5/25/17 Patience

Wednesday, May 24, 2017


James 1:2-4

Morning Meditation 5/25/17

Verse 2-4 says, “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”

James says some things we don’t like to hear. Like for instance, the words of our text. It is never easy to wait when the pressure is on. But it is good to know that nothing is wrong in relationship to God because things don’t get worked out immediately. This was true in the lives of the people to whom James was writing. These words of instruction to those early Christians are a tremendous help to me. They let me know that though many things have changed, we need to wait on God when we are under pressure. That is still the rule.


James calls them “My brethren.” We learn in verse one that these are “brethren” who are “scattered abroad.” Some think that James is talking to Jewish brethren after the natural linage. I personally believe he is speaking to brethren in Christ who were “scattered abroad” as a result of the persecution of the Church in Acts chapter 8. Acts 8:1 says, “And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.”

Those who were scattered abroad were immature Christians who had not grown much in the Word of God and were doing some things that needed to be dealt with. As a result we have this book in the New Testament. How they settled problems gives us a model to follow in our personal lives and in the churches today. Sometimes we are a little too quick to judge our fellow Christians who are in acting like those to whom James writes (I speak to myself in this area). How many of us would address someone as a brother who was doing what James rebukes them for in chapter four verses one through three? I think I’ll get off that subject!!!


This is brought out in the words, “Count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations . . .” The word “divers” translates “poikilos” and means, “various colors, variegated; of various sorts.” It is translated “manifold” twice. It is found in a stronger form in Ephesians 3:10 where God’s wisdom has shown itself in Christ with boundless variety or richness.

The word “temptations” translates “peirasmos” and means, “an experiment, a trial, a proving.” The enemies of the Christian are the world, the flesh, and the devil. So we can expect trials from these sources. Evidently the brethren to whom James writes are being attacked in their Christian lives from all these sources because he deals with everyone of them in this book. The “divers temptations” might be equated to “murphy’s law”, i.e., if it can happen it will. Have you ever felt like that?

Being a Christian does not insulate us against temptations. But we do have a promise. 1 Cor. 10:13 says, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” This verse says that our temptations are not unique. They are “common to man.” Sometimes we feel we are going through something that no one else has ever had a problem with. When we get to feeling like that, we then conclude, that our relationship to the Lord is flawed in some way. So we say, “Something is wrong. I don’t know what it is but it must be something that God is punishing me for.” I believe in the infallibility of this verse. It says that there is “no temptation taken you but such as is common to man.” There are no new temptations. Therefore, the above is false. The temptation or trials that we go through are not necessarily an indication that we are not right with God. Job was right with God and yet God allowed Satan to try him. It was for Job’s good and God’s glory and he came out a winner.

The problem addressed in this verse is temptations. They are a part of the Christian life. We cannot live here without experiencing them. Next let’s look at,


James says, “My brethren, count it all joy . . .” This is how we are to respond to the temptations. The word “count” translates “hegeomai” and means, “to rule, to have authority over, to esteem, to account, to think.” The idea here is that we remain in charge of our lives when temptations come and do not fall apart. It is an aorist tense verb and means that this is to be our immediate response to temptations at the point of time in which they occur. If we are armed with the truth of Romans 8:28, we can be prepared to look at any event by faith that God is working out His purpose in our lives.

The word “all” means, “each and every.” The word “joy” translates “chara” and means, “the cause or occasion for joy.” I have heard Christians say when they were going through problems, “Praise the Lord, He must be about to do something great!” I would say that illustrates what James is saying here. He is not saying to rejoice in the pain the trials bring. He is telling us to rejoice because we know God is in charge and He has something good planned. Next let’s look at,


James says, “Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.” The word “knowing” translates, “ginosko” and means, “to learn, to know, come to know, get a knowledge of, to perceive.” It is a present active participle. The present tense is continuous action at the present time. He is saying that we are continually learning as we move along in our Christian lives that the trying of our faith works patience.”

The word “trying” translates “dokimion” and means, “that by which something is tried or proved.” These things that are happening bring out the genuineness of ones faith. One is not being tried to see if his faith is real but to show that his faith is real. Faith becomes obvious when one is under trial. The word “faith” translates “pistis” and means, “a conviction of the truth of anything, belief; in the NT of a conviction or belief respecting man's relationship to God and divine things, generally with the included idea of trust and holy fervor born of faith and joined with it.” Our faith determines how we react to the trials that come our way.

The word “worketh” translates “katergazomai” and means, “to perform, accomplish, achieve, to work out, i.e., to do that from which something results.” It is a present middle indicative verb. This means that faith continually works to benefit us (middle voice) to achieve patience. The word “patience” translates “hupomone” and means, “steadfastness, constancy, endurance.” Strong says, “in the NT the characteristic of a man who is not swerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings.” Jesus said in Luke 21:19 in the context of last day sufferings on the part of Christians, “In your patience possess ye your souls.”


1.Patience is an attitude of waiting on the Lord’s return; Rom. 8:25.

2.Patience is an attitude of endurance during times of persecution; 2 Thess. 1:4..

3.Patience is to be a characteristic of a pastor; 1 Tim. 6:11.

4.Aged men are to have patience; Titus 2:2.

5.Patience is to be exercised between trusting in the promise of God and receiving its fulfillment; Heb. 6:12; 10:36.

6.The Christian race is to be run with patience; Heb. 12:1.

7.Patience helps develop the believer in progress toward maturity; James 1:4.

The purpose of patience is stated in the words, “But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” The words “let have” translate “echo” and means, “to have or hold in the hand.” It is a present active imperative. The imperative mood expresses a command with urgency. It is urgent that the believer not quit under pressure. The words “perfect work” means, “wanting nothing in the process of becoming complete.” This teaches that the good that comes through enduring the many different trials is maturity. God wants Christians to mature..

The words “that ye may be” translate a present subjunctive from the “to be” verb eimi. It is speaking of coming to maturity in the present tense of their lives. The subjunctive mood means it is possible, but not without ENDURING TRIALS. Christians do not know what they do when they quit under stress. God’s purpose in allowing the trial is set aside by the quitter. It is like me saying, “God, I’m not putting up with what you are allowing.” It takes the element of faith in God’s purpose in allowing the trial and puts it aside on the ground of rationalism. Faith trusts in every situation.

The word “wanting” translates “leipo” and means, “to leave, leave behind, forsake, to be left behind, to lag, be inferior.” It is a present passive participle. This means that James is saying that by allowing patience to have her perfect work that the trials would act on them to bring them to complete maturity. A good question is can a believer grow to maturity without trials? Can he just by the study of God’s word come to maturity. The answer is no. He cannot. Hebrews 5:12-14 says, “For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” Note the words, “who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” It is BY REASON OF USE. The Word of God directs us in the way to live in this world. It is not just something to be known. We will not be judged for what we know at the Judgment Seat of Christ. We will be judged and rewarded for what we did with what we know.

None of us like to have to exercise patience. But it is a discipline that is necessary to spiritual growth. May God give us grace to stay put and not search for a way of carnal relief when things are not going well. “Let patience have her perfect work” is the rule.

May God bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ

Bro. White

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