Sermon Follow Up - Week 24, 2021
We have a great and glorious hope that is laid out for us in heaven where we will be presented before holy God and accepted based on the merits of Christ. And while that is true now, and there is a kind of joy unspeakable that we can certainly enjoy when the Spirit moves on us in certain ways, it seems that there is a reality that the Spirit moves oftentimes in us amid very real and significant struggle. And he does so by instructing us, informing us, reminding us that we are to be those who live with patient expectation.
We live in a crazy, God-ordained, Jesus-saturated, Spirit-anointed mix of joy, forgiveness, freedom in Christ, significant sorrows and difficulties and discouragements, confusion, loneliness, and on and on. James reminds us that we are to live as disciples of Christ, amid all of that with patient expectation.
The Sermon Text
“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.” (James 5:7–11 ESV)
The Main Point of the Sermon
The Holy Spirit is moving in you today to further enable a life of
patient expectation that all is well.
Sermon Points, Quotes, and Application
We Live with Patient Expectation by Looking to the RewardWe look to the reward because it is true - the Lord IS coming back. This truth of the return of Christ is one thing we can be certain of in our tumultuous lives! The truth of the second coming of Christ is foundational to the gospel that we sing of, speak of, and rejoice in. It’s not just that Jesus came to die for sinners, but it’s that He rose again and is coming back for His own. Not only is our blameless and above reproach presentation to God the hope of the gospel last week, but so is the return of Jesus the hope of the gospel.
We look to the reward because it is promised. James points us to the fact that we, like a farmer, must be diligent and like a farmer, we must patiently endure until the promised day of harvest that is the Lord’s return. Living with the patient expectation of the promised harvest to come.
We look to the reward because God’s word says it is immanent. James exhorts us that because the coming of the Lord is imminent, that is he could return any moment, let your hearts rest secure, and live steadfastly, in the ultimate certainty and expectation of the coming of the Lord that is at hand!
How does the return of Christ inform the moments of your day? How might you grow to be more informed by His return?
How might you encourage others this week to live in light of the return of Christ?
- We Live with Patient Expectation by Looking to Our Examples
When James speaks to us, as the church, he tells us to consider those who went before us - those who blazed a trail of patient endurance and expectation amid suffering and difficulty.
He tells us to consider the Prophets who suffered patiently as they spoke in the name of the Lord.
“We see it [this suffering that required patience] exemplified in the prophets, who were highly privileged but not protected against the strains of life. Their privilege and their trials went hand in hand. Jeremiah was hunted by the men of his home town specifically because they wanted to stop him from speaking in the name of the Lord. Ezekiel suffered painful bereavement as the setting in which he delivered his message [in the name of the Lord]. If Daniel had not suffered deportations we would never have heard of him or benefited from his ministry. Hosea’s marriage breakdown was in itself the Lord’s word to and through him. Privilege and suffering, suffering and ministry just belonged together in the lives of the prophets.” – J.A. Motyer
Each trial is meant for us, by God, to grow us in patient expectation of that final day of salvation.
In the example of Job we see a man who remains steadfast, patiently enduring suffering. Even when he couldn’t understand what was happening to him. Even when his friends were of little or no help whatsoever, even when his wife told him to just curse God and die, Job replies with steadfast, patient endurance and expectation by saying:
Though he slay me, I will hope in him;… ~Job 13:15 (ESV)
“For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. My heart faints within me!” (Job 19:25–27 ESV)
Do you see the patient, yet eager, expectation amid the difficult straits he was in? The Holy Spirit wants you and I to see the example of Job. A person just like you and I, who amid significant difficulties continued to live with patient expectation of a better day to come.CONSIDER
Whose example of patient expectation and endurance might you be able to look to and learn from this week.
See below for a couple of video testimonies to watch/listen to this week.
We Live with Patient Expectation by Looking to the Savior
Looking to the Savior we see the very purposes of God. The story of Job is a story where we certainly witness his steadfastness, but we see even more clearly in his suffering the purposes of God. The blessing that we see at the end of the book of Job isn’t where something just happens to turn out alright – like Cinderella or something – it was the objective of God from the start. Above all other things the main objective was that Job would know God more fully. Listen to Job himself as he realizes this:
“I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you;” (Job 42:5 ESV)
Have you experienced that kind of thing? We don’t want trials, of course, but God always, always intends them to cause us to know Him more intimately, and enjoy him supremely and be satisfied entirely by the one for whom we exist and have our being.
Job had great blessing at the end of his life, great wealth and success, but this isn’t what James points us to. It’s not health, wealth, and success in this life that helps us endure this life with patience. No, what helps us, James says, is the knowledge of the Lord Himself – in particular that He is compassionate and merciful.
We can grow in steadfastness, in patient, expectant endurance, by knowing the compassion and mercy of God. And we see this most clearly in Christ. To not look at the compassion and mercy of God through the gift of His one and only Son, Jesus, is to settle for living a life that is marked by grumbling; marked by the pursuit of temporal riches and leisure; and marked by erratic, volatile, impulsive, and anxious behavior. If we don’t regularly look to the compassion and mercy of God through his display of love to us at the cross of Christ, and understand that not only have we been forgiven and justified and adopted but we’ve been given the Spirit to keep us and strengthen us and empower us and sanctify us and keep us and guard us until the day that we see Jesus face to face, we will not be able to walk through the trials he gives us with patient expectation. Instead we’ll be looking elsewhere for answers and will, in the end, be filled with despairing anxiety and significant frustration and empty unbelief, hopeless.CONSIDER
To grow in patient expectation we need to grow in knowing the Savior. And we grow in knowing the Savior primarily through not only hearing or reading God's word, but also doing the word, responding to the word, obeying the word.
How do you plan to grow in knowing the mercy and compassion of God this week so as to live in patient expectation?
How will you respond to God's word this week?
RESOURCES FOR THIS WEEK
THE STORY BEHIND "IT IS WELL"
10 minutes or so to consider the joys and sorrows
behind this great hymn.
EXAMPLES OF PATIENT EXPECTATION
TAKE TIME TO WATCH THIS!! IT'S ONE HOUR WELL WORTH IT!
SONGS TO CONSIDER
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