marked by certain things. And one of those things is patience. But what is it and how do we get it?
Questions for Discussion & Discovery
1. What are the three examples of patience that James offers in this passage? What do they reveal about the nature of godly patience?
2. The timing of the coming of Jesus is known by no one but the Father. What are some things about Jesus’ coming that we do know?
3. Why does external pressure often cause us to turn on the people we love? When is the last time this happened to you? How did you resolve the conflict?
4. What does it mean to “remain steadfast” (verse 11)?
5. What are some ways that you have recently experienced the compassion of God?
1. 01. Patience is actively resting in the sovereign and good plan of God, even when God appears to be inactive.
2. “Give us no more visions of what is right! Tell us pleasant things, prophesy illusions.” – (Isaiah 30:10)
“And the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite: “My anger burns against you and against your two friends, for you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has.’” – (Job 42:7)
“Know this, first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days. … They will say, “Where is the promise of
his coming… ?” But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.” – (2 Peter 3 ESV)
5. “Scripture never promotes the question, when will Christ return? It always promotes the question, will you be ready when he returns?” – Daniel Doriani
6. :: We get patience by routinely focusing our hearts on the compassion and mercy of God.