This year in our Sunday School lessons we are going through the books of James and Proverbs to look at the Practical Living from God’s Word. What is located below are the high level points we discussed this week. Please use this tool to follow up with your teens and see how they plan to apply this to their life.
Recall the 4 principles of stewardship:
- God owns everything, you own nothing.
- God entrusts you with everything you have.
- You can either increase or diminish what God has given you; God wants you to increase it.
- You can be called into account at any time, and it may be today.
- James 5:7-12 gives us four principles on how to be a good steward of adversity in our lives. That sounds strange to think about, but there is one key word that unites them all – PATIENCE. Let’s take a look……
Recall that James 5:1-6 addressed the issue of the Stewardship of Riches. He discussed how some who had attained wealth had been “lording it over” those who had less. Ultimately James points out that greed is sinful and leads to a lack of stewardship of material wealth, and unfortunately many who were originally hearing this letter for the first time suffered under such a lack of stewardship. So James now transitions to how those who are living under such challenging, adverse conditions can be good stewards of even those situations and opportunities.
- I. Patience in Work (7-8)
i. Reason to be patient: God see the whole of our lives and each step we must take to fulfill his plan. His plan is perfect so be patient for Christ is coming eventually!
ii. Application: Think about the farmer. We also “plant” by our deeds and we need to wait on the Lord for the ultimate reward of our works done for Him.
- II. Patience in Relationships (9)
i. Reason to be patient: Show confidence in the justice of God.
ii. Application: If someone does something to us that gets to us, be patient because we will be judged for complaining.
- III. Patience in Problems ((10-11)
i. Reason to be patient: The Lord is in full control and everything will come out according to His plans. Take the Old Testament prophets as well as someone like Job as real life examples of people that lived in challenging times with many problems but showed great patience in their lives.
ii. Application: The Biblical record of God’s care for His children is one of the best reasons for us to be patient (think about verses like Rom. 8:28-29). Or think about a verse like, “For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope (Romans 15:4).”
- IV. Patience in Speech (12)
i. Reason to be patient: In times of testing and adversity, we must be careful that we don’t make decisions or take oaths without realizing what we are pledging. Our words are powerful so be patience and use them well for God’s glory and honor.
ii. Application: We should be faithful to our word. We should mean what we say. Pressure has a way of loosening a person’s tongue. Believers must not be hasty in speech especially in trials.
- How are you doing at being a patient person? How can you work on patience even this week?