Have you ever felt like you’re trying to hang onto your faith for dear life? Maybe storm after storm keeps coming and it seems like there will be no relief. Or you’re waiting to know what’s your next move but it feels like God is silent. How can you keep your faith alive when it feels like everything is against you?



James has been writing to a group of people that have just started following Jesus 


He’s helped them see their faith is more than just a set of religious boxes to be checked 


It’s a lifestyle they must commit to

  • Through how they handle trials 
  • How to treat others 
  • How our actions need to match our words 
  • That we can find wisdom when we draw near to God 


  • When we live like this, it’s risky and it starts to change your life 
    • How you parent 
    • How you date 
    • How you handle your career 
    • How you express your sexuality 
    • How you talk 
  • Now we have come to the end of the book and James wraps it up with some words of encouragement.
  • Story of a Tom Brady pep talk at super bowl down 28-3 
    • “Gotta play tougher. Gotta play harder. Harder, tougher, everything. Everything we’ve got,”
  • And now James is doing the same… and the first word of encouragement he gives is… 

Be patient in the waiting. 

  • Read James 5:7 — Dear brothers and sisters, be patient as you wait for the Lord’s return…”
  • How many of you are good at patiently waiting? 
  • I am not good at waiting. And apparently we aren’t as a culture either… 
    • Amazon 2 days and if it’s late… I am suing! We have a question… “hey google” instantly 3.2 million answers. 
    • How many people join a gym New Years day and quit within a week because they don’t have the results they thought they would? 
      • Physical transformation doesn’t happen overnight and neither does spiritual transformation 
        • It’s a process to become more like Jesus everyday. 
        • There is even a religious word for what that process is called… it’s called sanctification. 
      • Summed up in Romans 12:1-2 
        • Read Romans 12:1-2 — Romans 12:1-2 And so, dear brother and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice – the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
    • Everything James has talked about so far, these practices will take time and patience… 
      • That’s why James says the word patience 4 times in 4 verses. 
        • James also gives them examples of people that have to have patience… 
          • The first is farmers in James 5:7 — Consider the farmers who patiently wait for the rains in the fall and in the spring. They eagerly look for the valuable harvest to ripen. You, too, must be patient. Take courage, for the coming of the Lord is near. 
            • Growing up in a rural town and coming from a family of potato farmers in Maine, this is a principle I know all too well. 
              • Farmers learn to wait. They have to be good at waiting. But while they are waiting, they aren’t sitting around doing nothing. They are preparing. 
            • There might be times in your life when you are in a season where you need more patience. Where you are waiting. That doesn’t mean we get to just sit around. 
              • While we are waiting, there are lessons to be learned and questions to ask. 
              • King David, one of the most impactful leaders in all of Scripture… was a shepherd before he was king. 
                • And many of the lessons that he learned in the field prepared him for the palace. 
                • But see, often times we want the palace without the field.
                  • The healthy marriage without the hard work. 
                  • The financial security and happiness without a budget. 
          • James goes on to give 2 more examples of patience in the Bible in James 5:10-11 — For example of patience in suffering, dear brothers and sisters, look at the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. We give great honor to those who endure under suffering. For instance, you know about Job, a man of great endurance. You can see how the Lord was kind to him at the end, for the Lord is full of tenderness and mercy.”
    • Job lost everything. The prophets were often times outcasts and killed for their beliefs. 
      • James 1:3 — we know when our faith is tested, our endurance has a chance to grow. 
      • When we shift our thinking from our will to God’s will, what we talked about last week, we start to find that our greatest times of growth happen we patiently endure hard times. 
        • And followers of Jesus, we can patiently wait because we have hope… we have hope found in James 5:8 — Jesus is coming back.
          • That’s our hope. That’s the harvest. 
    • So don’t waste your waiting!
      • When we aren’t patient and become frustrated our tendency can be to do what James warns us about in verses 9 and 12 
        • Don’t grumble about each other, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. For look — the judge is standing at the door. But most of all my brothers and sisters, never take an oath, bu heaven or earth or anything else,. Just say a simple yes or no, so that you will not sin and be condemned. 
          • James is saying when we lose patience and grow frustrated we start to take it out on others… or our frustration leads us to the place where our words become meaningless. 
            • Like on a roadtrip with your family and your so frustrated with your kids you say, “im turning around if this keeps going!” 
              • Well you’re not… you’re 10 hours into the drive and you’re just tired. 
    • James knows that hard times are a guarantee in life and so he wants to encourage these new followers of Jesus… be patient and have hope. 
      • But what tools do we have to develop this patience? The first is this.. 

Prayer is the key that unlocks the door to patience. 

  • Read James 5:13-15 — Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray. Are any of you happy? You should sing praises! Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven. 
    • James is saying if patience is becoming hard and you are grumbling, complaining, your words are becoming meaningless, you’re unhappy, you’re sick…. PRAY!
    • Prayer reminds us that God is first and we are second 
      • Proverbs 3:5-6 — trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. 
    • James even tells us WHEN and HOW we should pray… 
      • Read James 5:13,16-17 — Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray…. Confess your sins to each others and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. 
        • What these verses tell us is… 
          • We should pray individually — verse 13 
          • We should pray collectively — verse 14 and 16 (life groups, the church, with another person) 
    • As you begin to develop this a prayer life you will find that prayer changes things, because prayer changes people who pray.
      • Verse 16 — prayer has great power! 
        • Why? Because the God of the universe is listening.. 
          • 1 John 5:15 — And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for. 
      • Listen to the power prayer has… 
        • Read verse 17-18 — Elijah was as human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for three and a half years! Then when he prayed again, the sky sent down rain and the earth began to yield its crops. 
          • James makes a point to say… Elijah was AS HUMAN AS WE ARE. We have access to the same power and the same powerful God. 
            • But do we really believe that? 
    • God hears every one of our prayers. He desires for us to talk with him. 
      • Maybe prayer intimidates you because you don’t feel like you have the right words or you haven’t been a follower of Jesus long enough, or you feel like God isn’t listening. 
        • Well in the Bible we find all 3 of those thoughts to not be true! 
          • Paul in 1 Corinthians says it’s not about eloquent words, it’s about your heart. 
          • Romans tells us anyone that calls on the name of the Lord, prays, will be saved 
          • 1 John 5:15 tells us that God is listening 
    • Prayer is the key to unlocking patience… but James knows there will be some that people that struggle. There will be some people that start to wander off of the path that a follower of Jesus should try and follow. 
    • James’ final encouragement is… 

Pursue those that wander off the path. 

  • Read James 5:19-20 — My dear brothers and sisters, if someone among you wanders away from the truth and is brought back, you can be sure that whoever brings the sinner back will save that person from death and bring about the forgiveness of many sins. 
    • There will be people, maybe this has even happened to you, where you have wandered away from following Jesus. 
      • Something distracted you, something felt better, something seemed more enticing, and so you wandered away from Jesus. 
    • It’s hard to be patient! It’s hard to prayerfully seek God! And because of that, I think everyone can be prone to wandering.
      • Sister getting lost at six flags 
        • An employee helped her find us at a booth 
  • So when this happens… what should we do? 
    • Well, we know that James has already talked about how we should not JUDGE someone. And how we should not talk BAD about someone. 
      • Why? Because we are all prone to wander. We all make mistakes. 
        • James 4:11 — God ALONE is the judge. 
    • What we should do is PURSUE them. 
      • Because God pursues us. 
        • If you aren’t a follower of Jesus in this room, God is pursuing you and wants your heart. He wants you to choose Him and surrender. 
        • This whole book (point to Bible) is about God’s pursuit and love for His people. It’s a rescue mission. 
          • And if you are a follower of Jesus, he has given us the same mission! To help more people know and follow Jesus. 
  • Listen… if we’re being honest, COVID created a lot of wanderers.
    • People that know they should be in a life group, serving on a team, or people that know they should be attending church… but, they comfortable just chilling at home now. Or going to soccer games. 
      • I know there are legitimate medical concerns.. those are not the people im talking about. 
      • I’m talking about the people that are cool wandering through market basket but not coming back to church. 
    • Who are the people that you know right now haven’t come back yet? Who are the people in your life right now that came to mind and you need to start praying for and pursuing? 
    • Who can you send a text to later today and say, “hey I’ve missed seeing you at church. Let’s sit together next week!” 
      • Wouldn’t you want someone to do the same for you?


Application Questions

  1. What stood out to you from this message and why?
  2. What is one thing God is telling you to START doing because of this message?
  3. What is one thing God is telling you to STOP doing because of this message?
  4. How will this message change how you act at home, work and in the your relationships?