23
July
2017

JAMES 5.7-12 WHEN YOU’RE BEING MISTREATED OR THE TEST OF PATIENCE

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INTRODUCTION

Do you feel like someone is out to get you, they are trying to take advantage of you? Are you being mistreated?

In James 5, we find James giving instructions to those who have been mistreated by the rich

Notice Ja 2:6

The rich had been holding back their wages - Ja 5:4

The rich had been oppressing the righteous - Ja 5:6

What is our response as Christians?

  1. DON'T RESIST

Notice Ja 5:4, 6

NOT RESISTING IS CONSISTENT WITH THE TEACHING OF CHRIST AND HIS APOSTLES...

Consider Lk 6:27-36 Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,

Also Ro 12:19-21 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord. 20 Therefore "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head."

21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

  1. And 1Pe 2:18-23

Human nature says if we get angry, and strike back, it is "justifiable anger"

Human wisdom calls for "standing up for one's rights"

BUT NOT RESISTING IS BASED UPON TWO THINGS...

AN AWARENESS that the Lord is coming to judge - Ja 5:7, 8, 9 3 times he is coming

This passage may refer to His judgment when Rome destroyed Jerusalem in ad 70 - Luke 21

But ultimately, it refers to the Lord's final coming on the Day of Judgment that has yet to occur

A WILLINGNESS to let Him be our avenger  Lk 18:7-8 7  "And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? 8 "I tell you that He will avenge them speedily.

  1. BE PATIENT

THE WORD FOUND HERE IS DIFFERENT THAN THAT FOUND EARLIER IN THIS EPISTLE...

In Ja 1:3, the word is "hupomone" Which means to bear up under trials in reference to THINGS or CIRCUMSTANCES

In Ja 5:7, 8, 10, the word is "makrothumia" Which means to suffer long in reference to PEOPLE like those who oppress or mistreat you)

In verse 11, he uses the humomeno like humpomone that means to preserve: under misfortunes and trials to hold fast to one’s faith in Christ

  • THREE EXAMPLES ARE GIVEN TO ENCOURAGE US TO BE PATIENT...

The FARMER: James 5:7

The PROPHETS: James 5:10

JOB: James 5:11

  • THESE EXAMPLES TEACH US...
  • To place our trust in the Lord, that He will eventually reward us for our trust in Him
  • To be steadfast, in the meantime, in our service to Him

III. ESTABLISH YOUR HEARTS

  1. THE WORD "ESTABLISH"...
  2. Means "to fix, make fast, to set" It Is translated "strengthen" in other places
  3. It means to strengthen our heart so as to be patient and not resist the evil being done

John Gill says it means to take heart, be of good cheer, do not be dismayed, or faint, or sink under your pressures, but be of good courage, pluck up your spirits, lift up your heads: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh;

  1. THE "KEY" TO ESTABLISHING OUR HEARTS...

Is the Word of God - cf. 2Pe 1:12 For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth.

Our faith in God and His eventual justice is made stronger

Patience and strength to not resist is developed - cf. Ro 15:4 For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.

James mentions two things that we are to avoid. 

  1. DON'T GRUMBLE

ESPECIALLY AGAINST ONE ANOTHER (9)

We are likely to vent our frustrations as those closest and dearest to us

A man after a bad day at work often takes it out on his wife and family

WE HAVE GOOD REASON NOT TO GRUMBLE...

"Lest you be condemned (judged)"

The same Lord who judges the oppressors, will judge those who murmur and grumble!

Phil 2:14-

2John 8

  1. DON'T SWEAR

THIS IS SOMETHING ELSE ONE IS LIKELY TO DO WHEN IN TROUBLE...

In other words, make rash promises

Promises, which God will hold you to, even if not serious - cf. Eccl 5:2-5 Do not be rash with your mouth, And let not your heart utter anything hastily before God. For God is in heaven, and you on earth; Therefore let your words be few. 3 For a dream comes through much activity, And a fool’s voice is known by his many words. 4 When you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it; For He has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you have vowed 5 Better not to vow than to vow and not pay.

THIS PROHIBITION APPLIES ESPECIALLY TO "FLIPPANT OATHS"...

The Jews said oaths using His name were considered binding, while the others were not

  1. Jesus and James condemn this distinction between different kinds of oaths Mt 5:33-37; 23:16-22

The word condemn is the word hupokrisis which means hypocrisy.

  1. PRAY

THIS IS THE MAIN THING TO DO WHEN OPPRESSED or Mistreated...

As we learn from Ja 5:13

This is what the Christians of James' day were doing - Ja 5:4

WHEN WE PRAY, GOD HEARS!

As seen in Ja 5:4

Jesus and James promised, the Lord will avenge His righteous ones - Lk 18:7-8; Ja 5:7-8

It may not come when we want it, and the Lord may "bear long with us" -

Re 6:9-11 When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. 10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" 11 Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.

  1. But when the time is ripe, the oppressed will be avenged!

CONCLUSION

  1. Therefore, when we are being oppressed...
  • Don't resist
  • Be patient
  • Establish your hearts
  • Don't grumble
  • Don't swear
  • PRAY!
  • When we react this way to oppression...
  • We follow the example of Christ and the early disciples
  • Who committed themselves to God who judges righteously

  1) Christ - "Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed [himself] to him that judges righteously:" (1 Pe 2:23)

  2) The disciples - "Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls [to him] in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator. (1 Pe 4:19)

  1. With such a righteous God on our side, it should be a lot easier to endure those who oppress us!

Is the righteous God on your side?  Or rather, are you on His side?