Oppressors and Suffering 📖
Week 9 Small Group (Wednesday). Focussing on James 5:1-11
We see here a comparison between those who value wealth above all things and those that show that God is above all things. Rich people who don’t know God are put forward first. It’s obvious that they don’t know God by their attitude and the way they’re living. Then we’re introduced to those who James calls brothers and sisters. Those that do acknowledge God as the number 1 priority, and he calls on them to be patient.
Is wealth the issue? No, it’s the attitude towards money and material things. The misuse to oppress or to boast over others. Taking advantage of the poor, many of whom were the minority Christians James writes to. He calls out those that hoard, highlighting that those things will rot away, corrode, and rust. We Christians are to be patient, patient with people, and with trusting God. We are to act in faith and have confidence that God is good and will provide.
We are provided with three examples. The farmer who must wait for the harvest. A harvest can’t be hurried up. A prophet, who speaks but then must wait for the prophecy to be fulfilled, and Job, who had to wait for God. Job persevered through his suffering.
How do we respond to this? Well, we are to be good stewards. God rules over all wealth and He requires our obedience. Christ’s coming reminds us and encourages us towards total obedience. When suffering enters a believer’s life, perseverance is to be a believer’s response. Blessings come from God who is full of compassion and mercy.
Keeping the thinking going...
How do we demonstrate God is our top priority?
How does the way we give show my trust in God?