The Bible nowhere condemns wealth. It just insists that the rich be aware of the perils of wealth and be responsible with their wealth. In James 5:1-6, James accuses the unjust rich of insensitivity, injustice, and indulgence. This passage also serves as a warning, that our desire for such riches will eventually eat away into our body and soul.
5 1 Look here, you rich people: Weep and groan with anguish because of all the terrible troubles ahead of you. 2 Your wealth is rotting away, and your fine clothes are moth-eaten rags. 3 Your gold and silver are corroded. The very wealth you were counting on will eat away your flesh like fire. This corroded treasure you have hoarded will testify against you on the day of judgment. 4 For listen! Hear the cries of the field workers whom you have cheated of their pay. The cries of those who harvest your fields have reached the ears of the L ORD of Heaven’s Armies. 5 You have spent your years on earth in luxury, satisfying your every desire. You have fattened yourselves for the day of slaughter. 6 You have condemned and killed innocent people, who do not resist you.
5b You have fattened yourselves for the day of slaughter.
4a Hear the cries of the field workers whom you have cheated of their pay.
The Golden Rule is that ‘Whoever has the gold makes the rules! 3b This corroded treasure you have hoarded will testify against you on the day of judgment.
A rich man was determined to take his wealth with him. He told his wife to get all his money together, put it in a sack, and then hang the sack from the rafters in the attic. He said, "When my spirit is caught up to heaven, I’ll grab the sack on my way." Well he eventually died, and the woman raced to the attic, only to find the money still there. She said, "I knew I should’ve put the sack in the basement."
Corrie Ten Boom once said, "I have learned not to hold on to things in this life too tightly because it hurts when God pries my fingers loose from them.” Instead of holding onto our riches so tightly, the question we should be asking is, “How much can I bless others with the wealth God has entrusted to me?”
Am I hoarding what I think is mine or am I generous with what God has given me? When I hoard I’m keeping for myself instead of sharing with others. Randy Alcorn has said, “God prospers me not to raise my standard of living but to raise my standard of giving.” God gives to us that we might give to others.
Paul said it like this to a young pastor he was mentoring: “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life” (1 Timothy 6:17-19)
One moment of patience may prevent disaster; one moment of impatience may ruin a life. -- Chinese Proverb Patience: accepting a difficult situation without giving God a deadline to remove it. -- Bill Gothard The times we find ourselves having to wait on others may be the perfect opportunities to train ourselves to wait on the Lord. -- Joni Eareckson Tada Let’s take a look at what James teaches us about patience.
James 5:7-11 (NLT) 7Dear brothers and sisters, you must be patient as you wait for the Lord’s return. Consider the farmers who eagerly look for the rains in the fall and in the spring. They patiently wait for the precious harvest to ripen. 8You, too, must be patient. And take courage, for the coming of the Lord is near. 9Don’t grumble about each other, my brothers and sisters, or God will judge you. For look! The great Judge is coming. He is standing at the door! 10For examples of patience in suffering, dear brothers and sisters, look at the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11We give great honor to those who endure under suffering. Job is an example of a man who endured patiently. From his experience we see how the Lord’s plan finally ended in good, for he is full of tenderness and mercy.
The secret to patience is knowing that God is faithful and that God will keep his promises. James’ original audience, were the Jewish Christians who had been scattered because of persecution around Jerusalem. These believers were stressed out because… Rich people were oppressing them. Verse 7 says, “Be patient.” Unbelievers were persecuting them. Verse 8 says, “Stand firm.” Believers were annoying them. Verse 9 - “Don’t grumble or groan against one another.” But James reminded them that even in the face of trials and persecution, God has always remained faithful.
Romans 5:3-5 (NLT) 3We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us— they help us learn to endure. 4And endurance develops strength of character in us, and character strengthens our confident expectation of salvation. 5And this expectation will not disappoint us. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
The child doesn’t have the experience to know that you have to sacrifice today to enjoy the harvest tomorrow. But the father understands. He can be patient for the harvest, because he has faith that God will provide. He has that faith because he has experience. He knows that God has always provided in the past, and He is faithful to provide today and from now on.
2 Timothy 4:1-4: “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.”
Galatians 6:9 says, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” 1 Corinthians 15:58: “Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”
Ultimately, all grumbling, whether directed at people or problems, is really a protest against God.
Satan wasted no time in trying to get Adam and Eve to doubt God’s goodness toward them…and he follows the same strategy today. Don’t focus on the situation, or you’ll become angry. Don’t focus on yourself, or you’ll be filled with self-pity. Don’t focus on someone to blame, or you’ll begin complaining. Don’t focus on the present, or you’ll miss the point of what God is wishing to achieve in your life.
There once was an oyster whose story I tell, Who found that sand had got under his shell, Just one little grain, but it gave him much pain, For oysters have feelings although they’re so plain. Now, did he berate the working of Fate, Which had led him to such a deplorable state? Did he curse out the government, call for an election? No; as he lay on the shelf he said to himself "If I cannot remove it, I’ll try to improve it." So the years rolled by as the years always do, And he came to his ultimate destiny--stew. And this small grain of sand which had bothered him so, Was a beautiful pearl, all richly aglow. Now this tale has a moral—for isn’t it grand What an oyster can do with a morsel of sand; What couldn’t we do if we’d only begin With all of the things that get under our skin.
13 Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray. Are any of you happy? You should sing praises. 14 Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven. 16 Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.
This passage not only gives us some indication of how to pray, but it also helps us determine when we are to pray. 1. When we’re suffering. (13a) 2. When we have success. (13b) 3. When we have sickness. (14-15a) 4. And, when we’re in sin. (15b-16) In other words: All the time.
William Cowper once said, “Satan trembles when he sees the weakest Christian on his knees.” Samuel Chadwick once said, “The one concern of the devil is to keep Christians from praying. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work and prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom…but he trembles when we pray.”
Rusted Wealth--Michael Deutsch Be Patient – Have Faith--Mark Christian The Virtue of Patience-- Jeff Armbrester The Dangers of Self-Indulgence--Brian Bill