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By Wally Fry

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Faith In Action-The Patience of Job

faith in action

James 5:11

Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.


Read all of James Chapter 5 here

 During the last few days, we have covered a lot of territory concerning patience and endurance. We have seen James provide us with many good reasons why we should live a lifestyle of patience and endurance. We do it because God is patient with us; we do it because it is the example Jesus Christ set for us; we do it because we can see the example set by believers throughout history.

Now, we see yet another reason and motivation to exercise patience in our lives, even in the face of trials and adversity. God blesses those who endure these things patiently. We have seen the end of the Lord; in other words, God has a good outcome planned for those who endure patiently.

There is probably no greater story in all of Scripture about patient endurance than the story of Job in the Old Testament.

Read Job here.

Job was tested more than any man we see in The Bible. Reading the history, we can see some of the reasons why God tested Job, and they line up quite well with some of the things James is teaching us in his Epistle.

To test Job’s faith and prove the reality of it.

To divert Satan’s evil plans.

To make Job’s faith stronger.

To bless Job.

We can see this now, but poor Job had no idea of God’s plan. He just simply endured. Job lost his family, his possessions, and his health. Job lost everything. Job may have questioned God and asked why, but he never lost his faith or love for God. What happened in the end?

Job 42:10-17 And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before. Then came there unto him all his brethren, and all his sisters, and all they that had been of his acquaintance before, and did eat bread with him in his house: and they bemoaned him, and comforted him over all the evil that the LORD had brought upon him: every man also gave him a piece of money, and every one an earring of gold. So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses. He had also seven sons and three daughters. And he called the name of the first, Jemima; and the name of the second, Kezia; and the name of the third, Kerenhappuch. And in all the land were no women found so fair as the daughters of Job: and their father gave them inheritance among their brethren. After this lived Job an hundred and forty years, and saw his sons, and his sons’ sons, even four generations. So Job died, being old and full of days.

Paul also recognized that those who endure patiently are the recipients of God’s favor, Anyone recall the thorn in Paul’s side? God did not remove that thorn; Paul merely endured it, using strength provided by God to do so.

2 Corinthians 12: 7-10 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

In our above examples, we see a couple of different outcomes coming as a result of patience. Job, as we see, was physically and materially blessed for demonstrating patience in The Lord. It’s very important to note, however, that there is no promise of material blessings as a result of patience. God is not a cosmic candy machine who will give us stuff if we just put in the coin marked patience.

Note that Paul didn’t get anything material as a result of his patience and waiting for God. Paul got grace; Paul simply received the strength through the Holy Spirit to endure and live with his particular affliction.

The point is, God’s promises are good and they are guaranteed. If we do His work, in His way, in His time, we will be blessed. It may be now, it may be later, but He guarantees it. Are we resting in that guarantee?

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Faith In Action-The Patience of Job

faith in action

James 5:11

Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.


Read all of James Chapter 5 here

 During the last few days we have covered a lot territory concerning patience and endurance. We have seen James provide us with many good reasons why we should live a lifestyle of patience and endurance. We do it because God is patient with us; we do it because it is the example Jesus Christ set for us; we do it because we can see the example set by believers throughout history.

Now, we see yet another reason and motivation to exercise patience in our lives, even in the face of trials and adversity. God blesses those who endure these things patiently. We have seen the end of the Lord; in other words, God has a good outcome planned for those who endure patiently.

There is probably no greater story in all of Scripture about patient endurance than the story of Job in the Old Testament.

Read Job here.

Job was tested more than any man we see in The Bible. Reading the history, we can see some of the reasons why God tested Job, and they line up quite well with some of the things James is teaching us in his Epistle.

To test Job’s faith and prove the reality of it.

To divert Satan’s evil plans.

To make Job’s faith stronger.

To bless Job.

We can see this now, but poor Job had no idea of God’s plan.He just simply endured. Job lost his family, his possessions, and his health. Job lost everything. Job may have questioned God and asked why, but he never lost his faith or love for God. What happened in the end?

Job 42:10-17 And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before. Then came there unto him all his brethren, and all his sisters, and all they that had been of his acquaintance before, and did eat bread with him in his house: and they bemoaned him, and comforted him over all the evil that the LORD had brought upon him: every man also gave him a piece of money, and every one an earring of gold. So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses. He had also seven sons and three daughters. And he called the name of the first, Jemima; and the name of the second, Kezia; and the name of the third, Kerenhappuch. And in all the land were no women found so fair as the daughters of Job: and their father gave them inheritance among their brethren. After this lived Job an hundred and forty years, and saw his sons, and his sons’ sons, even four generations. So Job died, being old and full of days.

Paul also recognized that those who endure patiently are the recipients of God’s favor, Anyone recall the thorn in Paul’s side? God did not remove that thorn; Paul merely endured it, using strength provided by God to do so.

2 Corinthians 12: 7-10 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

In our above examples, we see a couple of different outcomes coming as a result of patience. Job, as we see, was physically and materially blessed for demonstrating patience in The Lord. It’s very important to note, however, that there is no promise of material blessings as a result of patience. God is not a cosmic candy machine who will give us stuff if we jut put in the coin marked patience.

Note that Paul didn’t get anything material as a result of his patience and waiting for God. Paul got grace; Paul simply received the strength through the Holy Spirit to endure and live with his particular affliction.

The point is, God’s promises are good and they are guaranteed. If we do His work, in His way, in His time, we will be blessed. It may be now, it may be later; but He guarantees it. Are we resting in that guarantee?

And the greatest of these is….? (Comparison Cure #5)

Here is the last installment from Elihu from Elihu’s Corner on comparison in the life of believers

image

It always comes down to love, doesn’t it?

Do you rejoice when your child does well? How about your spouse? Why? Because you love them!

Why do other people have it so easy?” was the question that began this series of posts on comparison cures. This minimizing of our blessings and maximizing the perceived blessings of those around us entraps us all at some point with the unfortunate result of creating bitterness, envy, resentment, and ingratitude.

There are cures for this sickness. To date, we’ve covered four: contentment, acceptance, humility and compassion. (Click on each word to read the previous posts). Each cure is a learned behavior. We do not employ these remedies to be self-righteous, create positive chi, or even to feel better. We seek them because we love God and we want to be like him. Like so many things God calls us to do as Chrisians, it all boils down to love. The love God desires from us is a selfless love; a love that demands us to put our needs on the back burner; a love that is learned; a love that puts God first, others second and us last.

How much do we really love others?

If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.”

~ 1 John‬ ‭4:20-21‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Are you ready for a truth bomb? There are many people who are difficult to love and strive to make themselves as unloveable as possible. Yet loving others is not optional, it’s commanded! Take a look at the above passage from First John. If we fail to love our brother whom we can see, how can we love God whom we cannot see?

When I look at my neighbors, friends and fellow Christians and resent the good things that happen to them, two things are happening: I am failing to showing gratitude for the blessings I already have and I am failing to cultivate love. It’s not for me to decide whether they deserve what they have. I certainly do not deserve the blessings I have been given!

We are commanded to pray for our enemies and bless those who curse us. We are commanded to love. If we cannot even pray for those “undeserving” neighbors, friends, and fellow Christians, how in the world will we be able to pray for our enemies?

Ask the Lord to help you love the unloveable and quench those feelings of envy, bitterness, resentment and covetous. This type of love runs contrary to our nature. Godly love is not easy, but it is powerful. Imagine how different the church would be if we worked on growing our love and squashing our enviousness?

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

~ 1 John 4.7-8, ESV

I want to know the Lord, but in order to do so, I must start crushing my selfish nature and pursue love that seeks the best for others.…..read the rest of the post here: And the greatest of these is….? (Comparison Cure #5) – Elihu’s Corner

Just a Thought

patience

Be careful what you wish, God may give it to you

20 Bible Verses and a Prayer on Patience

By: Heather C, King

From: Room to Breathe

  • Psalm 37:7 ESV
    Be still before the Lord
        and wait patiently for him;
    do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
        when they carry out their wicked schemes.
  • Psalm 40:1 NIV
    I waited patiently for the Lord;
        he turned to me and heard my cry.
  • Proverbs 14:29 ESV
    Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding,
        but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.
  • Proverbs 16:32 NIV
    Better a patient person than a warrior,
        one with self-control than one who takes a city.
  • Habakkuk 2:3 ESV
    For the revelation awaits an appointed time;
        it speaks of the end
        and will not prove false.
    Though it linger, wait for it;
        it will certainly come
        and will not delay.
  • 1 Corinthians 13:4-5 ESV
    Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogantor rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful
  • Romans 8:25 NIV
    But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
  • Romans 12:12 ESV
    Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
  • 2 Corinthians 6:4-6 NIV
    Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love
  • Galatians 5:22 NIV
    But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness
  • Ephesians 4:2 ESV
    with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love
  • Colossians 3:12 ESV
    Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:14 NIV
    And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone.
  • 1 Timothy 1:16 NIV
     But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.
  • 2 Timothy 2:24 NIV
    And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.
  • Hebrews 6:15 NIV
    And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.
  • James 5:7-8 NIV
    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. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.
  • James 5:10 NIV
    Brothers and sisters, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.
  • 2 Peter 3:9 ESV
    The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
  • Revelation 2:3 NIV
    You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary

prayer-for-patience

Read the original post on Room to Breathe

Daily Devotion-April 24, 2015-Speak Honestly

James 5:12

But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.


Read all of James Chapter 5 here

Here, it almost seems James has taken off in yet another direction. In this verse, James teaches a point on, basically, honesty in one’s words. There is some discussion among commentators about how exactly this verse fits with the previous discussion; not all even agree that it ties in with the previous discussion. It may stand alone as an instruction, but it also may be tied to earlier statements. It is very possible that James is instructing us to watch what we say during times of stress and conflict, In other words, do not let the stress of a moment cause us to make promises we have no plan to keep. Personally, I like that linkage. Either way, the point of the lesson does not change much.

Let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; If you say yes mean yes; if you say no, mean no. It’s all about integrity. This is a critical point in our Christian walks and in our testimonies. Christians should be instantly known as people whose yes means yes and whose no means no. There should never be any doubt in the mind of the people we engage with that the words be speak are, to our knowledge, true.

This matters to God. Jesus said the following:

Matthew 5:37 But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.

Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, also had something to say about words of integrity.

Ephesians 4:25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.

How do we know this matters to God? We are to deal honestly in our words lest ye fall into condemnation. Lying is a sin.

Let’s be honest, the world as a whole has many opportunities to find ways to present Christians as hypocrites; do we need to give it one more?

Daily Devotion-April 22, 2015-The Prophets Were Patient

James 5:10,11

Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.


Read all of James Chapter 5 here

Previously we discussed the idea of enduring trials and even persecutions at the hands of others patiently as a way to follow the example of our God regarding how He has treated us. James has kindly provided us more examples of men who endured suffering yet endured it patiently.

Here we see the thought of enduring suffering, or evil, with great patience and long suffering. This is the same word for patience we have seen over and over, so specifically it refers to patience with and toward people. So, even more specifically we see a reference here to the Old Testament Prophets in the face of discouragement and even persecution.

Here it might be a good idea to look at just what the prophets were really doing. Sometimes we think they just sat around foretelling the future. While that was a part of the ministries of some of them, it was not the primary thing any of them did. I have heard the ministry of a prophet being sometimes two fold; foretelling and forth telling. Fore telling, or course, would be the revelations of future events. Forth telling would be simply the preaching and proclamation of God’s Word. That was, in fact, the primary mission of all of the Old Testament Prophets, much more so then telling of future events.

Take a few months and read through the Major and Minor Prophets.  It is easy to discern a pattern of response to their preaching. The pattern was, that in most cases there was no response. Imagine, if one can, preaching for years and years to multitudes with no one listening. That is just what most of the Old Testament Prophets faced.

The other pattern we see is that they never gave up, they never stopped, and notably they never stopped loving the people they preached to. How were they able to do this? James has told us, and the answer is patience. They were patient in The Lord. They knew who they were working for and who’s message they were spreading. They understood the rewards to come were far greater than the trials here.

So, what is our problem? Time after time we see men enduring great hardship and carrying on. Most were universally ignored, mocked and even threatened with death. None ever accumulated great wealth or riches. Yet they carried on. They were patient in The Lord. So, the question is: What’s our problem?

Daily Devotion-April 16, 2015-Waiting for the Lord

James 5:7

 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.


Read all of James Chapter 5 here

James seems to be getting back on track here after what some consider to be a temporary diversion from counseling believers on Christian behavior. Clearly, now, he is back to talking to believers in the churches he wrote this letter to.

It is possible that his guidance over the next few verses was written in response to the things which had apparently happened to these believers in the previous ones. Guidance to those facing trials and hardships, and the ways we deal with them, is a recurring theme in the writing of James. We first saw James addressing patience in the face of adversity way back in James 1:4.

The way writers like James put things into language which his readers would instantly understand is very fascinating. In this case, James uses another agricultural reference to teach just how patient his readers should be. He also teaches in this description about the importance of both patience and proper timing. Of course, God’s timing is the actual reference, but proper timing is key.

In the agricultural season in the land at that time, two periods of rain were essential to a successful growing season. The early rains came in October or November around the beginning of the Fall planting season to help ensure the ground was ready for planting. The late rains would come in the March and April time frame, to provide a last dose of moisture prior to the harvesting season.

Just like the farmer knows that if he is patient, his crops will come, James is encouraging these believers to stand firm in the promises of God to come one day. Paul wrote similar encouraging words to the believers in the church at Galatia.

Galatians 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

What else can we learn from this passage? We can learn that not everything happens on our timing. In this case we can learn that, as the crops come according to biological timing, God’s plans come according to God’s timing.

Another thing we can learn here is that we are not in control of everything. The farmer certainly cannot make his crops do anything. They will do what they do, as long as the Farmer has done his part. That is very much the same as God, who will do His part as long as we do our part.

 

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