My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.
Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned. Behold, the Judge is standing at the door! My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and patience. Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by
the Lord—that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.
-James 1:2-4, 5:7-11 (NKJV)
My message is: Stay a little bit longer, and let patience have its perfect work. Stay in the place of your suffering.
Don\’t stay in abuse, flee abuse, set boundaries on abuse. Stay in that trial you are in, where your patience has worn thin and God has not opened the door to the next thing for you, yet.
Let patience work. Have you ever heard the phrase, \’don\’t waste your trials\’? That is what this is.
Before the Lord promotes you, he wants to transform you. We have been asking to be transposed. We have been imagining and planning on a better place for ourselves.
But before God does that, he does this. He puts you through trials to refine you and synergize you with Christ. God has you in the place of transformation. Stay in it a bit longer and let patience have its perfect work in you.
I know that many people want more out of life. We want success and to have lives with impact. We want to enjoy doing what we have been given to do and get recognition for it.
Some of us are content and very thankful for the blessings that we are living in. But we also have something we are frustrated about and it seems like it will never get better. We have little hope or almost none and even no hope left.
Some of us have given up on our dreams. This is like the heartbroken father of the boy who was afflicted by a demon, who said to Jesus, \”I believe, but help my unbelief\” (Mark 9:14-29). Our hopes have been deferred for so long, that our hearts are just sick (Prov. 13:12).
We are in a window of time. We are always in a window of time. But what if God asked you, at this time, to stay a little longer and let patience have its perfect work?
The alternatives are opting out or resisting. Opting out is when you leave before the work is done, in you. You might say, \”I don\’t have time for this\”, or some other excuse, but you disengage from the suffering and your persevering faith trial. \”I haven\’t got time for the pain\”, or \”I\’m out of here\”; you say.
Resisting is when you don\’t hit the eject button, but you don\’t let patience work in your life either. Resisting is when you push back, deny, blame, complain and present yourself as a victim. You feel sorry for yourself and others do too, but in the game you are playing, you avoid the growth of letting patience have its perfect work in you. Nothing has changed inside you.
Letting patience have its perfect work in you is when you seek or cultivate union with God. Your prayer of, \”O God help me\”, becomes a cry for intimacy, communion and fellowship with God.
God is drawing near to you, beckoning you to share your life, especially the pain, suffering and disappointment. We might have in mind that when God comes it means I get my prayers answered, I get the stuff I have been asking for and I get rescued or delivered, healed or made whole. But what God wants is to be with you in your trial. God wants more to transform you than to make it go away.
God is saying today, to some people, including myself: \”Stay a little bit longer and let patience have its perfect work in you\”. How much longer? I don\’t know.
There are times and seasons, general for everybody and particular to individuals and groups of individuals who make an \’in the same boat\’ group. A bunch of people need to stay and not opt out, resist or leave their place of trial right now, because God is wanting to finish a work in you, called by James, \’letting patience have its perfect work\’.
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