Growing by Patiently Enduring Until the End

Johnny Kjaer October 20, 2019 James 5:1-20
Outline

“I am not alone here. My brothers in the faith are in many neighboring cells. Even within these walls God is strengthening our faith and inspiring radiant hope in our hearts! Christ is unconquerable.” (Giorgi Vins)

“When my turn came, I lifted my Russian bible high and said, ‘I’m the happiest man in the world. I now have my own bible, and no one will take it away from me!’

3 ways to grow in patient endurance until the return of Jesus Christ

I. Live for Enduring Riches Instead of Dissolving Dollars that Devour You

A. By evaluating how you view resources

James 5:1-3 - Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries which are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments have become moth-eaten. Your gold and your silver have rusted; and their rust will be a witness against you and will consume your flesh like fire. It is in the last days that you have stored up your treasure!

Matthew 6:19-21 - Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Hebrews 11:10 - …he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.

Hebrews 11:25-26 - …choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward.

Colossians 2:3 - …in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

1 Peter 1:4 - …an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you…

B. By considering how you get your resources

James 5:4 - Behold, the pay of the laborers who mowed your fields, and which has been withheld by you, cries out against you; and the outcry of those who did the harvesting has reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth.

James 5:6 - You have condemned and put to death the righteous man; he does not resist you.

C. By changing how you use resources

James 5:5 - You have lived luxuriously on the earth and led a life of wanton pleasure; you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter.

2 Corinthians 8:9 - For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.

Acts 20:35 - Do we remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

1 Timothy 6:17-19 - Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.

II. Cultivate a Patient Perspective in Your Suffering

A. By waiting for the joyful fruits Jesus will produce when He comes

James 5:7-8 - Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near.

Ephesians 2:7 - …so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

B. By remembering the blessing of others who patiently endured

James 5:10-11 - As an example, brethren, of suffering and patience, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful.

C. By avoiding the consequences of impatient speech

James 5:9 - Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door.

James 5:12 - But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath; but your yes is to be yes, and your no, no, so that you may not fall under judgment.

III. Pray Persistently Because of the Powerful Effects

A. Prayer helps you endure patiently in all circumstances

James 5:13 - Is anyone among you suffering? Then he must pray. Is anyone cheerful? He is to sing praises.

James 5:17-18 - Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. Then he prayed again, and the sky poured rain and the earth produced its fruit.

Colossians 1:11 - …being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience…

Philippians 4:6-7 - Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

B. Prayer powerfully heals those suffering from sickness and sin

James 5:14-16 - Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed.

“I am not alone here. My brothers in the faith are in many neighboring cells. Even within these walls God is strengthening our faith and inspiring radiant hope in our hearts! Christ is unconquerable.” (Giorgi Vins)

Those were the words and perspective of Georgi Vins, a missionary and Baptist preacher in the former Soviet Union, in Cell 44, as he patiently endured suffering for 8 years of prison sentence in a Soviet Gulag in Siberia for preaching the gospel and committing crimes against the state like secret bible printing teams and teaching Sunday school.

As Georgi Vins’ thoughts swirled with concerns for the churches, his family, and his health, he was unexpectedly summoned to Moscow. He thought at that time he would be tried and sentenced again…what did he do in these circumstances…he says “I couldn’t sleep that night. I prayed a lot and again committed by life into the Lord’s hands.”

Little did Georgi know, that President Jimmy Carter had arranged a negotiation for his release and four other prisoners from the Soviet Union and they would be brought to New York by airplane.

When Georgi arrived in the USA, he was so excited to find a bible in the hotel, but it was in English. He mentioned his request for a Russian bible, and an anonymous New Yorker brought him a bible. The next day, newspaper, radio, and tv correspondents arrived and each prisoner gave a statement through an interpreter…Georgi says, “When my turn came, I lifted my Russian bible high and said, “I’m the happiest man in the world. I now have my own bible and no one will take it away from me!” Georgi knew what were the real enduring riches…

Please turn in your bibles to page __________. In the back section under the chair in front of you.

Today we are finishing our series in James on Growth Essentials

This morning we will discussing how we can become more like Christ and follow the godly example of Giorgi Vins in suffering by Growing by Patiently Enduring Until the End.

Please follow along as I read James 5:1-20

This morning we are talking about….

3 ways to grow in patient endurance until the return of Jesus Christ.

Like Giorgi Vins life testifies, God wants us to consider how our 1) resources, 2) our attitude, and 3) our prayers play a crucial role in helping us grow in patient endurance until Christ returns.

First, to patiently endure and be prepared for the return of Christ. We must have the proper perspective for our resources.

We must…

1. Live for enduring riches instead of dissolving dollars that devour you (v.1-6)

We will not endure to the end if we are investing our lives on stuff that is dissolving.

God gives a strong warning, to the rich, and especially the unrighteous rich person…

Before, we say yay!! God you go after those evil rich people…we cannot ignore how this passage may want us to grow and change.

Now, biblically money is not itself sinful.

God’s word even encourages saving and preparing for the future as an example of wise living.

God even assumes there will be always be rich people materially speaking in the world…people who have more and people who have less.

And how many dollars you have or lack of dollars you have is irrelevant in your standing with God and making you pleasing in his eyes, because as we talked about back in James 1:5…God is impartial and gives generously to all w/o consideration of material resources because that is his character (unchanging and unshifting).

But this passage challenges us because it is not just about dollars and cents and judging based on the outward signs.

God knows that even among Christians, “the rich person” can show up in each of us.

Even if we do not have a lot of material resources (and God has given all of us an incredible amount of resources than compared to history)

…Even if we may not be rich, we can still at times be living like the unrighteous rich person.

The Unrighteous Rich Person in James is described as a friend of the world, they embrace at times the anti-god values of culture…we all can do that at times…we see this when we pursue the same goals and carry the same values as those

The Unrighteous Rich Person shows favoritism and judges at face value people that advance their causes and interests….have you ever done that…

The Unrighteous Rich Person lives independently and self-sufficiently like they don’t need God…have you ever or are you currently trying to rely on your own brilliance, resources, or strength

The Unrighteous Rich Person disadvantages others to their own advantage…Instead of loving your neighbor as yourself as we are commanded to do you love yourself at the expense of your neighbor

So, to endure well for Christ’s return and make sure we are living for the enduring riches…we must grow in how we view our resources, how we get our resources, and how we use our resources.

God warns us to live for the enduring riches and not the dissolving riches…

A) By evaluating how you view resources (v.1-3)

Your view of your resources has a great impact on how you prepare and endure well for the return of Christ.

You may know this already, but there is a difference in the way a sprinter prepares for a race and the way a distance runner prepares and runs a race.

I realize that by looking at me you probably immediately recognized that I have had some success in my life as a track star. Ok probably not, but I’ll tell you the story so you don’t have to try to find my accolades on the internet.

My oldest brother has been quite a successful distance runner. He has run in several marathons and high-profile races and has been successful earning all kinds of awards. In fact, as a kid I would go in his room and just gaze at all his trophies and think how cool it would be to a successful athlete like he was.

So when I was 6 years old my brother decided to get me into running races as well. So I would run his cool down miles with him after he went for his long jogs, so I was training.

Then he entered me in the Midwest Indoor Track and Field event as a runner. He entered me in the 800-meter race which is a different race depending on how old you are or how advanced you are in running. To the 6-year-old like I was it is an endurance race. However, to the Olympian it is basically a long sprint.

The first race I was prepared with a thinking about the proper pace I could maintain over 800 meters to be able to leave it all on the track, but actually make it to the finish line. And I executed the plan perfectly.

In fact, that day as a 6-year-old I was named the Midwest Track and Field 800 meters champion. (Please hold your applause).

The next year I went back after having moved up a whole category. And I was determined to win. So as soon as the gun went off I took off sprinting as fast as I could. I mean I was flying. The rest of the racers were dropping further and further behind me.

I could see my brother and other fans and coaches looking at me with a wow look on their face. I was going to destroy the competition. Everything was awesome.

Then the third lap started and I realized that half-way through the race I was completely out of gas. I slowly started to lose my huge lead and by the end I finished exhausted, disappointed, and embarrassed in 4th place.

What happened? I took the wrong approach the race. Instead of thinking about the importance of using my energy properly to get to the end in good shape I was trying to use all my resources right from the beginning and not considering the finish line and what it would take to get there.

A sprinter and a distance runner have totally different approaches to running.

Similarly, the non-Christian and the Christian have totally different mindsets toward their resources and how they prepare for the end.

For the unrighteous rich, they live like the end is this life and their riches in this life are what endure…but James says…

“Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries which are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments have become moth-eaten. Your gold and your silver have rusted; and their rust will be a witness against you and will consume your flesh like fire. It is in the last days that you have stored up your treasure!” (v.1-3)

God warns us that if you have the wrong view toward the resources God entrusts and blesses you with, that it will impact the way you live your life now.

God’s judgment changes how you view your money.

The money that the rich thought was enduring and stored up…is rotting…the clothes, moth-eaten, the gold and silver are rusting, corroding.

They have been hoarding their resources as if they endure forever.

The things that viewed were permanent and lasting are dissolving, and the very riches are a witness…they testify against the rich.

The very thing the unrighteous rich person lives (dissolving dollars) is the thing that shows their view of the resources was wicked and displeasing to God and is what becomes the judgement against them… “consuming their flesh like fire.”

They have the wrong mindset toward their resources. They hoarded riches on the earth which shows what they really loved and valued.

They valued more the dissolving dollars instead of the enduring riches in Jesus Christ and his kingdom.

Question: What are you storing up?

Jesus warned us…

Matthew 6:19-21

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Christians have the view that the riches of the world and material blessings of God are not the enduring riches…

but they are one way I demonstrate my trust and hope in the enduring riches in Christ and the kingdom of God.

So the unrighteous rich try to secure their future, in what is not secure.

They guard and make plans as if their wealth will last, but it fades.

Instead of leaving a legacy to their name, it leaves a witness against them…

And the very thing they thought was “worth living for” is really “worthless and destroying them on the day of judgment”

To live by faith and endure until the end, the Christian is changing their investment strategy toward being faithful to live for the enduring riches.

Like Abraham, who lived by faith for his eternal inheritance, he was willing to patiently endure living temporarily as a foreigner in land in tents, because

Hebrews 11:10

...”he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.”

Or like Moses…

Hebrews 11:25-26

choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward.”

Or like Paul…when speaking about Jesus Christ says

“3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”

And describes the message about Jesus Christ as the “boundless riches of Christ.” Ephesians 3:8

Or Peter who describes our promised inheritance in Jesus Christ as…

…”an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you” 1 Peter 1:4

If we want to endure to the end we must have a view toward enduring riches and rewards.

What are you putting all of your efforts toward?

Are you putting all your efforts toward your comfort and security here on earth?

Are you holding the things of this earth loosely knowing that what really matters is eternity and living for the Kingdom of God?

Are you sacrificing your family, health, energy, and time to gain things that will ultimately rust, rot, be stolen, or break? Or are you giving your giving your health, energy, and time to advance the kingdom of God with and in your family?

How you answer those questions says a lot about who you are truly worshipping! How you answer those questions says a lot about your perspective on wealth.

So what is your view on your resources?

Transition: But not only does our view matter, but also how we get our resources…

B) By considering how you get resources (v.4, 6)

The unrighteous rich person disadvantages others to advantage themselves…So again this applies to those who have a lot of material resources or a little. We can be using other people to get things for our own selfish pleasure. And what especially is wicked is the way the people got their possessions. God says…

Behold, the pay of the laborers who mowed your fields, and which has been withheld by you, cries out against you; and the outcry of those who did the harvesting has reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth.” (v.4)

You have condemned and put to death the righteous man; he does not resist you.” (v.6)

The wicked rich in this verse “withheld their workers wages.” They did not pay them for the work they did.

They used their power and influence to “unjustly condemn and put the righteous man to death.”

They did evil to benefit themselves but disadvantaged others.

This applies to our lives in so many ways:

Some of you may have a role in paying employees or suppliers in your business or maybe you work in purchasing/HR etc.

Do you withhold fair compensation?

You know what is fair and appropriate wages for the cost of living and the skills work provided, but you don’t want to pay what is a reasonable amount.

Do you disadvantage smaller suppliers or people and wait for them to have to contact you and beg you to pay on time?

This “unrighteous rich person character” also applies to consumers or employees.

Employees, do you cheat your employers by not putting in your full hours…or lie on your timecard, or cheat them on your expense report by not recording things properly as you should …you disadvantage them in order to advantage yourself.

It doesn’t just have to be about material gain. We gain things or resources from others all the time. Do you just do what it takes to get what you want like the unrighteous rich person?

Do you do this with your family or friends?

-with your kids.

How many times do you fail to keep your end of the promises you made to them?

How many times do you get lazy with your parenting towards your kids because you are too exhausted to properly bring them up God’s way?

How many times have you agreed to be intentional with activities for your kids only to find yourself too busy meeting the demands in your life that at the moment seem more important?

How many times do you push your kids to be more successfully physically or mentally in order to gain your own pride or status rather than raise them to live life on purpose for God’s glory?

-with your spouse

How many times do you take what your spouse does for granted and become irritated when they stop serving you how you desire?

How many times have you gotten angry at your spouse when they haven’t met your silent expectations?

How many times have you put off the things that are important to your spouse, or family to get done because it didn’t fit your timeline?

-with your friends

Do you demand their attention but rarely give them your attention?

Do you find yourself the center of all your conversations?

When was the last time you listened or served them without interjecting your own story or needs into the situation?

The unrighteous rich person only cares about what they gain, not how they obtain those resources. So everything becomes about accessing what they need and not about doing things right along the way.

We grow in patient endurance until the end not only by having the right view of resources and choosing the right way we get resources but we also must change how we use those resources…

C) By changing how you use resources (v.5)

God owns everything and God entrusts us with everything we have…and we know from him, and through him, and to him are all things, so our resources ultimately are for God’s glory.

We must use our resources to love God and love others.

But James tells us that the unrighteous rich man uses his wealth differently…

“You have lived luxuriously on the earth and led a life of wanton pleasure; you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter” (v.5)

“They live luxuriously…a life of wanton pleasure” Their lives are for personal pleasure and self-indulgence. When you receive money resources, is your first thought how can I use this to please me, or how does God want me to use this to love him and others?

Consider the example of Jesus….

2 Corinthians 8:9

“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.”

Do we “remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Acts 20:35

Come with me back to the story of Giorgi Vins from his time in prison.

  • Giorgi was arrested for religious activity and was thrown into prison for doing good.
  • He was arrested for obeying the Lord.
  • He was placed in a cell with 100 other prisoners.
  • Before going to bed that first night he prayed this prayer, “Lord, it used to be so difficult for me to gather people together in order to preach your Gospel. But now I have no need to gather them. They are already here. Make me a blessing to them…”
  • As a result he began to preach to the prisoners and 40 people came to Christ.
    • Soon they were holding worship services with preaching, prayer, and singing.
    • This angered the guards.
  • They decided that they would move Giorgi to new cell with the hardened prisoners so they could silence him.
  • It happened to be that on the day Giorgi was moved he received a care package from his family.
    • It was a precious gift of bread, sugar, and clothing.
    • An invaluable treasure to a malnourished prisoner.
    • Something to guard, hoard, and enjoy by himself.
  • As he walked into the new cell with 100 of the hardest criminals
    • He felt them eyeing him up with his bag.
    • He sat down on the floor and said to the criminals.
    • “Men, today I received a parcel. Maybe there are some needy among you. Divide it.”
  • And they did.
    • The leader soon returned his bag empty to him.
  • As the men enjoyed the spoils of his care package the leader of the group of criminals asked him.
    • Why did they transfer you here to this cell?
  • And Giorgi told them.
    • “Well, in cell 44 I taught people how to pray to God. The authorities did not like it, so they threw me in here.”
  • The leader then smiled and said.
    • “Very good! Now you will teach us.”

Giorgi was willing to give up what was very precious to him and God used that simple gift to lead to him being able to share the Gospel with this brand new group of prisoners.

There are many ways we can continue to grow, but I am so thankful for our church family growing in this area.

To not live like our ultimate hope is here and now in our material resources.

Many in our church family believe this and live this week after week and month after month and year after year and decade after decade.

When we give, like Jesus says, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

What James speaks of negatively as a warning in these first verses of not living with patient endurance with our resources, Peter describes very well positively…

1 Timothy 6:17-19

“Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.”

Transition: So we can grow in endurance for the return of Christ by living for enduring riches with a right view of resources, a right way to get and use resources…also what especially helps is not only resources but our attitude in suffering as we wait…

2. Cultivate a patient perspective in your suffering (v.7-12)

For those suffering, (James has in view specifically those suffering under the ungodly rich), our attitude matters. “Be Patient brother until the coming of the Lord.”

God says what will help us grow in patience is by learning from our farming brothers and sisters…we can cultivate our attitude to be patient like a farmer…

A) By waiting for the joyful fruits Jesus will produce when he comes (v.7-8)

Like a farmer who waits…being patient about it…whose invested his livelihood into the upcoming harvest…he waits with eager expectation…(there is an unpleasantness to the waiting)…but knowing there will soon be precious produce that will be his reward from his investment when the early and late rain comes…look at what God says…

“Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near.” (v.7-8)

Just like when the early and late rain comes, they bring joyful fruits and produce for the farmer…we can be patient and trust that when Jesus Christ comes, we can expect he will bring precious and joyful fruits as well.

Brothers and sisters…are you patiently waiting for the coming of Jesus…

Like the farmer, you have been sowing the gospel, living faithfully, working hard for God, and you are patiently waiting for the reward.

Are you excited about the all the bounty that Christ will produce from every action of faith, and word of life, and generous gift that you gave for his glory?

What are some of the joyful fruits you wait for at the coming of Christ…Seeing Christ as He Is…

New glorified bodies…

Working and reigning with Christ…and seeing our brothers and sisters in Christ forever.

God tells we are raised to life in Christ and seated with him in the heavenly places…

Ephesians 2:7

so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

Jesus promises greater rewards in heaven…even more than what we lose now as we endure patiently. So, we strengthen our hearts with the blessed hope of his return.

But there is also the reward of patience in our personal lives and character…

So even if you are not physically suffering now, but rather you just suffer from the things of life like exhaustion, loneliness, or pressures you can exercise the same patience.

- Patience teaches us to trust God who controls things that we cannot like the rain…

- We often get impatient most about what we cannot control.

- Our spouses

- Our children

- Our relationship status

- Our workload

And our temptation might be to lash out in anger, manipulate, or withdraw…but God is wanting us to grow in producing the fruit of patience in our life…because love is patient…And do we believe that God is producing precious produce spiritually in our character by having us wait and endure these suffering patiently.

Not only do we grow in patience by looking toward the promised joyful fruit … but by looking at others who have patiently endured suffering before us…and

B) By remembering the blessing of others who patiently endured (v.10-11)

“As an example, brethren, of suffering and patience, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful.” (v.10-11)

Notice…James gives the example of the prophets who endured suffering patiently beatings, ridicule, complaining from the people, and some were even killed…many never saw the nation of Israel change, Moses never saw the promised land, but they were still counted blessed and favored by God for enduring.

Then when you think about Job…who endured the loss of his servants, his property and animals, his own family, and his heath…and he endured his suffering, not cursing God, and God comforted and blessed him with more than what he lost in the end.

Brothers and sisters, there is a stadium full of people who have gone before us and patiently endured their suffering until the end…they finished their race and received their reward in Christ…and their examples cheer us on and encourage our hearts…

So how do we patiently endure like these people?...

C) By avoiding the consequences of impatient speech (v.9, 12)

God says be patient….and wrapped around the focus on patience is the command not to complain…and not to swear…Because our speech is so connected to our attitude…we have to be on guard because it is often the first place to reveal that we are not being patient and enduring suffering well.

When you are suffering…one of the first we often speak about is the other person…

Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door.” (v.9)

The wicked rich at the beginning of James 5, were causing unjust suffering. And there are many in our church family, who have experienced injustice, and suffering because of the evil done to them by another such as sexual or physical abuse, rejection by your spouse with intimacy and love, rebellion by our children…

- But James is warning us to not complain against one another …” so that you yourselves may not be judged.”

- We are not good judges of justice. Not only are we powerless to bring about the justice, we do not possess the wisdom of God to evaluate everything and make perfectly wise decisions like God.

- So God wants our focus not be on complaining against others, but to be more focused on how I respond to that injustice and trusting God to use that injustice for good to produce the patient endurance I need to become more like Christ.

- Our hope and trust is that the Perfect, Judge Jesus Christ is standing right at the door…he will soon justly punish the evil doer…

Just like an impatient and angry attitude can lead to complaining, it also can lead to swearing and making foolish vows and promises.

“But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath; but your yes is to be yes, and your no, no, so that you may not fall under judgment.” (v.12)

So not only does living for the enduring riches and having a patient attitude help us endure, but also prayer.

3. Pray persistently because of the powerful effects (v.13-18)

A) Prayer helps you endure patiently in all circumstances (v.13, 17-18)

We all find ourselves in different circumstances…times of plenty, times of want…but wherever and whatever situation...we find ourselves…prayer is essential to helping us grow in patient endurance no matter the circumstance.

“Is anyone among you suffering? Then he must pray. Is anyone cheerful? He is to sing praises.” (v.13)

But prayer does not mean that the difficult circumstances go away…many times prayer is not helping you to remove the circumstances but to endure the circumstances.

God answers Elijah’s prayers powerfully to bring drought and rain…but the nation of Israel did not experience the repentance and change Elijah hoped for…but he still prayed earnestly and it did have powerful effects.

Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. Then he prayed again, and the sky poured rain and the earth produced its fruit.” (v.17-18)

Any many of Paul’s prayers for believers, he prays for them assuming they will still experience suffering and difficult situations….he prays for the Colossians…

Colossians 1:11 “being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience”

He prays for the Philippians…

Philippians 4:6-7

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Example:

Remember the example of Giorgi Vins being put in prison and instead of complaining about his circumstances he prayed for God to use his circumstances to share the Gospel and at least 40 people accepted Christ.

Examples of praying in all situations…

Anxiety about being needed…having no purpose.

How to respond to person/conflict.

Sexual temptation.

How to make decision.

How to grieve.

So prayer is powerful to help us endure patiently in all circumstances…and also….

B) Prayer powerfully heals those suffering from sickness and sin (v.14-16)

We see the powerful effects of prayer from the righteous man Elijah…and God emphasizes “The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.”

Prayers powerful healing effects are described as well, when offered in faith...

“Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. (v.14-16)

Example:

Don’t passages like this encourage you to just pray for our brothers and sisters…that our prayers offered in faith God can use powerfully in the lives of others…

As pastors and elders, we laid hands and prayed for Dave and Becky, because we believe that God can heal her if that is his will, but even if he does not answer our prayer now, we know that we can trust God and ask for wisdom to navigate this trial so they can grow…and know that God will eventually answer that prayer in the new heavens and new earth…when there will be no more sickness….

Conclusion

Church are we growing in patient endurance.

Are you living for the enduring riches by using your current resources to help you patiently wait for the coming of Christ…

Are you cultivating a patient perspective and attitude in your suffering by looking forward to what Christ will produce when he comes and remembering the examples of those who have patiently endured before you.

Are you praying with faith because you believe God powerfully can help you endure in any circumstance and can help others endure by bringing healing?

Let’s pray.

Johnny Kjaer

Roles

Pastor of Student Ministries - Faith Church

Bio

B.A. - Church Ministries, Maranatha Baptist University
M. DIV. - Faith Bible Seminary
D.Min. - Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (in progress)

Johnny is married to Tori. They have 3 children Leif, Tryggve, and Kjirsti. He has been a part of the youth ministry at Faith since his internship began in 2010. He has been in the position of Pastor of Student Ministries since 2013. Johnny is an ACBC certified counselor. He also serves the church by directing the Lafayette Living Nativity and the Lafayette Passion Play.

Read Johnny Kjaer's Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Kjaer to Faith Church.