Taking One for Jesus
Verse 10 Brothers and sisters, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.
Having pointing out the need not grumble and complain James once again brings up the topic of being patient in ministry.
Being impatient can be one of the reasons that we grumble with each other, especially when we are suffering. But if there was ever a group of people who suffered it was the prophets of God. They were persecuted, ridiculed and killed. But they weren’t suffering because of themselves. They were suffering because of the words from God that they were bringing. People didn’t want to hear the truth.
In James’ day the truth was no more welcome than the age of the prophets. The early Christians were suffering because of the truth they had of Jesus and His being the Messiah. James was trying to help them to understand the necessity of being patient in the trials of life. It is easier to be patient with each other and the situation we are in, if we have already come to understand that we are facing these sufferings because of Christ.
Jesus asked how we could expect to be treated better than He was. This is the very question we have to ask ourselves when we are facing pushback due to our faith. We need to expect it and be patient through it. When we are patient through it we will be reflecting Christ through the trial.
These trials of suffering for Christ will more often than not be unwarranted attacks. Meaning these are not things that are brought on because of some wrongful action of ours. These trials are not in response to a sin in our lives but more likely a reaction brought on by someone being convicted by what we said or did. These are sufferings from the hands or mouths of others because of the work of Jesus in our lives. But what might those trials look like?
These trials will come in many forms but will likely include slandering your name, attacks on your personality, ridicule because you believe different than someone else ( for example you don’t approve of sin), and on the rare occasion maybe even physical suffering. Remember James told us at the beginning of his letter that we are to consider it a joy when we suffer for Christ because it teaches us to persevere.
Making It Personal
Have you ever suffered for Christ? If not, why? How have you suffered? What have you learned through your suffering?
Making It Personal Kids
What are ways you live for Jesus that makes others pick on you? Have you ever been picked on because you love Jesus? How can you show you love Jesus when someone is making fun of you?
Father, we know that as Your followers we will have struggles. Help us learn to love in patience even through the trials. In Jesus’ name, amen.