EQUIPPING TIME   9:00
FELLOWSHIP CONNECTION   9:30
WORSHIP SERVICE 10:00

Just For Fun: Would others describe you as a patient person?

Scripture: James 5:7-12

Patience is hard for some of us during the best of times and nearly impossible during difficult times. But God uses all things – even hardship – for our good.

Nelson Mandela lived most of his life during difficult times. The only education available to him under Apartheid was offered through a nearby Methodist missionary. He learned more than reading and writing during his years there. He also learned to trust in Jesus - eventually teaching Bible classes in the local community even as he was becoming more outspoken about the injustices in his country.

His words encouraged some and frightened others. Ultimately, he was imprisoned and was held as a political prisoner for 27 years. But what man intended for evil, God intended for good. (Gen 50:20 ) God was at work in Nelson’s life during those difficult years. God was creating a leader.

He was released in 1990 and became the president of South Africa in 1995. Yet he refused to use his power for revenge. He used what he had been given instead for peace and reconciliation and was awarded the Nobel peace prize.

So, where did Nelson find the patience to endure 27 years of prison? The Holy Spirit. It is him that provides the peace that you and I need in our lives.(Gal 5:22-23 ) So, when you are struggling through difficulties, remember where your help comes from.(Psalm 121:1 ) Cry out for the patience you need to endure and trust that God is using this too for his plan.

Questions:

  1. As believers, keeping the peace between ourselves should be easy. Why do we struggle so much in this area?
  2. Jesus said that persecutions would come, but he didn’t say they would be easy. How can we prepare ourselves to patiently endure when we are persecuted?
  3. God uses trials to grow us and to glorify his name. How can we remain steadfast during trial?
  4. Jesus could return at any time. How do we remain patient while also remaining ready?

Optional

  1. James’ audience was struggling both economically and because of the unbelief of others. What are you currently suffering under?
  2. Are there specific individuals that are making your life difficult today? What could you do for this person to help you patiently endure?