Patience in a Time of Suffering
Passage: Galatians 5:22-23, James 1:12-17, James 5:7-12
I. THE DEFINITION OF PATIENCE
You have heard of the steadfastness of Job
II. THE NEED FOR PATIENCE
Refusing to believe dreadful thoughts of God.
III. THE THEOLOGY OF PATIENCE
God’s “why?” is mercy
“If there is a cross, where the Spirit of God prevails in the heart, the man or woman will wonder that it is no greater…and if there is a mercy, he wonders at God’s goodness, that (He) granted so great a mercy. The Spirit extenuates all evils and crosses and magnifies and amplifies all mercies!… All mercies seem to be great, and all afflictions seem to be little! But (the flesh) does the opposite: (it) lessens God’s mercies, and amplifies evil things. A godly man wonders at his cross that it is not more, a wicked man wonders his cross is so much: ‘Oh,’ he says, ‘none was ever so afflicted as I am.’” - Martin Luther
- Talk about a situation in your life where you need patience.
- Patience is the virtue. Waiting is the action. Talk about each. Why is it so hard to wait? What are you tempted to do instead?
- We are warned of two sins here: blame-shifting and grumbling. They are both substitutes for patience. Talk about each.
- The Bible distinguishes between God's works and His ways. We can't always know what God is doing but we can know what He's like, because He's told us. In the situation where you are needing patience, can you connect what God seems to be doing with what you know He is like. Connect His work to His ways.
- Read the quote from Martin Luther included in the sermon outline and discuss.