James | Day Five
By: Kate Downing | How To Walk in Patience
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“You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord, is at hand.” [James 5:8]
Patience is no joke. Waiting for the microwave to finish heating your Hot Pocket is hard enough, but waiting for justice to be done or suffering to end can sometimes feel unbearable. How to walk in patience is what James addresses in the final chapter of his letter.
Take a few minutes to ask God to teach you how to wait well, how to trust Him to do all that He has said He would do, and how to walk in patience in every part of your day today.
Read James 5:1-6. James is not saying that all wealthy people are bad people. Instead, he is referring to those who have used money to abuse those less fortunate.
List the sins these people had committed. (v. 4-6)
Have you ever felt used or abused by someone who had more power or resources than you? Write down how this made you feel.
These verses remind us that God has not forgotten the hurts we’ve experienced. Though it may seem like He will never bring these people to justice, we can be assured He will in His perfect timing.
APPLY: In what do you want justice? How is God calling you to walk in patience as you wait for Him to bring it?
Read James 5:7-12. Thinking back to what James’s readers were facing, why would remaining patient be especially hard?
The prophets of the Old Testament never got to see the coming of Jesus though they prophesied about it. They remained steadfast in their faith even though they never got to see Christ’s coming. How would their example be an encouragement to James’s audience?
APPLY: When have you had to patiently wait for something? How is the prophets’ example an encouragement to you as you await Jesus’s second coming?
Walking in patience does not mean that we simply sit around doing nothing. James completes his letter by encouraging his readers to practice prayer and faith as they wait.
Read James 5:13-20. When James refers to the “sick” in these verses he is referring to those who are weak in their faith. These are people who have grown weary and tired in suffering.
What does God promise those who are weak or sick in these verses?
Re-read verse 16. Is it the person’s prayer that has great power or is it God’s power that is great through the prayer?
Who gets the glory if it is the person’s prayer that is powerful? Who gets the glory if it is God’s power?
Summarize the story of Elijah told in verses 17 and 18. (To read the entire story read 1 Kings 18:41-46.)
How does this story display the power of God through prayer?
APPLY: As you practice patience, practice prayer as well. Try different methods of praying: writing out your prayers, praying Scripture, keeping track of how and when God answers.
When we accept Jesus as our Savior, we are freed from slavery to sin, adopted into the family of God, and given the position of daughters of God (Romans 8:14-17). Yet, we must learn to live in this new life, to walk worthy of our position. It takes a while to get our land legs and to stop using the utensils as hairbrushes. But, God has given us every tool we need to learn how to walk in a manner worthy of his daughter.
As we end this study, list five specific things God has taught you over the past five days.
Spend the next few minutes thanking God for the book of James and specifically for the five things He has taught you.