- 9 Don’t grumble against each other, brothers, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!
◦ Wow! Grumble. It is so easy to grumble! This word translates to: murmur not. The verb means to sigh or groan.
◦ The judge stands before the door – Hearing every word, marking every thought. And He is the one who can see the heart. Not us.
◦ I am thinking, I have done a lot of sighing, moaning, and grumbling in my day! I pray for strength to stop and for wisdom to see that I am about to do it, before I do!
- 10 Brothers, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.
◦ We are told here to look at their lives. They suffered. Much more than we are most likely.
◦ What I also see is that their suffering did not go unnoticed. I don’t believe God will not notice our suffering either. I believe He knows full well how we feel, how we hurt. I do believe the creator of the world, the creator of feelings, understands our pain. He cares. He, however, unlike us sees the big picture and knows this is but a moment in eternity
- 12 Above all, my brothers, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. Let your “Yes” be yes, and your “No,” no, or you will be condemned.
◦ Are you surprised by this statement being “Above all”? At first glance it is confusing..
◦ Here is what I believe it translates to in our time. Your life ought to speak volumes to the world about your integrity.
▪ If you say you will do something, you will. No need to plead for people to believe you.
▪ If you are the type of person who has to say, “Really, I mean it, I promise.” Then that is speaking volumes all by itself!
◦ James is saying here. Be honest, dependable and trustworthy. Live a life that is pleasing to God and men will trust you.
◦ Jesus said: Mat 5:34 But I say to you, Do not swear at all! Not by Heaven, because it is God’s throne; 35 not by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet; not by Jerusalem, because it is the city of the great King; 36 nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black.37 But let your word be, Yes, yes; No, no. For whatever is more than these comes from evil.
▪ Wow, evil!!
- 13 Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. 14 Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven.
◦ So clearly if we are in trouble we should pray! You might be tempted to say, “Well duh! Of course we should pray!” but as I have said many times in the past, if you think about what the opposite or alternate things of this verse could be, you may see more clearly what James means.
▪ The opposite means, we don’t pray, we just push on in our power, our own pride our own self-righteousness.
▪ Alternative things we could do would be to curse instead! To cry, To whine, to do nothing, to be pitiful, to curl up and wail! Or to try to get help from others
▪ Trouble of any kind should instantly cause us to pray!
◦ Are you happy? God has a plan for that, too! It is not to do nothing. It is not to just sit and wallow in your happiness, it is to sing praises! Not just sing, oh how happy I am type stuff, but praises to God for His blessings on your life! And if God really cared that we could all sing in the right tune, than He would of made us that way. He just wants us to sing!
▪ I know people who say they sing so bad that even God does not want to hear it. I believe this verse shows that is wrong. If you are happy, you are to sing praises to God. He wants to hear them!
◦ Now to sickness. Trouble required that we pray for ourselves. But sickness says to call in the elders of the church to pray over us and anoint us with oil.
▪ How often do we do this? I have seen this done a few times, but most times I am not around to see the results But let me tell you about this one time in particular! I may not tell it exactly, but only because I can’t remember which organ and how many years she was given.
- At our Ladies Bible Study class we had a woman who had just been told she had growths on her bladder (I believe it was her bladder, but might have been somewhere else) and that she most likely had cancer and would only live about 3 years. That doctor wanted her to go to a specialty hospital in another town We had a Bible study between that time of her being told and her going to the other hospital. We had such a moving of the Holy Spirit that we prayed over her. She went to the hospital and went in to have a biopsy. Well apparently they had the test results from the first doctor and did some more test, not sure if it was a MRI or what, but anyway, she just lay there and lay there waiting for them to come do the biopsy wondering what was taking them so long. Thinking of course scary things. But then the doctor came in and said they were not going to do the biopsy because there was nothing to biopsy. They were all gone. He could not explain it.
◦ We could! God moved! God healed! Why? I believe because we followed His teachings. We did not have oil, but we did have hands and we laid them on her and poured out our hearts to God.
◦ Note, also, we are not what most people consider to be elders of the church. We were just some women who met in a house to learn more about God and His will for our lives. We did not stop and say, we are not worthy, we are not elders, we don’t know how to do it. We just did it by the prompting of the Holy Spirit! A little faith goes a long way with God.
◦ So I am wondering why we don’t do this all the time! Why are we not doing it in the churches? Some are, I am sure, but many are not.
▪ It probably has to do with a combination of our lack of faith and our fear of doing it for show or fear people will fake things. So sad!
◦ But now lets look at what it says after we should have the elders pray. It says God will heal! Not the elders! We cannot take glory for any of it!
◦ And …wow… it says the sins will be forgiven, too.
▪ I marveled at this. I pondered it. I prayed. And here is my meager explanation for this verse.
- Some sins cause sickness of the body.. God is full of grace! And when He heals, He makes us whole! Sickness gone, sins gone, a new start!
◦ Verse 15 explains how us not having oil was not a problem Healing came by faith! In the time this verse was written oil was used as medicine. Some people even believe this is saying something like, pray and then go to the doctor and get medicines I don’t know. I just know that oil was not used when we prayed and the girl was still healed and is still healed!
I count it a real blessing to have witnessed this healing! And I cam to realize that the healing is not only for the one healed! Faith is increased by all who witness miracles!