In today’s sermon, the apostle James encourages and challenges Christ-followers to be patient and persevere in the face of suffering and hardship.
It’s not uncommon to occasionally hear of someone who claims to be able to interpret the “signs of the end times” and predict a date for the Lord’s return, or the second coming. So far, these people are batting zero. If you were to predict a year for the Lord’s return, what year would you select. Why?
There were frequent reminders in the New Testament writings (see Philippians 4.5) that the Lord’s return was likely to be soon. Two thousand years have now passed. Is it important to keep that promise fresh in your thinking? Why or why not? How can an awareness of His promised return encourage you? Challenge you?
Read together the passage from today’s sermon, James 5.7-11. What lessons are provided the Christ-follower by the …
- farmer? (Verses 7-8)
- the returning Judge? (Verse 9)
- prophets? (Verse 10)
- Job? (Verse 11)
Have you ever gone through a period when you doubted God’s presence in the middle of hardship or suffering? Please explain.
Which of the practices (worship, Scripture reading and reflection, prayer, Christian friendship and accountability) is most helpful to you in developing patience and perseverance in tough circumstances?