Welcome back everyone to this week’s Bible study.  On Sunday we kicked off our summer series Old School by looking at a really challenging if not interesting moment in the life of Abraham and Sarah where they try their best to make God’s promises happen in their own lives and I wanted you to understand something, what God promised them was incredible…but it wasn’t happening…well, it at least was not happening as quickly as any of us would want.  In the story of Abraham, Sarah, and her maid servant Hagar we are watching them try to make sense of the waiting, and the promise, and we really see them come up with this plan to solve or fix what God isn’t getting done in their lives. I mean, it’s already been over a decade since the original promise.  Which is a really long time, especially when the promise from God is so huge!  I mean God promised him that He would make them into a great nation!  He has promised them the world…can’t you just picture or feel the weight and tension of this promise, and for the record, they are doing everything God asks of them, but they are not seeing any results…for years, and years, and years…no children…no children means no nation and God said they would be a great nation with so many descendants you can’t count them.  As we think through these Old Testament stories we need to understand that there is a lot for us to learn from them even if they happened long ago, and this story as rough as it is, really is no different.  I think when it comes to God’s timing, and trying to stay patient as God seems to move so much slower than we would like, it’s something we can relate to, and it’s something that we all deal with.  So this has led us into this discussion about patience and the importance of waiting on the Lord, and maybe even why God’s timing is so important and is typically happening slower than you and I would like.

Today’s scripture is found in James and we are going to just focus on the Message version today…so again if you have your Bible and something to write with we will dig into these two verses.

James 5:10 Take the old prophets as your mentors. They put up with anything, went through everything, and never once quit, all the time honoring God. 11 What a gift life is to those who stay the course! You’ve heard, of course, of Job’s staying power, and you know how God brought it all together for him at the end. That’s because God cares, cares right down to the last detail. MSG

Now I would like to ask you some questions, so let’s slow down and take the time to reflect intentionally on this verse and these questions.

  1. What can you take from this passage in the moments where you are struggling to stay patient with God?
  2. When you read verse 10 and think about these prophets that we are to learn from, and how they went through so much, did you notice it says that in all they put up with they never stopped honoring God?  When you walk through difficulty and are trying to stay patient do you still honor God?  How do you respond in those difficult moments?
  3. How does it hit your heart to hear that God longs to be gracious to you?  What could that mean for you as you walk through everyday life?

Before you move on from this moment, take some time and pray, talk to your Heavenly Father about what it looks like to turn to God, and to find strength in Him and hopefully you can keep reflecting on this verse as you go about your day.  Grab the image from social media, put it on your phone and keep centering on it, especially if you are struggling to stay patient with God’s timing in your own life and let’s really focus on that last line of verse 11 today…

That’s because God cares, cares right down to the last detail. MSG