Daily Archives: August 24, 2020

Watch Highlights From The Republican National Convention – Night One (VIDEO) — American Lookout

Tonight was the first night of the Republican National Convention, and it was already a very different event than the one we saw from the Democrats last week.

Unlike the gloom and doom of the DNC, the RNC is shaping up to be a celebration of all the things that make America special and of which the American people can be proud.

The line-up of speakers included many familiar faces, as well as some regular citizens.

We’ve rounded up a few highlights for you to watch.

Take a look:

Kim Klacik, the woman running for Congress in Maryland who took America by storm last week after releasing an amazing ad that went viral:https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1298062103346061312&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwordpress.com%2Fread%2Ffeeds%2F54167485%2Fposts%2F2877201046&theme=light&widgetsVersion=223fc1c4%3A1596143124634&width=550px

The St. Louis couple who were forced to defend their home from an angry mob:https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-1&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1298076524239884288&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwordpress.com%2Fread%2Ffeeds%2F54167485%2Fposts%2F2877201046&theme=light&widgetsVersion=223fc1c4%3A1596143124634&width=550px

Former football star Herschel Walker:https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-2&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1298081410851508225&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwordpress.com%2Fread%2Ffeeds%2F54167485%2Fposts%2F2877201046&theme=light&widgetsVersion=223fc1c4%3A1596143124634&width=550px

Maximo Alvarez, the man who escaped Communist Cuba as a child:https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-3&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1298081845536595968&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwordpress.com%2Fread%2Ffeeds%2F54167485%2Fposts%2F2877201046&theme=light&widgetsVersion=223fc1c4%3A1596143124634&width=550px

Vernon Jones, the Democrat Rep. who shocked the political world this spring by backing Trump:https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-4&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1298073613581651975&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwordpress.com%2Fread%2Ffeeds%2F54167485%2Fposts%2F2877201046&theme=light&widgetsVersion=223fc1c4%3A1596143124634&width=550px

Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley:https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-5&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1298085196022067200&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwordpress.com%2Fread%2Ffeeds%2F54167485%2Fposts%2F2877201046&theme=light&widgetsVersion=223fc1c4%3A1596143124634&width=550px

Donald Trump Jr.:https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-6&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1298087291227910146&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwordpress.com%2Fread%2Ffeeds%2F54167485%2Fposts%2F2877201046&theme=light&widgetsVersion=223fc1c4%3A1596143124634&width=550px

Andrew Pollack, who lost his daughter in the Parkland shooting:https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-7&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1298074773499645953&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwordpress.com%2Fread%2Ffeeds%2F54167485%2Fposts%2F2877201046&theme=light&widgetsVersion=223fc1c4%3A1596143124634&width=550px

Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina:https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-8&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1298090472892702722&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwordpress.com%2Fread%2Ffeeds%2F54167485%2Fposts%2F2877201046&theme=light&widgetsVersion=223fc1c4%3A1596143124634&width=550px

It was a great first night. Now on to night two.

(Image:Source)

Watch Highlights From The Republican National Convention – Night One (VIDEO) — American Lookout

UPDATED: Jerry Falwell withdraws his resignation from Liberty University | Religion News Service

(RNS) — Jerry Falwell Jr., the embattled president of Liberty University and one of President Donald Trump’s earliest and most vocal supporters, has withdrawn his resignation from the evangelical Christian university founded by his father.

On Monday (Aug. 24), the first day of the fall semester at Liberty, Religion News Service learned from multiple sources close to the proceedings that Falwell had resigned.

Later that evening, a statement from Liberty confirmed Falwell had agreed to resign as president and from the university’s board of directors, then withdrew his resignation after media reports about it.

Falwell already had agreed to on an indefinite leave of absence from his roles as president and chancellor of the university following controversial posts on social media.

“Since that time, additional matters came to light that made it clear that it would not be in the best interest of the University for him to return from leave and serve as President,” according to the statement from Liberty.


RELATED: Jerry Falwell Jr. needs to go, say Liberty University alumni and Christian pastors


His resignation came within hours of the publication of a news story that alleged he and his wife, Becki Falwell, had a years-long sexual relationship with a business associate.

Falwell had agreed to to resign immediately after a meeting by the board’s executive committee, according to the statement, but then “instructed his attorneys not to tender the letter for immediate resignation.”

A spokesman for Liberty previously told RNS the board leadership has “been in discussion with Jerry Falwell and expect to be able to make a statement on Tuesday.”

After news of his resignation first broke, Falwell told a Virginia business publication that he did not plan to leave the school. He also claimed his leave from the school was his idea, more of a sabbatical than a leave of absence.

“I don’t care what you call it. I’ve been at this for so many years and under so much stress, I decided I needed a three-month break.”

Falwell had been placed on indefinite leave earlier this month after posting, then deleting, a provocative Instagram photo of him posing with his arm around a woman at a party with their zippers down and midriffs showing.


RELATED: Why Jerry Falwell Jr.’s social media ‘yacht’ posts were problematic for Liberty University


After that post, Liberty University alumni and former teaching faculty at the school called for his permanent ouster, citing a long list of offensive statements by Falwell, who has been one of President Trump’s staunchest allies.

Earlier Monday (Aug. 24), Reuters published a story saying Falwell’s onetime business partner, Giancarlo Granda, a former pool attendant at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach Hotel, had a six-year relationship that involved sex with Becki Falwell while Jerry Falwell looked on.

“Becki and I developed an intimate relationship and Jerry enjoyed watching from the corner of the room,” Granda said in the Reuters story.

The Falwells and Granda later became business partners and offered Granda a share in a Miami youth hostel.

Colby Garman, pastor of the Pillar Church in Dumfries, Virginia, and a Liberty alumnus, last week published a letter signed by 50 Liberty alumni calling on Falwell’s permanent removal, saying his behavior has embarrassed the school and its reputation. He reiterated today his call for Falwell’s removal.

Commenting on Twitter, he said that the allegations about the Falwells are sad and, if true, would be “a reminder of just how deeply entangling sin can become.”

Falwell, who since his father’s death in 2007 has been president of Liberty University, one of the nation’s largest Christian schools, has greatly expanded the school and its offerings during his tenure.

Just last week, the board of trustees at the school met and decided to delay any decision about whether Falwell would be reinstated after his leave.

The Reuters story comes one day after the Washington Examiner published a story in which Falwell said he was suffering from depression because his wife had an affair with a family friend and that friend has been threatening to expose it.

“Over the course of the last few months, this person’s behavior has reached a level that we have decided the only way to stop this predatory behavior is to go public,” Falwell said in a statement published by the Examiner. 

“We have categorically rejected this person’s demands while dealing with him and this particular member of the media who seemed just as obsessed with the prurient, untrue aspects of this story, however fantastic.”

Falwell did not name the friend in the Examiner story. He also said he was “not involved” in his wife and Granda’s affair.

Reached by phone earlier Monday, Falwell told RNS he already had given his statement to the Washington Examiner and wouldn’t comment further. 

The allegations of a sexual threesome have been swirling for some time. Last year, Falwell allegedly sought out President Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen to help prevent the release of some racy personal photos,according to published reports. Falwell then denied Cohen’s account that he flew to Florida around 2015 and got the person with the Falwell photos to agree to destroy them.


RELATED: Did Jerry Falwell’s personal photos violate Christian sexual codes?


Those who study U.S. evangelicals said that while churches and other institutions may look the other way when it comes to race, money or politics, sexual sins are not tolerated within that subculture. Many Christian schools, such as Liberty University, have honor codes that spell out what they consider to be Christian standards for sexual conduct.

“I don’t see how Falwell survives this,” John Fea, a professor of American history at Messiah University and a frequent commentator on evangelicalism, said before news of Falwell’s resignation broke. “He’s done.”

A group of students and alumni blamed the crisis in leadership on the school’s board, saying it had been “derelict” in its duties in allowing Falwell to damage the spiritual vitality, academic quality and national reputation of the school. The group, called “Save71,” suggested the school begin by removing the “beneficiaries of Falwell’s inappropriate nepotism.” It also proposed an independent investigation of claims of financial corruption. 

Falwell also made headlines when photos of Falwell and members of his family partying at a Miami Beach nightclub in 2014 surfaced. 

More recently, he apologized after tweeting images of a politician in blackface and Ku Klux Klan imagery.

(This story has been updated with additional statements from Falwell and Liberty.)

— Read on religionnews.com/2020/08/24/jerry-falwell-resigns-liberty-university-alleged-affair-trump-pool-attendant/

August 24 God’s Beautiful Creation

 

Psalm 33:5

The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.

God loves to bring about blessings in our lives. We can see the goodness of God not only by how He provides for us in our own lives, but also by looking at the beauty that He built into the universe He created. The psalmist says, “The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.” Arthur W. Pink writes that the goodness of God is seen in the variety of natural pleasures which He has provided for us. God could have satisfied our hunger without worrying about our taste, but He gives us tastebuds and gratifies them with good-tasting food. God could have made the earth fertile without its surface being so delightfully beautiful. We could have lived without beautiful flowers and the music of birds. But the source of all this loveliness and charm leads us back to the goodness of God.

We have a beautiful world, and every time we have a chance to visit the greatness and goodness of God in His provision of this beauty for us, we ought to stop and praise His name. He has cared so wonderfully for us as His creatures.[1]

 

[1] Jeremiah, D. (2002). Sanctuary: finding moments of refuge in the presence of God (p. 247). Nashville, TN: Integrity Publishers.

So-called Business Partner of the Falwells Giancarlo Granda Says Jerry Falwell Jr. Watched Him Have Sex With Becki Falwell; Adultery Spanned Seven Years; Jerry Falwell Jr. Claims Blackmail — BCNN1 – Black Christian News Network

WASHINGTON – In a claim likely to intensify the controversy surrounding one of the most influential figures in the American Christian conservative movement, a business partner of Jerry Falwell Jr has come forward to say he had a years-long sexual relationship involving Falwell’s wife and the evangelical leader.

Giancarlo Granda says he was 20 when he met Jerry and Becki Falwell while working as a pool attendant at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel in March 2012. Starting that month and continuing into 2018, Granda told Reuters that the relationship involved him having sex with Becki Falwell while Jerry Falwell looked on.

Granda showed Reuters emails, text messages and other evidence that he says demonstrate the sexual nature of his relationship with the couple, who have been married since 1987. “Becki and I developed an intimate relationship and Jerry enjoyed watching from the corner of the room,” Granda said in an interview. Now 29, he described the liaisons as frequent – “multiple times per year” – and said the encounters took place at hotels in Miami and New York, and at the Falwells’ home in Virginia.

His friendship with the Falwells eventually soured, Granda told Reuters, in part because he wanted to dissolve his ties with the couple and fell into a business dispute with them.

STAUNCH SUPPORTER: Jerry Falwell Jr’s decision to endorse Donald Trump for the presidency in 2016 helped swing evangelical Christians toward Trump. REUTERS/Scott Morgan

Granda first emerged as a figure in the Falwells’ circle two years ago, when BuzzFeed News reported that the couple had befriended Granda and gone into business with him, buying a Miami Beach youth hostel in 2013. At the time of the BuzzFeed article, a representative of the Falwell family said Granda was “offered a share” in Alton Hostel LLC because Granda lived in Miami and would act as a manager of the youth hostel. Corporate records show that Granda currently has a stake in that venture.

Becki Falwell did not respond to emails or phone and text messages from Reuters. After Reuters presented its initial reporting early last week to the Falwells, a lawyer for Jerry Falwell, Michael Bowe, said the evangelical leader “categorically denies everything you indicated you intend to publish about him.”

On Sunday night, however, as Reuters was preparing to publish this article, Jerry Falwell issued a statement to the Washington Examiner in which he said that his wife had had an affair with Granda and that Granda had been trying to extort money from the couple over the matter. Granda denies any such intent, saying he was seeking to negotiate a buyout from a business arrangement he says he had with the couple.In this recording from a 2018 phone call that Giancarlo Granda provided to Reuters, Granda said he and the Falwells discussed Becki Falwell’s jealousy about Granda dating other women.

Falwell’s statement Sunday to the Examiner said nothing about Granda’s account alleging that the evangelical leader had his own role in the affair, and Falwell didn’t address questions from Reuters about it. In the statement quoted by the Examiner, Falwell said that “Becki had an inappropriate personal relationship with this person, something in which I was not involved.”

News of the entanglement could pose a fresh threat to the influence of Jerry Falwell, a towering figure in the U.S. evangelical political movement. His 2016 endorsement of Donald Trump helped the twice-divorced New Yorker win the Republican nomination for president.

Falwell, 58, took an indefinite leave of absence earlier this month from Liberty University, the Christian school he has run since 2007. The leave, announced in a terse statement from the school’s board of trustees, came days after Falwell posted, then deleted, an Instagram photo of himself with his pants unzipped, standing with his arm around a young woman whose pants were also partly undone. Falwell later told a local radio station that the picture was meant as a good-natured joke.

FALWELL POST: The photo on Instagram that was posted, then quickly deleted. Falwell later explained that the post was meant as a joke and the woman was his wife’s pregnant assistant.

Becki Falwell, 53, is a political figure in her own right. She served on the advisory board of the group Women for Trump, which advocates for the president’s reelection campaign. She alsospoke as part of a panel with her husband and Donald Trump Jr at last year’s Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, the signature annual gathering of conservatives. Jerry Falwell and others refer to her as “the first lady of Liberty University.”

The university, based in Lynchburg, Virginia, was founded in 1971 by Falwell’s televangelist father, the Rev. Jerry Falwell. The younger Falwell took over in 2007. Today, the university boasts an online and on-campus enrollment that exceeds 100,000 students and holds those who attend to an exacting honor code. “Sexual relations outside of a biblically ordained marriage between a natural-born man and a natural-born woman are not permissible at Liberty University,” the code reads.

The material Granda showed Reuters includes screenshots from what Granda said was a FaceTime conversation he had with the Falwells in 2019. During that call, Granda said, Becki was naked as the two discussed their relationship while Jerry peeked from behind a door. Reuters was able to verify Granda’s description of the screenshots.

Granda also shared an audio recording that he says captures a conversation he had with the Falwells in 2018. In it, Becki complained about Granda describing his relationships with other people: “He’s like telling me every time he hooks up with people. Like I don’t have feelings or something.” Jerry then chimed in: “You’re going to make her jealous.” “I’m not trying to do that,” Granda replied.

Earlier texts show a friendly and romantic dynamic between Granda and Becki Falwell. One 2012 text message, which Granda said came from Becki, read in part: “Right now I am just missing you like crazy …. Have you had this effect on all of your lady friends?”

Last year, Becki Falwell talked about the Trumps, family values and abortion during a guest appearance on the Trump campaign show Real News Insights.

Other more recent text messages, such as an exchange from this June that Granda provided to Reuters, show Granda growing angry and frustrated as his relationship with the Falwells frayed.

“Since you’re okay with ruining my life, I am going to take the kamikaze route,” Granda wrote to Jerry Falwell. “It really is a shame because I wanted to reach a peaceful resolution and just move on with our lives but if conflict is what you want, then so be it.”

In the same message string, Falwell replied: “You should by now understand that I will not be extorted. I have always treated you fairly and been restrained in response to your threats because I did not wish to ruin your life. Going forward, stop contacting me and my family.”

Granda said that while he entered into the sexual relationship with the Falwells willingly, today he feels the couple preyed upon him. “Whether it was immaturity, naïveté, instability, or a combination thereof, it was this ‘mindset’ that the Falwells likely detected in deciding that I was the ideal target for their sexual escapades,” Granda said.

In a statement released Friday, before news of the relationship with Granda became public, Liberty University said its “decision whether or not to retain Falwell as president has not yet been made.” Its board of trustees, the statement read, “requested prayer and patience as they seek the Lord’s will and also seek additional information for assessment.”

POWER COUPLE: Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr and his wife, Becki Falwell, join U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen Pence, in a prayer after the 2019  commencement ceremonies at Liberty. REUTERS/Jonathan Drake

The Falwell Affair

By Aram Roston

Photo editing: Stelios Varias

Video: Megan Revell

Design: Pete Hausler

Edited by Blake Morrison

Source: Reuters


Jerry Falwell Jr., suspended as president of Virginia’s Christian-focused Liberty University after a string of embarrassing acts, said that he has suffered depression caused by a former family friend who had an affair with his wife and who has been threatening to expose it.

In a statement exclusively to Secrets, Falwell revealed his wife Becki’s affair for the first time and said that it was short lived and that the two reconciled quickly.

But, they claimed, her former lover has threatened them over the past several years and that they are done with it hanging over their heads.

“I’m just tired of it,” said Falwell of the anxiety he’s felt about the affair becoming public and embarrassing his family and Liberty. “It’s just got to end,” he added.

The 1,200-word statement, shown below, followed the Liberty board’s decision to put Falwell on paid leave after he posted a “costume party” picture of him on a yacht with his pants partially unzipped and his arm around his wife’s assistant.

His social media presence has raised eyebrows in the Liberty community, though he is often praised for his success at building up the school and keeping the coronavirus at bay from the university. He has also drawn fire for his strong support of President Trump.

The board’s statement about Falwell on Friday referred to “various rumors and claims,” which may be related to indications that a news service planned to air new claims from the man whom Becki Falwell had the affair with, a pool attendant the Falwells met and befriended in 2012 while staying at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach.

The statement did not name the attendant, but he has been identified as Giancarlo Granda in dozens of news stories.

In the statement and phone call with Secrets, Falwell appeared to be relieved to have finally divulged the affair and yearslong series of attacks the couple has faced.

“It was like living on a roller coaster,” he said in the statement. “While completely dedicating ourselves to Liberty, we were also suffering in silence during our personal time together, while simultaneously trying to manage and deal with this increasingly threatening behavior, which only worsened over time. We were doing our best to respectfully unravel this ‘fatal attraction’ type situation to protect our family and the university.”

He said that while they tried to remain friendly with the man and his family, the threats and texts demanding huge amounts of money led them to cut him off.

“While we tried to distance ourselves from him over time, he unfortunately became increasingly angry and aggressive. Eventually, he began threatening to publicly reveal this secret relationship with Becki and to deliberately embarrass my wife, family, and Liberty University unless we agreed to pay him substantial monies,” the couple said.

In 2012, the Falwells said they were impressed with the pool assistant and wanted to help him start in business. Falwell’s wife worked a deal to buy a Miami hostel and put him in charge. The deal has been tangled in legal challenges.

It was while Jerry Falwell was working long hours to build up the university, which he took over after his father Jerry Falwell Sr. died in 2007, that Becki had the affair.

At the time, Falwell was working overtime to build Liberty into an online powerhouse and expand its modern campus.

Granda, who was 21 at the time, dismissed the charges of threats in an email to Secrets. He emailed, “Any allegation of extortion is falsely, defamatory and belied by clear documentary evidence. The Falwell’s attempt to sandbag me, and the Examiner, with a last minute story without providing the Examiner clear evidence that this was not simply an ‘affair’ with concocted allegations of extortion reeks desperation. The WHOLE truth will come out.”

Falwell’s team provided emails and texts that it said substantiate its allegations.

After Falwell found out about the affair, he said in the statement, he lost 80 pounds and suffered mental stress, especially as Granda switched from being thankful for Falwell’s help to demanding money.

“Becki and I forgave each other, because while her indiscretion may have been more obvious and apparent, I realized that there were important smaller things I needed to do better too,” he said.

Falwell said that now that his family has revealed its troubles, he plans to urge others in stressful situations to seek mental help.

“Even though I continued successfully working with our entire Liberty team to achieve so many of our goals, I am now dealing with things in a way that I should have done before — including seeking to address the emotional toll this has taken. I shouldn’t have been afraid to admit my vulnerabilities and to reach out for assistance from the mental health professionals who could have alleviated this pain and stress. I am committed to speaking out and sharing with others at Liberty the importance of seeking counseling instead of thinking you need to be tough and try to bear these burdens on your own. I am in the early stages of addressing these issues,” he wrote.

And, he added, “The trauma of this experience has brought us to a very challenging point in our lives, but we are strong, our faith in Christ is greater than ever, and with His help and with those in the community who we love and who appreciate the impact of forgiveness, we will get through this. We ask for your prayers and support.”

STATEMENT BY JERRY FALWELL, JR.

Aug. 23, 2020

My family has been blessed with the opportunity to serve Christ and our community over the past 50 years  from when my father founded Liberty in the early 1970’s through today. When my father suddenly passed away in 2007, I quickly and unexpectedly went from being the lawyer working in the background on the business aspects of the school to becoming a very public person, having to overcome my fears of speaking in front of audiences of tens of thousands, with many more responsibilities to the Liberty community and to my own family.

My priority was to build on my father’s vision and to work hard. Thanks to the help of the Board and the extraordinary Liberty faculty, executives, staff and community, we have ensured the University’s sustained growth and financial health while providing the best and most modern on-campus and online educational and spiritual resources to a wider range of students both in person and through digital platforms.

My commitment to Liberty became and has remained my primary focus  and while I am so grateful and thankful for our collective successes, I also realize in hindsight that there was a toll that this took on me, which extended to my family too. During this time of reflection for us and this especially challenging year, and even more so following the events of the past few weeks, my wife Becki and I agreed that this was the right time for me to share more of our story, because the Liberty community deserves to hear it directly from me and from us.

During a vacation over eight years ago, Becki and I met an ambitious young man who was working at our hotel and was saving up his money to go to school. We encouraged him to pursue an education and a career and we were impressed by his initiative in suggesting a local real estate opportunity. My family members eventually made an investment in a local property, included him in the deal because he could play an active role in managing it, and became close with him and his family.

Shortly thereafter, Becki had an inappropriate personal relationship with this person, something in which I was not involved  it was nonetheless very upsetting to learn about. After I learned this, I lost 80 pounds and people who saw me regularly thought that I was physically unwell, when in reality I was just balancing how to be most supportive of Becki, who I love, while also reflecting and praying about whether there were ways I could have been more supportive of her and given her proper attention. I came to realize that while it may be easy to judge others on their behavior, the King James Bible reminds us  “Thou shalt not commit adultery, but I sayeth unto you, that whoever looketh upon a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her in his heart.” In fact, there are ways we may all be sinning, but the Lord believes in this self-reflection.

I was and have always remained fully devoted to Becki and we have shared many private conversations to better understand and support each other and to strengthen our marriage. Thankfully, our love has never been stronger. Becki and I forgave each other, because while her indiscretion may have been more obvious and apparent, I realized that there were important smaller things I needed to do better too.

In Ephesians 4:32 we learn  “Be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving as God in Christ forgave you.”

We extended the spirit of forgiveness to this man with respect and kindness, both for spiritual and religious reasons, and in the hope that we could help him find his way and allow us to put this behind us, without any harm or embarrassment to our family or to the LU community to which we have dedicated our lives.

During the years that followed, we got to know his family and other loved ones, good people who also really care about him. They shared and confirmed to us that he has periodically demonstrated emotionally unstable behaviors with some destructive tendencies, seemingly in response to his inability to achieve his professional goals. Based on information from other sources, we believe that he may have targeted other successful women in similar ways.

While we tried to distance ourselves from him over time, he unfortunately became increasingly angry and aggressive. Eventually, he began threatening to publicly reveal this secret relationship with Becki and to deliberately embarrass my wife, family, and Liberty University unless we agreed to pay him substantial monies. While this was very upsetting, we had been advised by trusted legal counsel that it was best to maintain contact with this person, as we tried to manage his increasingly erratic behavior and unreasonable demands while extricating ourselves from him both on a personal level and from that real estate transaction.

It was like living on a roller coaster.

While completely dedicating ourselves to Liberty, we were also suffering in silence during our personal time together, while simultaneously trying to manage and deal with this increasingly threatening behavior, which only worsened over time. We were doing our best to respectfully unravel this ‘fatal attraction’ type situation to protect our family and the University.

Even years after the improper relationship had ended, this person continued to be aggressive with Becki and me in a variety of ways. We finally decided that we had to further withdraw completely from him, which resulted in him stepping up his threats to share more outrageous and fabricate claims about us (under the guise of that business entity). He clearly moved forward with this plan through a specific member of the media who has continued to badger us, as well as other members of the media, regarding the false claims about the nature of the relationship based on the individual’s misrepresentations. Over the course of the last few months this person’s behavior has reached a level that we have decided the only way to stop this predatory behavior is to go public.

We have categorically rejected this person’s demands while dealing with him and this particular member of the media who seemed just as obsessed with the prurient, untrue aspects of this story, however fantastic.

Even though I continued successfully working with our entire Liberty team to achieve so many of our goals, I am now dealing with things in a way that I should have done before  including seeking to address the emotional toll this has taken. I shouldn’t have been afraid to admit my vulnerabilities and to reach out for assistance from the mental health professionals who could have alleviated this pain and stress. I am committed to speaking out and sharing with others at Liberty the importance of seeking counseling instead of thinking you need to be tough and try to bear these burdens on your own. I am in the early stages of addressing these issues.

Proverbs 3:5-6 says “trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on thine own understanding in all your ways acknowledge him and he will guide straight thy path.”

The trauma of this experience has brought us to a very challenging point in our lives, but we are strong, our faith in Christ is greater than ever, and with His help and with those in the community who we love and who appreciate the impact of forgiveness, we will get through this. We ask for your prayers and support.Source: Washington Examiner

So-called Business Partner of the Falwells Giancarlo Granda Says Jerry Falwell Jr. Watched Him Have Sex With Becki Falwell; Adultery Spanned Seven Years; Jerry Falwell Jr. Claims Blackmail — BCNN1 – Black Christian News Network

Instead of Wiping us Out; He Sends His Only Begotten Son — Christianity 201

You alone are the LORD. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you.
 – Nehemiah 9:6

For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
– Colossians 1:16-17

The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His nature, upholding all things by His powerful word…
– Hebrews 1:3a

Through Him all things were made, and without Him nothing was made that has been made…He was in the world, and though the world was made through Him, the world did not recognize Him.
 – John 1:3, 10

Today we have a quoted passage from A. W. Tozer, which we located at Driven (DrivenToChrist.com) the blog of Minnesota pastor Bart Whitman. Click the header below to read this at his site, and then take some time to look around at his other writing.

A guy smarter than me: Tozer on the universe

The following is an excerpt from “Experiencing The Presence of God”, written by A.W. Tozer and edited by James L. Snyder.

The Bible…teaches that this universe, this “uni” (meaning “one”), this one great interlocking system has a central control. And that control is called the throne of God. The universe is controlled from that center…

If any organism has to have a head, if a machine has to have a head, an organization has to have a head, is it not logical to believe that somewhere in this vast universe, there is a throne where somebody runs it?…

And I believe that the one on the throne is God, the Majesty in the heavens. The Bible refers to this center of control as the throne of God. And from that throne, God governs His universe according to an eternal purpose. That eternal purpose embraces all things. “All things” are two little words used often in Scriptures, yet they are bigger than the sky above. They are bigger than the entire world. They are big because they take in all things.

So, we have the Majesty in the heavens, sitting upon His throne. Then someone is sitting on the right hand of that throne. Why? And who is He? He is Jesus, the minister of the sanctuary, which God made, not man. The reason for His being there, in brief, is this: A province revolted in what we call the universe. In all this interrelated, interdependence, interlocking universe, one province revolted and said, “We don’t want to be ruled by the head. We will not be ruled from the throne. We will rule ourselves. We will build this great Babylon up to heaven. We will not have God rule over us.” That province we call “mankind.” And mankind inhabits the little rolling sphere we called “the earth.”…

I think the earth belongs to man. They have not done much with it, and they have not done a very good job, but it belongs to the sons of men.

That province is now in revolt against the Majesty of the heavens. What is God going to do? God could, with a wave of His hand, sweep that province out of existence. But what did He do? God sent His only begotten Son that He might redeem that province and bring it back into the sphere of the throne again, back into the sphere of the Kingdom. And that Kingdom is called “the kingdom of God.” When a man is converted, he is born again into the kingdom of God. What does that mean? It means that he is born out of the old rebellious province into a new Kingdom, and admits that there is a throne, which he did not admit before…

You cannot get there by being baptized, though we all ought to be baptized, according to the teaching of Jesus. We do not get there by joining a church, although we all ought to join a church. We do not get there by praying; you can pray to the end of your life, 24 hours a day, and not get there. It is coming into the Kingdom by an act of the will, through Jesus Christ the Lord, that gets me out of the old, revolted province and into the kingdom of God and under the rule of the throne of God again.

Instead of Wiping us Out; He Sends His Only Begotten Son — Christianity 201

DNC Recap — VCY America

Date:  August 24, 2020  
Host:  Jim Schneider  
MP3 ​​​| Orderhttps://embed.sermonaudio.com/player/a/824202117158001/

This edition of Crosstalk began with news of tragedy that unfolded in Kenosha, Wisconsin, yesterday as police officers sent to address a domestic disturbance shot and injured a black man.  Rioters reacted by burning businesses, throwing bricks and smashing windows.

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers was quick to issue a statement after the incident in Kenosha criticizing law enforcement officials while at the same time admitting that we don’t have all of the details.

As the program moved into the recap of last week’s DNC convention, Jim presented the following:

–A nun who lead prayers at the convention told the Catholic media that the question of whether abortion should be opposed is above her ‘pay grade.’

–Jim provided audio showing that the DNC dropped the phrase ‘under God’ from the Pledge of Allegiance both in the Muslim and LGBTQ caucus meetings.  

–Joe Biden has pledged to make the ‘Equality Act’ his top legislative priority.

–Former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams called President Trump the ‘president of cowardice.’

–The DNC used a woman who was deported under President’s Clinton and flagged under Obama to attack president Trump.

–Former President Obama was critical of President Trump in his DNC speech, having emphasized that democracy is at stake.  

–Former President Bill Clinton was also critical of President Trump, claiming that the oval office is currently full of chaos.

–Hillary Clinton expressed criticism of President Trump, warning that he might try to steal another term of office if people don’t turn out in large numbers for Joe Biden.

–Outside the Statue of Liberty, Chuck Schumer communicated his belief that Joe Biden will be a great president, but if we’re to win the battle for the soul of this nation, Joe can’t do it alone.

–Kamala Harris promised that Joe Biden will end the pandemic and that the Trump response has cost lives.

There was much more including excerpts read by Jim directly from the DNC platform and what they’re planning for America’s future.

DNC Recap — VCY America

Jerry Falwell Jr. Resigns From Liberty University. Was It the Reported Threesomes With Pool Boy That Finally Did It? — The Wartburg Watch


The minute I saw the picture of Falwell with his pants unzipped and his arm around a woman who was dressed in a similar fashion, I got the Wartburg Tingle. I knew we would be hearing about some sort of deviation from acceptable Christian behavior at Liberty University.  This story does mention some political figures. I would ask that there be no comments about the elections, etc. I get in enough trouble as it is.

First, Becki Falwell accused by hubby of having an affair with *pool boy* and Falwell Jr. said he lost *80 pounds* over this.

First of all, I have seen more pictures than I ever wanted to see if Falwell Jr.’s naked body. In my opinion, he didn’t lose 80 pounds.

Julie Roys reported this first: Jerry Falwell Jr. Says Wife Had Affair with “Pool Boy” in which she wrote:

President Jerry Falwell, Jr., released a statement late last night to Washington Examiner columnist Paul Bedard, divulging that his wife had an affair with a young pool attendant the couple had befriended eight years ago.

Falwell said the “inappropriate personal relationship” was short-lived and that he and his wife “forgave each other.” But Falwell added that the affair was “very upsetting,” caused him to lose 80 pounds, “and people who saw me regularly thought that I was physically unwell.”

Falwell claimed that the young man— identified in multiple news reports as Giancarlo Granda, or the “pool boy”—also tried to extort money from the couple and Liberty University. Falwell added that recently Granda had stepped up his “threats to share more outrageous and fabricate(d) claims about us.” Falwell said he and his wife “decided the only way to stop this predatory behavior is to go public.”

If you go this link for the New York Times you will see Donald Trump shaking the hand of Giancarlo Granda, aka *pool boy*at Liberty University in 2016 Roys continued (Pay close attention to the highlighted final sentence):

The questionable relationship between the Falwells and Granda first surfaced last year. That’s when Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, told comedian Tom Arnold that he had buried racy “personal” photographs of the Falwells that involved the “pool boy.” In his statement, Falwell said he was “not involved” in the personal relationship his wife, Becki, had with Granda.

Jerry Falwell Jr released a statement to the Washington Examiner of 8/23/20

Since I’m not sure if this is meant to be a public release, I’m going to only reprint a portion of the statement. Go to this link at the Washington Examiner and scroll to the end of the post to read the entire, lengthy, statement. (If anyone knows that this to be a public release to all parties, let me know and I will fully reprint it here.) Pay close attention to what he claims is his full support of his wife. Are you thinking more might be more coming?

My family has been blessed with the opportunity to serve Christ and our community over the past 50 years — from when my father founded Liberty in the early 1970’s through today. When my father suddenly passed away in 2007, I quickly and unexpectedly went from being the lawyer working in the background on the business aspects of the school to becoming a very public person, having to overcome my fears of speaking in front of audiences of tens of thousands, with many more responsibilities to the Liberty community and to my own family.

My priority was to build on my father’s vision and to work hard. Thanks to the help of the Board and the extraordinary Liberty faculty, executives, staff and community, we have ensured the University’s sustained growth and financial health while providing the best and most modern on-campus and online educational and spiritual resources to a wider range of students both in person and through digital platforms. Unchanged: My priority was to build on my father’s vision and to work hard. Thanks to the help of the Board and the extraordinary Liberty faculty, executives, staff and community, we have ensured the University’s sustained growth and financial health while providing the best and most modern on-campus and online educational and spiritual resources to a wider range of students both in person and through digital platforms.

My commitment to Liberty became and has remained my primary focus — and while I am so grateful and thankful for our collective successes, I also realize in hindsight that there was a toll that this took on me, which extended to my family too. During this time of reflection for us and this especially challenging year, and even more so following the events of the past few weeks, my wife Becki and I agreed that this was the right time for me to share more of our story, because the Liberty community deserves to hear it directly from me and from us.  My commitment to Liberty became and has remained my primary focus — and while I am so grateful and thankful for our collective successes, I also realize in hindsight that there was a toll that this took on me, which extended to my family too.

During this time of reflection for us and this especially challenging year, and even more so following the events of the past few weeks, my wife Becki and I agreed that this was the right time for me to share more of our story, because the Liberty community deserves to hear it directly from me and from us.

During a vacation over eight years ago, Becki and I met an ambitious young man who was working at our hotel and was saving up his money to go to school. We encouraged him to pursue an education and a career and we were impressed by his initiative in suggesting a local real estate opportunity. My family members eventually made an investment in a local property, included him in the deal because he could play an active role in managing it, and became close with him and his family.

Shortly thereafter, Becki had an inappropriate personal relationship with this person, something in which I was not involved — it was nonetheless very upsetting to learn about. After I learned this, I lost 80 pounds and people who saw me regularly thought that I was physically unwell, when in reality I was just balancing how to be most supportive of Becki, who I love, while also reflecting and praying about whether there were ways I could have been more supportive of her and given her proper attention. I came to realize that while it may be easy to judge others on their behavior, the King James Bible reminds us — “Thou shalt not commit adultery, but I sayeth unto you, that whoever looketh upon a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her in his heart.” In fact, there are ways we may all be sinning, but the Lord believes in this self-reflection.
Continue reading here

Wut? Falwell invested in a gay-friendly hostel and is now being blackmailed by *pool boy.*

UK’s The Dail Mail posted Former Liberty University president Jerry Falwell Jr. reveals his wife had an affair with their pool boy who he claims is now trying to ‘blackmail them’ after they invested in his gay-friendly hostel and took him on vacation.

Hooo boy, Falwell invested in a gay-friendly hostel with the pool boy. Wait! Is this the Falwell whose dad was the founder of the so-called *Moral Majority?* iI he the guy who has such strict rules for the behavior of students?

You might find this article in the Metro Weekly of interest. Anti-LGBTQ pastor to succeed Jerry Falwell Jr. as acting president of Liberty UniversityThe reason I include it, it is obvious that Liberty University is not known for its friendly relationship with LGBTQIA individuals. So Falwell invested in a gay-friendly hostel. It does seem hypocritical to me.

But surely you know more is coming, right?

Were Falwell and his wife participating in sexual relations with the pool boy?

Reuters wrote: Business partner of Falwells says affair with evangelical power couple spanned seven years.  My 91 yeard old mother asked me what I was writing about today. She thinks that I just write about *bad people* who assault children. How would I explain this one to her? I told her that I was writing about some people behaving badly. I left it at that. I feel like I’m back in the Mark Driscoll days again.

Reuters reported that they were shown emails, texts, and even heard recordings of phone calls. This is quite serious since Reuters is respected. Giancarlo Granda, aka pool boy, spoke at length with Reuters’ Aram Roston.

Granda showed Reuters emails, text messages and other evidence that he says demonstrate the sexual nature of his relationship with the couple, who have been married since 1987. “Becki and I developed an intimate relationship and Jerry enjoyed watching from the corner of the room,” Granda said in an interview. Now 29, he described the liaisons as frequent – “multiple times per year” – and said the encounters took place at hotels in Miami and New York, and at the Falwells’ home in Virginia.

His friendship with the Falwells eventually soured, Granda told Reuters, in part because he wanted to dissolve his ties with the couple and fell into a business dispute with them.

Reuters shared their findings with Falwell who responded through his lawyer. At first, he denied everything but then said his wife had an affair with Granda who was trying to extort money from him.

On Sunday night, however, as Reuters was preparing to publish this article, Jerry Falwell issued a statement to the Washington Examiner in which he said that his wife had had an affair with Granda and that Granda had been trying to extort money from the couple over the matter. Granda denies any such intent, saying he was seeking to negotiate a buyout from a business arrangement he says he had with the couple.

Here is one damning recorded phone call that Granda shared with Reuters.

Granda also shared an audio recording that he says captures a conversation he had with the Falwells in 2018. In it, Becki complained about Granda describing his relationships with other people: “He’s like telling me every time he hooks up with people. Like I don’t have feelings or something.” Jerry then chimed in: “You’re going to make her jealous.” “I’m not trying to do that,” Granda replied.

In my opinion, Falwell threw his wife under the bus. Perhaps it was to create a diversion from his own reported activities. Did she agree with Falwell’s statement to the press? Also, I didn’t realize that she, too, is publicly involved in politics

Becki Falwell, 53, is a political figure in her own right. She served on the advisory board of the group Women for Trump, which advocates for the president’s reelection campaign. She alsospoke as part of a panel with her husband and Donald Trump Jr at last year’s Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, the signature annual gathering of conservatives. Jerry Falwell and others refer to her as “the first lady of Liberty University.”

Falwell is out!!

As I was getting ready to close this post, I found out that Falwell resigned. I believe he would have been fired. Threesomes are considered a bit tacky in certain circles. The Washington Post (along with most media) posted Jerry Falwell Jr. agrees to resign from Liberty University

Opposition to his presidency had been growing but came to a dramatic head after two new reports about a young man Falwell and his wife befriended at a Florida pool, went into business with and who allegedly was sexually connected to the couple. One report painted Falwell as the victim of an obsessive affair; the other as an eager participant manipulating a naive young man.

Update: Falewell is now saying he hasn’t resigned. Others are saying he has. This is crazy

So, in typical TWW classy fashion, we say good-bye to the Falwells.
https://www.youtube.com/embed/g3ENX3aHlqU

Jerry Falwell Jr. Resigns From Liberty University. Was It the Reported Threesomes With Pool Boy That Finally Did It? —

Breaking! It’s Official- Jerry Falwell Jr. ‘Resigns’ from Liberty after Explosive Sins Exposed — Pulpit & Pen News

Update #1. According to Politico 

Jerry Falwell Jr. says he is not resigning as president and chancellor of Liberty University, contradicting news reports announcing his departure from the Evangelical school.

“I have not resigned,” Falwell told POLITICO on a phone call on Monday evening. Asked how the news reports of him resigning had gotten out, he replied, “I don’t know.”

“I have not resigned. I will be on indefinite leave,” Falwell repeated.

A Liberty University spokesperson earlier on Monday responded affirmatively to a reporter’s text message seeking confirmation of whether Falwell was resigning. The spokesperson added that a formal statement would be “forthcoming.”


Jerry Falwell Jr. has resigned as President of Liberty University, ending 12 years overseeing the world’s largest Christian University after a spectacular flameout of sin and debauchery that should serve as a cautionary tale for anyone who does not take heed, lest they fall. 

Falwell took a leave of absence earlier in the month after the infamous Trailer-Park-Boys themed-party-with-pants-unbuttoned-on-a-yachtpictures emerged, hoping to ride out the controversy and come out victorious- stronger than ever. 

Pressure from outside forces, as well as achingly loud calls from within Liberty from professors, admins, students, and Alum to have Falwell resign and give up the ghost had their impact and were reverberating throughout the hallowed halls of the institution. But still, the board of Trustees demured, on Friday putting off the decision one way or another while they considered further rumors that were swirling around regarding deep, dark, and abiding sexual misconduct from the President and his wife.

Then the news broke across social media and in major newspapers worldwide. The Falwells were involved in some weird sexual juju, a trifecta of terribleness in the form of a years-long affair between Becki Falwell, Jerry Falwell, and a poolboy that involved much, much cuckoldry. After a business deal soured, the pool boy had turned on them and was extorting the Falwell’s to keep silent. Things went sideways, emotional hell was experienced, and everything came tumbling down around them. 

Falwell tried to spin in a last-ditch effort to paint himself as a victim and his wife a lesser one, releasing a statement to the Washington Examiner denying any involvement in the affair and monkeying about with the timeline and details in order to absolve himself, throwing his wife under the bus to be flattened and absorbed into the ripping-hot asphalt by the crushing weight of 35,000lb of steel and seats. 

The Falwells ruse was was unsuccessful, and Jerry’s role at Liberty is no more.

With Falwell out, Chairman Dr. Jerry Prevo will continue serving as acting president, a role he has been assuming for the past several weeks. Prevo served on the Liberty University Board of Trustees for nearly 25 years and has been the Board Chairman for the last 15. We don’t see any sketchy yacht pictures in his future. 

We expect many more sordid details to emerge about Falwell and his family. These are details, quite frankly, we likely will no longer discuss or write about any further.  

For now, pray for his children, for his family, and for their souls. The Falwells need Christ, and we sincerely pray He saves them. 

Breaking! It’s Official- Jerry Falwell Jr. ‘Resigns’ from Liberty after Explosive Sins Exposed — Pulpit & Pen News

August 24th The D. L. Moody Year Book

 

If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.—1 Corinthians 15:19.

TO deny the resurrection is to say that we will never see more of the loved ones whose bodies have been committed to the clay. If Christ has not risen, this life is the only one, and we are as the brutes.

How cruel it is to have any one love you if this be true! How horrible that they should let the tendrils of your heart twine around them, if, when they are torn away in death, that is to be the end! I would rather hate than love if I thought there would be no resurrection, because then I would feel no pangs at losing the hated thing. Oh, the cruelty of unbelief! It takes away our brightest hopes.[1]

 

[1] Moody, D. L. (1900). The D. L. Moody Year Book: A Living Daily Message from the Words of D. L. Moody. (E. M. Fitt, Ed.) (pp. 147–148). East Northfield, MA: The Bookstore.

August 24, 2020 Evening Verse Of The Day

a submissive will

And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (1:4)

A third means to perseverance in trials is a submissive will. The only way out of a trial is through it. The Lord promises no bypasses, only that He always will see His people through the trials without their suffering spiritual harm. But God cannot do His perfect and complete work in and through us without our willing submissiveness. When we learn to rejoice in our trials and come to understand that our gracious heavenly Father uses them not to harm us but to strengthen and perfect us, we are motivated to embrace them as beneficial.

Eliphaz, one of Job’s friends, declared wisely, “As for me, I would seek God, and I would place my cause before God; who does great and unsearchable things, wonders without number. He gives rain on the earth and sends water on the fields, so that He sets on high those who are lowly, and those who mourn are lifted to safety” (Job 5:8–11).

David testified in prayer, “O Lord, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty; nor do I involve myself in great matters, or in things too difficult for me. Surely I have composed and quieted my soul; like a weaned child rests against his mother, my soul is like a weaned child within me” (Ps. 131:1–2). David had grown and matured through the troubles and afflictions he already had endured, from a nursing infant, as it were, to a newly weaned child. But he continued to stay intimate with the Lord, just as the weaned child continues to cling to his mother.

Perfect is from teleios, which does not connote moral or spiritual perfection, or sinlessness, but rather refers to that which is fully developed. Later in this letter James clearly acknowledges that “we all stumble in many ways” (3:2; cf. 1 John 1:10). The word is therefore better rendered “mature,” referring to spiritual maturity fulfilled in Christlikeness, which is the goal of endurance and perseverance. “Let us therefore, as many as are perfect,” Paul says, “have this attitude” (Phil. 3:15), referring to our commitment “toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (v. 14). Paul beautifully expresses the concept of spiritual maturity in his letter to believers in Galatia, whom he describes as “my children, with whom I am again in labor until Christ is formed in you” (Gal. 4:19, emphasis added).

Complete translates a form of holoklēros, which carries the idea of being whole, entire. The prefix holo is the term from which we get holograph, a 360-degree, three-dimensional depiction of an object. To allow no possibility for misunderstanding, James adds lacking in nothing, reinforcing the comprehensiveness of his point. That is the end result of trials: maturity, completeness, not lacking in anything of spiritual importance and value. “After you have suffered for a little while,” Peter assures us, “the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you” (1 Pet. 5:10).

Moab was a pagan nation southeast of Israel, of whom Jeremiah wrote: “Moab has been at ease since his youth; he has also been undisturbed on his lees, neither has he been emptied from vessel to vessel, nor has he gone into exile. Therefore he retains his flavor, and his aroma has not changed” (Jer. 48:11). Good wine had to be repeatedly “emptied from vessel to vessel” in order for it to become sweet and drinkable. In that process, the lees, or dregs, would remain in the bottom of each vessel, until, after several pourings and settlings, the wine was pure and clear. Jeremiah’s point was that Moab’s undisturbed, untested life had left its people unpurified. That was also Esau’s problem. He cared nothing for the things of God, being content with satisfying only his physical appetites. He was immoral and godless, selling “his own birthright for a single meal” (Heb. 12:16).

But David writes assuringly:

Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who carries out wicked schemes. Cease from anger and forsake wrath; do not fret; it leads only to evildoing. For evildoers will be cut off, but those who wait for the Lord, they will inherit the land. Yet a little while and the wicked man will be no more; and you will look carefully for his place and he will not be there. But the humble will inherit the land and will delight themselves in abundant prosperity. (Ps. 37:7–11)

Apart from the unique ordeal that Jesus endured on the cross, perhaps the severest trial faced by any human being was that of Abraham when called by God to sacrifice his son Isaac. The Lord commanded, “Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you” (Gen. 22:2). Abraham had several reasons for being completely astounded by God’s demand. Not only was Isaac his greatly beloved son but was the only son by Sarah and therefore the son of God’s promise, through whom “all the families of the earth [were to] be blessed” (Gen. 12:3; cf. 17:1–8, 19–21; 18:10–14).

From the human perspective, the death of Isaac would clearly prevent the promise from being fulfilled and would therefore nullify the covenant. Not only that, but human sacrifice was utterly pagan, the antithesis of everything Abraham knew of the holy and just God he served. And, as if to add unutterable cruelty, Abraham was to kill Isaac by his own hand, though God’s law forbade it. Every aspect of God’s demand was inconceivable. If ever the Lord commanded one of His saints to do something that justified an argument, or at the very least a careful explanation, this was that command. But Abraham made no argument and asked for no explanation. As already noted, no instance of willing submission to the Lord except that of Jesus to His Father could exceed Abraham’s on that occasion.

Without hesitation, resentment, or question, Abraham made the necessary preparations, began the journey at first light the next day, and continued carrying out the Lord’s orders until the moment the Lord intervened, saying, “Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me” (Gen. 22:12). Although he had earlier told Isaac, “God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son” (v. 8), Abraham was about to plunge the knife into Isaac’s heart when no animal was in sight. The writer of Hebrews tells us that Abraham “considered that God is able to raise men even from the dead, from which he also received him back as a type” (Heb. 11:19).

But whatever Abraham’s human understanding may have been, we have God’s own testimony that “by faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son” (v. 17, emphasis added). Abraham did not count on there being a way out; he counted only on God’s righteousness, faithfulness, and power to raise the dead, which he believed God would do to keep His covenant (see Heb. 11:17–19). And because of the unreserved and unconditional faith to which Abraham’s readiness to sacrifice his son testified, God counted him righteous (Gen. 15:6; Rom. 4:3; Gal. 3:6). No wonder, then, that he became “the father of all who believe” (Rom. 4:11; cf. v. 16; Gal. 3:7), and that “those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer” (Gal. 3:9).

Although we will never be tested in the way or to the extreme that Abraham was tested, we nevertheless can be certain of having tests. Our Lord assures us that “in the world [we will] have tribulation” (John 16:33), and even more explicitly that “ ‘a slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you” (15:20). Reflecting that truth, the Puritan theologian John Trapp wrote, “One son God hath without sin, but none without sorrow” (cited in I. D. E. Thomas, A Puritan Golden Treasury [Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1977], 11).[1]


4 In 1:4 James describes this aspect of Christian character as the ultimate purpose for enduring under difficulties: “And let endurance have [its] perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (NASB). It is certainly a temptation to jettison endurance, to attempt to escape the path of difficulty. James, however, exhorts the reader to remain in the posture of endurance until the “perfect result” is attained. Perfection here, rather than speaking simply of a sinless state, refers to a maturity of character, “a full-blown character of stable righteousness,” which “is the virtue of the righteous man” (Davids, 70). Through endurance under trials, therefore, we “pick up” those aspects of Christian character that can be had through no other means, and we gain a stability spiritually that can withstand the storms of life.

Therefore, James 1:2–4 challenges believers undergoing trials to consider their difficulties from the vantage point of the spiritual payoff of the experience. Such trials may be embraced with joy, therefore, not by relishing the trial itself but rather by seeing the greater effect as one learns to endure in such circumstances. Neither is the act of enduring in and of itself the ultimate goal. Instead, the path of endurance leads to a place of well-rounded Christian character, a place where we do not lack the necessary equipment for facing the variety of difficulties we are bound to experience in this life.[2]


1:4 If the messianic Jewish community meets its tests with a genuine faith, it will be stable and faithful to its vocation. Endurance itself will lead the messianic believer to “maturity”: “and let58 endurance have its full effect so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing.” There is an emphasis here on personal or communal responsibility: James urges the community to permit “endurance” to do what it is designed by God to do by consciously being aware of what the test of faith entails and letting that entailment come into fruition. James does not explain how this occurs, but only that it is to occur. He assumes responsibility on the part of humans, as he will make clear in 1:13–15 as well.

Endurance has the splendid capacity (“full effect”) to produce maturation, or moral perfection. A more literal translation, which would reveal the special catchword style James is using, would be “let endurance do its maturing/perfect work so that you may be mature/perfect.” The Greek term teleios (“mature” or “perfect”) has played mind games with Christians for two millennia, and the following need to be kept in mind:62 First, James does not adhere to a sense of universal Christian sinlessness since 3:2 says, in the context of verbal sins, “all of us make many mistakes.” Second, the sins dealt with in James are sufficient to indicate that he sees evidence of them in the community (e.g., 1:19–21, 22–25, 26; 2:1–13, 14–17; 3:1–12, 14–16; 4:1–6, 11–17; 5:1–6, 15). But, third, James believes the messianic Jewish community should strive for a maturity level where verbal sins do not occur (3:2: “Anyone who makes no mistakes in speaking is perfect [teleios]”) and where violence is not manifested (1:19–21). Perfection for James is not just eschatological or an inner orientation toward God but concretely behavioral. Fourth, teleios can be used of both God (Jas 1:17; Matt 5:48) and humans (Jas 1:4; 3:2; Matt 19:21; Ignatius, Smyrnaeans 11:3). Fifth, Paul refers to a group of people to whom teleios applies (1 Cor 2:6), and this spiritual group have God’s Spirit (vv. 6–16; cf. also Phil 3:15; Col 4:12). The same is seen in Hebrews 5:14. In addition, there is a sense in which teleios describes the eschaton (1 Cor 13:10; cf. Eph 4:13; Col 1:28). All of this derives in some measure from the Hebrew word tamim or “completeness” (see Gen 6:9; 17:1; Deut 18:13) of devotion to God or relationship with God.

For James, as we try to put this together, we may safely conclude that he believes the messianic Jewish community is to strive for a level of morality (character and behavior) where particular forms of sin are not manifested and that this morality derives from a perfect God, who gives perfect gifts, not least of which is new birth (1:18), and from a royal, perfect Torah, so that the messianic community can be noted for its Torah observance. Such an understanding of perfection is Jewish67 and at the same time consistent with Jesus (Matt 5:48; 19:21), with the Pauline notion of “living in the Spirit” (Gal 5:13–26; cf. also Phil 3:15; Col 1:28; 4:12; 1 Cor 14:20), with the Johannine notion of “walking in the light” (1 John 1:5–7; 2:9–11; 3:9), and with the notion of “perfection” in Hebrews (5:14). What James says, therefore, is neither unusual for the messianic community nor something to be explained away as left over from his Torah observance past, but neither should we radicalize it to the point of seeing sinlessness spoken of here.

When “endurance” works itself out properly in the messianic Jewish community, it will be “mature” (or “perfect”), and such maturity is defined as “complete, lacking in nothing.” To be “complete” (holoklēros) means to be intact, undefiled, undamaged—like a stone that has not been chiseled (Deut 27:6), “complete justice” (Wis 15:3), or a healthy body (Acts 3:16). Thus, a teleios is someone who is also completely sound. Such a person therefore lacks nothing—and this in a comprehensive rather than exhaustive sense.

James will now proceed, with “lacking” as a catchword, to make sure that one virtue not lacking is “wisdom” (1:5; the catchword will return in 2:15).[3]


1:4 / Perseverance, however, is not a passive, teeth-gritting virtue, but a development in which the character is firmed up and shaped around the central commitment to Christ. It does not happen overnight, for it is a process. The process needs to finish its work, or “have its complete effect,” for it is the shaping of the whole person that is at issue. One must be careful not to short-circuit it: to pull the metal out of the fire too soon, to abort the developing child, to resist the schooling—to use three metaphors often used to describe the process. James does not see a single end to the process, such as the development of love as a super-virtue (Rom. 13:8; 2 Pet. 1:6) or the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:6; Rom. 6:22)—although he would have certainly approved of such—for the goal is far more global. The person is formed, not just partly or simply morally, but totally, as a whole being, and is thus to be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

In speaking of the person as perfect James is not thinking of sinless perfection but is probably referring to a concept like that found in Matthew 5:48, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” The concept is that of a commitment to the command of God in all its depth and radicality, a commitment that calls anything less than total obedience sin and repents and seeks forgiveness, a commitment that, rather than reducing the word to the cultural “pagan” standard of the world, seeks to be shaped and formed by it. In other words, James is referring to mature Christian character: It is mature in that it is well developed; it is complete in that every virtue and insight is in place; it is not lacking anything, but mirrors Christ. This is what adversity should produce in the Christian if he or she will allow it. But it is not a passive process; the believer has to permit this to happen. There is an imperative involved (a better translation might be “allow perseverance to finish its work”). It is possible to short-circuit the process and thus not to develop properly and to live through the suffering in vain.[4]


4. But let patience have her perfect work. As boldness and courage often appear in us and soon fail, he therefore requires perseverance. “Real patience,” he says, “is that which endures to the end.” For work here means the effort, not only to overcome in one contest, but to persevere through life. This perfection may also be referred to the sincerity of the soul, that men ought willingly and not feignedly to submit to God; but as the word work is added, I prefer to explain it of constancy. For there are many, as we have said, who shew at first an heroic greatness, and shortly after grow weary and faint. He therefore bids those who would be perfect and entire, to persevere to the end.

But what he means by these two words, he afterwards explains, of those who fail not, or become not wearied: for they, who being overcome as to patience, are broken down, must, by degrees, be necessarily weakened, and at length wholly fail.[5]


4. Both Paul and Peter imply an almost ‘automatic’ process by which trials lead to hope and security. James, typically, interrupts the ‘process’ with a command. Believers are to let steadfastness have its full effect. The full effect (lit. ‘perfect’ or ‘complete’ work—ergon teleion) has been variously understood as the culmination of the endurance itself (lxx), the ‘full and proper fruits’ endurance should produce (Ropes), or the perfection and wholeness of Christian character as described in the last part of the verse. Probably the last of these should be accepted: mature Christians are the end-product of testing. The word hina (‘in order that’) introduces a description of the ‘full effect’ as well as the ultimate purpose of trials. To be perfect and complete is the state that should result from a genuinely Christian response to trials. The perfection or wholeness of the Christian is a basic concern of James. He constantly stresses the need for a wholehearted, unreserved commitment to God and his will and highlights ‘double-mindedness’ as a root sin.

The word perfect (teleios) links the two parts of this verse: the ‘perfect’ work is the ‘perfect Christian’. In what does this perfection consist? Some give the term the idea of ‘maturity’, or ‘completeness’, and suggest that this virtue is attainable in this life. It is doubtful whether the term can be ‘softened’ in this way, however. Elsewhere James uses the adjective of God’s gift (1:17), of the ‘law of liberty’ (1:25) and of the man who is capable of ‘bridling his tongue’ (3:2). In each case ‘perfection’, not just ‘maturity’, appears to be connoted. The goal specified in verse 4b, then, is an eschatological gift—something towards which the Christian is constantly to strive with all his power, but which will not in fact be attained until the culmination of the new age of salvation. Only then will Christians lack nothing in their panoply of virtues.[6]


Ver. 4. Let patience have her perfect work.—

The perfect work of patience:—We can all attain to a certain amount of proficiency at most things we attempt; but there are few who have patience to go on to perfection. Even in reference to things that we like, such as amusements, we are impatient. What is wanted to make even a good cricketer is, that patience should have its perfect work. “The gift of continuance”—that is what so many of us want. As a rule, the time required for the production of an effect measures the value of that effect. The things that can be developed quickly are of less value than those which require longer time. You can weed a garden or build a house in a much shorter time than you can educate a mind or build up a soul. The training of our reasoning faculties requires a longer time than the training of our hands. And moral qualities, being higher than intellectual, make an even greater demand upon the patience of their cultivator. Love, joy, peace, faith, gentleness, goodness, truth-fulness—with what perseverance in the diligent use of God’s grace are these acquired! And this patience which we ought to have with ourselves, ought surely to be extended towards others—“Be patient towards all men.” It need not surprise us that we cannot make others what we would like them to be, since we cannot make ourselves as we wish to be. Parents are often unreasonably impatient about the intellectual and moral development of their children. Those who labour for the elevation of the masses must have that faith and patience which work where results cannot be seen. If we may say so without irreverence, we would say that we must let patience have its perfect work in our thoughts about the government of God. In our impatience we wonder why He should be so tolerant of the thorns upon which we have to tread, instead of taking them away and strewing our path with rose-leaves. God sees that these thorns are better for us than rose-leaves. The way most persons accept misfortune is the greatest misfortune of all; while nothing is a misfortune if patience be allowed to have its perfect work. In the top room of one of the houses of a miserable court, which I know well, there lives an old woman crippled and deformed in every joint by chronic rheumatism. Listen! She speaks of her gratitude. For what? Because with the assistance of a knitting-needle and her thumb, the only joint that will move, she can turn over the leaves of her Bible. (E. J. Hardy, M.A.)

Patience under afflictions:—If we consider the condition of those Jews to whom the apostle directs this Epistle, we shall find that as they were a dispersed, so they were an afflicted and persecuted people. To these dispersed and distressed Christians, the apostle directs this his Epistle, and exhorts them, “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations” (ver. 2)—that is, when ye fall into divers tribulations; for by temptations here he means not the inward assaults of the devil, but the outward assaults of his instruments. A strange command, one would think, to bid them rejoice at such a time and in such circumstances as these! Now, in this are included two things, which should mightily further their joy. 1. That all their sufferings are for the trial of their faith. God by these tries whether your faith be well-grounded and saving, or whether it be only temporary and flitting: He tries whether it be weak or strong; whether it be able to support itself upon a promise, or wants the crutches of sense and visible enjoyments to bear it up; whether it be a faith that is wrought in you only by conviction, or a faith that hath wrought in you a thorough conversion; whether it be a faith wrought in you only by evidence of the truth, or a faith that is accompanied with a sincere love of the truth. And, therefore, rejoice in your afflictions: for these will help you to determine this important question. Certainly that Christian hath great reason to suspect himself who cannot rejoice that he is going to heaven, though God sends a fiery chariot to fetch him. 2. This trial of their faith worketh patience. The more a Christian bears, the more he is enabled to bear; his nerves and his sinews knit and grow strong under his burdens. And therefore also “count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations.” If thy sorrows add any degree of fortitude to thy patience, thou hast far more reason to rejoice than to repine; for nothing in this present life is to be accounted good or evil, but only as it respects the advantage or disadvantage which our graces receive by it. “Let patience have her perfect work,” and then you shall have cause to rejoice. Let her go on to finish what is begun; and then shall ye “be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” It is not enough that ye can bear some afflictions, and that only for some time; but if you will be perfect, as you must do the whole will of God, and that with constancy unto the end, so you must suffer the whole will of God, and put no earlier period to your patience than to your obedience. Patience ought not to prescribe, either to the kind, measure, or degree of our sufferings. From the words we may observe these two prepositions—1. That a Christian’s patience ought to accomplish all the work that is proper for it while he lies under afflictions: “Let patience have her perfect work.” 2. That the perfection of patience is the perfection of a Christian: “That ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” And herein I shall prosecute this method.

  1. What is this patience which a Christian ought to exercise and accomplish when he is under sufferings? It is a grace of God’s Spirit wrought in the heart of a true Christian, whereby he is sweetly inclined quietly and willingly to submit to whatsoever the Lord shall think fit to lay upon him; calming all the passions which are apt to rise up in him against God’s dispensations, with the acknowledgment of His infinite sovereignty, wisdom, justice, and mercy, in those afflictions which He is pleased to bring upon him. Negatively. 1. Patience is not a stoical apathy, or a senseless stupidity, under the hand of God. It is no narcotic virtue, to stupify us and take away the sense and feeling of afflictions. If it had any such opiate quality in it, it were not commendable; for that is no suffering which is not felt. And those who are stupified under the hand of God, and who take no notice of His judgments, are no more to be accounted patient than a block is when it is hewn and cut. Nay, patience is so far from taking away the sense of sufferings, that it rather quickens it. There is no man that more feels an affliction than a Christian doth; for he refers his chastisements to his deserts. 2. Patience doth not stifle all modest complaints and moderate sorrow. A patient Christian may well be allowed this vent for his grief to work out at. Grace never destroys, but only regulates and corrects nature. It will permit thee to shed tears, so long as they run clear, and the course of them doth not stir up the mud of thy sinful passions and violent affections. And, again, a patient Christian may make use of all the doleful signs of sorrow which God hath allowed and nature exacts, and yet his spirit not be moved beyond its due temper and consistency; like a tree whose boughs are agitated by every gust and storm of wind, when yet the root remains unmoved in the earth. 3. Patience doth not oblige us to continue under afflictions when we may lawfully and warrantably release ourselves from them. It doth not require us to solicit troubles. It is a sign of a vitiated palate if our physic taste not somewhat unpleasing to us; and of an obstinate mind if we be not careful to shun the discipline of the rod. If God bring sore, and perhaps mortal, diseases upon thee, it is not patience, but presumption, to refuse the means which are proper for thy recovery, under pretence that thou art willing to bear whatsoever it pleaseth God to lay upon thee. 4. Much less doth patience oblige us to invite sufferings. It is fortitude enough if we manfully stand their shock when they assault us; but it is temerity to provoke and challenge them. Neither is it patience to bear those invented severities which blind devotionalists inflict upon themselves: they may soon enough lash themselves into pain, but never into patience; this is a virtue which thongs and whipcord can never teach them. And thus I have showed you what patience is not. Positively. In patience there must be—1. A quiet, willing submission to the hand of God. 2. A quieting of our unruly passions. A calming of all those impetuous storms which are apt to arise in a man’s heart when he is under any heavy sufferings. 3. All this must be done upon right grounds. Indeed, there is a natural patience—a patience that may be found in natural men devoid of true grace—which proceeds only upon natural and moral principles: as, that it is folly to strive against fate, and that it is equally folly to torment ourselves about what we can help. And thus we see what this grace of patience is.
  2. What is the proper work of patience. 1. The first work of patience is the quieting and composing the spirit of the afflicted. He is calm within, though his outward condition be full of storms Acts 20:24). 2. Another work of patience is to put a stop to all immoderate complaints. 3. Another work of patience under sufferings is self-resignation to the sovereign will and disposal of Almighty God. And there be two notable ingredients which go to the composition of it—self-denial and submission. (1) Patience works the soul to a self-denying frame and temper. Fretfulness and impatience do always proceed from self-love. Across lies very heavy upon a selfish man. And he that makes this world his all, must needs look upon himself as utterly ruined if God take from him that wherein he placeth his highest felicity; and therefore no wonder if he break out into passionate exclamations. But a truly patient soul puts a lower estimate upon these things; he values them, indeed, as comforts, but not as his chief good, otherwise he would have no patience in sustaining the loss of them. Yet still be looks not upon himself as undone; still he hath his God and his Christ, and his grace left. God doth but deny him that wherein he hath learned to deny himself. (2) As patience works the soul to a self-denying, so it does likewise to a submissive frame and temper. When it hath brought a man to renounce his own will, it then resolves him into the will of God. The will of His precept He hath made known unto us by His Word, and to that we ought to submit our wills by a cheerful performance of what He hath commanded. The will of His purpose He makes known unto us by His providence; and to that we ought to submit, by a quiet bearing of whatsoever He shall see goo to inflict. Christ is willing not to have His own will, and so every patient Christian brings his will to this submission; that it is his will, that not his, but God’s will should be fulfilled. 4. Another work of patience is a holy endearing of our afflictions to us; when it bring us to account them precious, as choice mercies bestowed upon us. Patience will make the soul thankful for corrections, esteeming it a token of God’s special regard and condescension that He will vouchsafe to afflict us. We are all prone to think that God never minds us, but when He is continually heaping new mercies upon us; and if any calamity befall us, we presently fear that. God hath forgotten us; but patience teacheth a Christian to believe that in every affliction God doth most particularly regard our concerns; that He is as mindful of us when He chastises as when He favours us. And therefore we should account afflictions as dear a pledge of God’s love as prosperity. And as weeds grow fastest in a fat and rank soil, so our corruptions thrive and are ready to overrun our souls when our outward condition is most prosperous; and therefore God’s love and care of us constrain Him sometimes to use severe discipline. 5. Another work of patience is the reconciling of a man to the instruments of his sufferings, to make him willing to forgive them himself, and to pray to God for their pardon, who is far more offended by them than we can be. 6. Another work of patience is to obstruct all dishonourable or unlawful ways of deliverance from those sufferings under which we lie. Patience will not suffer a man to accept of deliverance if he cannot free the honour of God and the purity of his own conscience from stain, as well as his outward man from trouble.

III. When it is that patience hath its perfect work. 1. Patience hath, then, its perfect work when it is proportionable to the sufferings and afflictions under which we lie, and that both in duration and fortitude. And therefore—(1) If thy afflictions and sorrows be of long continuance, thy patience, that it may be perfect, must be prolonged. If thy patience wear off one day before thy trouble doth, it hath not its perfect work. Now, then, O Christian I look upon thyself as a traveller, and make account that whatsoever burden God is pleased to lay upon thee, He may perhaps not take it off till thou comest to thy inn, to take up thy lodging in the grave. (2) Sometimes our sorrows and sufferings are very deep, our burdens very heavy and pressing; and God may give thee a deep draft of the bitter cup, and squeeze into it the very quintessence of wormwood. Now, in this case, that thy patience may be perfect, it must be strong, as well as lasting; it must have sinews in it, to bear weighty burdens (Prov. 24:10). 2. That our patience may be perfect, it must be proportionable also to the need of the sufferer. For then hath patience its perfect work, when a man bears whatsoever is necessary for him. Now, both the cure and thy patience are then perfect when, of a proud and high-minded person, He hath brought thee to an humble and meek spirit; when, of a worldly and self-seeking person, He hath made thee a public-spirited and self-denying Christian; when, of a drowsy and secure, He hath made thee a vigilant, zealous, and active Christian. 3. That thy patience may be per-feet, it must be a joyful patience.

  1. That which remains is to enforce upon you this exhortation of the apostle. 1. For the motives to patience, they are many and powerful. And such, indeed, they had need be, to persuade our fretful natures to the exercise of so hard a grace. Yet grace can work those wonders which nature cannot. And there be several considerations that will tend mightily to hush all the disturbances of our spirits, under all our sorrows and sufferings. (1) That there is nothing more necessary for a Christian, in the whole conduct of his life, than the work and exercise of patience (Heb. 10:36). And this especial necessity of patience will appear, if we consider that our whole life is but a scene of sorrows and troubles. Consider that patience is necessary to alleviate and lighten the afflictions we suffer. The same burden shall not, by this means, have the same weight in it. There is a certain skill in taking up our load upon us to make it sit easy; whereas others, that take it up untowardly, find it most cumbersome. Let the very same affliction befall two persons—the one a patient, meek, and self-resigning soul; the other a proud, fretful wretch, that repines every disappointment—and with how much more ease shall the one bear it than the other! The burden is the very same; but only the one is sound and whole, and it doth not wring nor pinch him; but the other’s impatience hath galled him, and every burden is more intolerable to him, because it lies upon a raw and sore spirit. It is not so much the wearing as the striving with our yoke that galls us; and as it is with beasts caught in a snare, so is it with impatient men—the more they struggle, the faster they draw the knot, and make their sufferings more uneasy and their escape more impossible. (2) Another motive to patience may be to consider who is the Author and Inflicter of all the sufferings which thou undergoest. Consider that God is the absolute and uncontrollable Sovereign of all the world. Consider that God is not only our Sovereign, but He is our Proprietor. Consider the relation wherein God stands unto thee. Consider, again, that it is an infinitely wise God that afflicts thee; and, therefore, thou mayest well acquiesce in His providences. All thy sorrows are chosen out for thee by that God who doth inflict them. He knows the just proportion of what thou art to undergo. He is the Wise Physician, that knows what ingredients, and what quantities of each, are fittest for thee to take. He knows and considers the events and the consequences of things, which are hid in a profound obscurity from us short-sighted creatures. Possibly He intends the greatest mercy when He brings the sorest trials upon thee. Consider God is a faithful God. To this let me add one consideration more concerning God; and that is, that He is the God of Patience (Rom. 15:5). And that, not only as He is the God that requires patience from us; not only as He is the God that gives patience to us; not only as He is the God that doth own and crown patience in us; but as He is the God that doth Himself exercise infinite patience towards us. He bears more from us than we can possibly bear from Him. (3) Consider what thou hast deserved. And this will be a most unanswerable argument for patience under what thou feelest. (4) A fourth motive to patience may be the consideration of the great benefits and advantages that accrue to us by afflictions (Heb. 12:11). As the ploughing up of a field seems utterly to spoil the beauty of it, when its smoothness and verdure are turned into rough and unsightly furrows, and all its herbs and flowers buried under deformed clods of earth; but yet, afterwards, in the days of harvest, when the fields laugh and sing for joy, when the furrows stand thick with corn and look like a boundless sea and inundation of plenty, they yield an incomparable delight to the eyes of the beholders and welcome sheaves into the bosom of the reapers; so when God ploughs up any of His children, it may seem a strange method of His husbandry thus to deform the flourishing of their present condition; but yet, afterwards, when the seed which He casts into these furrows is sprung up, both the wisdom and goodness of Divine Providence will be made apparent in thus converting a barren prosperity into a more fruitful adversity. Improvements and advantages that we may make of our afflictions. As they are the exercises of our graces, so they keep them lively and active. Exercise, you know, though it weary the body for the present, yet conduceth to its health and soundness. Afflictions are the soul’s exercise, by which God keeps our graces in breath, which else would languish and be choked up, Indeed, experience and custom facilitate all things, and make that very easy which before we accounted difficult. All birds when they are first put into their cage fly wildly up and down, and beat themselves against their little prison, but within two or three days sit quietly upon their perch and sing their usual notes. So it fares with us. When God first brings us into straits, we wildly flutter up and down, and beat and tire ourselves with striving to get free; but at length custom and experience will make our narrow confinement spacious enough for us; and though our feet should be in the stocks, yet shall we, with the apostles, be able even there to sing praises to our God. Another advantage of afflictions is this: that they are physic to the soul, to expel and purge out its corruptions. A patient bearing of afflictions is a clear evidence of our adoption. Indeed, our sufferings only prove us to be the sons of Adam, on whom the curse is entailed through his primitive transgression; but our patience is a strong proof that we are the sons of God. All metals may be melted in the furnace; but it is the property of gold only to endure the fire, and lose nothing of its weight or worth. Consider that a patient suffering of afflictions will make rich additions to the weight and splendour of thy crown of glory. (5) Another motive may be this: that a patient bearing of affliction is a very great honour, both to ourselves and to God. To ourselves (consult 1 Pet. 4:14; 1:7). It brings in a great revenue of glory unto God. (6) Consider that patience under afflictions is the best way to be freed from afflictions. (a) If they be immediately from men, patience is of such a sweet, winning nature, that, unless they have quite divested humanity, they cannot long persevere in a causeless wronging of those who quietly bear and pass by their former injuries. Patience withdraws fuel from wrath: it finds no new occasion to stir up strife by opposition. If our sufferings be immediately from God, a patient bearing of them will the sooner put a period to them; because usually one great end why God doth afflict us is to teach us patience. (7) Consider that all thy sufferings in this life are in themselves tolerable. They are but the infirmities of a man, which the spirit of a man may bear; for they are only partial. All thy afflictions and sufferings have a great mixture of mercy in them. (8) Consider how many thousands in the world are in a far worse condition than yourselves, and would account themselves happy were they in your circumstances. (9) As another motive to patience, consider of how short duration and continuance all the troubles and afflictions of this life are. Though your way be thorny and miry, yet it is but short. Let thy afflictions be as grievous as thy passion can describe them, yet doth God afford thee no lucid intervals? Hast thou no intermission from thy sorrows? This is mercy, and this time of thy refreshment ought not to be reckoned into the suffering, as commonly it is. Indeed, men have got an art of making their sorrows longer than they are. Ask one who labours under a chronic distemper how long he hath been troubled with it; straight he will tell you for so many months or for so many years, when yet, perhaps, the greater part of that time he enjoyed ease and freedom between the returning periods of his disease. If thou hast been long under afflictions, yet perhaps they have been varied. Even this is mercy, that He will not strike long upon one place, nor scourge thee where thou art sore already. (10) The tenth, and last, motive to patience, which ought to be very effectual with all true Christians, shall be taken from the example of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Consider that His sufferings were infinitely greater than any that we can possibly undergo. Consider that all His unknown sufferings were not for His own, but for our offences. 2. The next thing in order is to show those distempers of spirit which are great hindrances of patience, and give a very great advantage to every cross to ruffle and discompose it. And they are such as these—(1) An effeminate softness and delicacy of spirit, when the mind is lax and fluid and hath not its due consistency. Consider the indecency and unbecomingness of impatience. It sits ill upon a man, and renders him contemptible and ridiculous. Consider the vanity and folly of impatience. To what purpose is it that thou torturest yourself? Couldst thou relieve thyself by it, this might be some reasonable pretence. Consider that impatience is not only unseemly and foolish, but it is unchristian too. There is nothing more directly contrary to the true spirit and genius of Christianity. (2) Another great hindrance of patience is a fond love and admiration of these creature enjoyments. (3) Another great hindrance to patience is pride and self-love. (4) Reflecting too much upon the instruments of our sufferings is oftentimes a mighty hindrance to the composure and patience of our spirits. And there are these considerafions, that make us impatient under sufferings. The meanness and contemptible vileness of the instrument. It heightens impatience when we reflect upon the nearness of those who are the occasions and instruments of our sufferings. It many times heightens impatience to reflect upon the base ingratitude and foul disingenuity of those from whom we suffer. (5) Reflecting upon a former more prosperous condition is oftentimes a great provocation unto impatience under our present sufferings. (Bp. E. Hopkins.)

The fruits of patience:—The word “temptations” here includes bodily temptations to evil, but not alone these; all forms of trial of every kind as well. Now, what is the attitude of men, even the best, when the clouds gather about them, when one desire after another is balked, and when one fear after another is fulfilled? Men settle down into gloom. They are very apt to fall into complaints and dolorous lamentations. But the Apostle James says to them, “Count it all joy” when adversity and various trials of the spirit come on you. Where we come into life with comparatively untrained forces, in ignorance of the old-established laws, with social liabilities and desires that seek to be fulfilled, we require a long period of time in which to develop; and when men’s desires are unfulfilled and are thwarted, that condition of things makes a man more manly. It drives him from his lower up into his higher nature. For see, “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations, knowing this,” &c. Is that, then, the result of patience? Is that homely quality so wonderful as to be praised in that way, that all your trials work faith, and faith works patience, and patience makes the perfect man? Is patience the sign of perfection in a man? It is that supreme quality by which a man reins in his forces, places himself willingly where God, by His providence, allots him, and is superior to his circumstances; where he has that consideration for himself, as a child of God and an heir of immortality, that no condition upon earth can daunt him. A king in disguise, wandering incognito through different lands, brought oftentimes to great straits, obliged to company with peasants, to gnaw their black bread, suffer hunger and thirst, oftentimes pushed hither and thither. But he lives within himself, and says, “How absurd for me, who am a king, who have revenues in abundance, to be put in these conditions. Here I am treated as any peasant; I am shoved here and there, and nobody takes any account of me. In a few weeks or days, at most, I shall recover myself, and sit again in high places.” So a man in this life, knowing himself to be God’s son, the heir of eternal glory, knocked about by various circumstances here and there and everywhere, has a legitimate pride in his birthright. It is just exactly under such circumstances that pride is legitimate. It lifts one up into a consciousness of his superiority to everything when he is pushed this way, that way, or the other by conflicting troubles and by trial. The conception of the apostle is that the difficulties and temptations of every kind in this mortal life really drive us up into the higher elements of our nature, practise us in them, make us more sanctified men, veterans, as distinguished from militia untried in the field, old men of wisdom and experience as compared with young men just coming into the trial of life. Count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations, because it is going to make men of you, going to make you hardy, going to thrust you up upon higher considerations, that are more becoming to you than the mere gain of ease and comfort and desires fulfilled. We see it to be, then, one of the most important qualities, as it works for manhood, to have this conception of ourselves as superior, by the grace of God, to all the accidents and conditions of this mortal life. Are griefs oppressive? By the grace of God I am able to bear grief, saith the Christian hero. Does one suffer lack? I am able to do without abundance. Am I despised and thrust aside? I am able to be despised and rejected. Now look at this matter more largely. Patience is the indispensable condition of mankind, unless they are at the seminal point. A savage and lazy Oriental, in a climate that takes away all courage and enterprise, does not have much patience. He does not want anything. He sits still, without desire, without enterprise, without out-reaching, without grasp, except in momentary fury. Just in proportion to the eminence of a man’s sphere and the genius of a man’s endowments, the quality of patience is necessary. Necessary, in the first place, because it is not possible for a man to have at once all he wants, or to regulate his wants and nature so that his supplies shall come in their order and in their gradation just as he needs them. Let us consider a few of the conditions in which men are placed where patience is necessary. 1. In the sphere of personal life, patience is a virtue. The ambitions of youth, the far-reaching before we are prepared for manhood, need it. 2. Now, in the household, and in early life generally, there are a thousand things that call for simple patience. The household is a little kingdom. It is a little sphere of light, held together by love, the best emblem and commentary upon Divine government there is. And yet how much there is in the household that frets! In the household there are the seeds of disturbance and confusion. But—patience, patience! You have need of patience in all the various experiences of the household, the collisions that come from differing natures seeking to fit themselves together; developments of all those practical qualities that enable men to live together, not only in patience, but in harmony, making the unity of the family produce every day, as it were, harmonious music. All these things require that men should have faith, and faith is the father of patience—that is to say, that prescience which enables a man to look forward to see that these things must be, and to wait for them, expecting them. 3. So in all the conflicts of business, the misunderstandings of men, the untrustworthiness of men, the rivalries of men, promises not fulfilled, disappointments of every kind. Ye have need of patience in all the conflicts of business. Do not give up. What if to-day is yesterday turned bottom side up, to-morrow it will turn the right way again. What if the cloud does lower to-day? The sun will strike through by and by. What if the rain has come? It has come on you that are able to bear it. A man in all these contingencies of life, in the strife for position and influence, and for wealth, whether it be large or moderate, meeting various troubles and succumbing to them, is scarcely to be called a man. But if he rises in spite of his difficulties, that man is made stronger and larger by his troubles in civil, social, or business life. Ye have need of patience, saith the apostle, that after ye have fulfilled the will of God, ye wait to receive the reward. 4. Even in higher degree do men need patience when they are workers in the moral sphere. Human nature works upward very slowly and irregularly. New truths and new views require a long time. A farmer goes out and gets his phosphate, and puts it on the seed over-night, and says, “We will see in the morning what it has done.” He goes out, and says, “Well, it ain’t done a bit of good.” No, not in a night. Ministers sow sermons on congregations, and think they will come up in a minute. But they will not come up in a good many minutes. By and by, little by little, by those and other influences, men will rise. There is nothing in this world that is so slow as the building of a man. In the process of building him an immense amount of time is consumed. A man gives out his plan of a house to an architect, and goes to Europe. In six months’ time he comes back, and thinks he is going to move right in. When he arrives at the spot, there is nothing but brick and stone, and mortar and scaffolding, and all sorts of litter, dirt, and confusion. He is amazed at it. But in proportion to the elaborateness and largeness of the dwelling is the time that is required to construct it. So it is with moral ideas in the community, educating the whole people, enabling men to look without prejudice upon truth, and bringing them forward step by step. It is very slow work, and ministers, reformers, teachers of schools, parents, and all those whose desires are set for the furtherance of the welfare of men, have need of patience, great patience. Still one thing more. “Let patience have her perfect work.” Raw patience does not amount to much. Ripe patience means a great deal; not that patience which is momentary and fugitive, but that which is settled down and become chronic. How beautiful it is to see a man or woman who has come to the state of ripe patience—the serene face of the matron, on whom all sweetness and goodness wait, who is living just at the golden sunset of her life, and who has been through trials unnamed—for the great sorrows of this life never come to the surface; broken-hearted almost, yet, by her faith in God, enduring till one and another thing is removed, and her life at last is completed, and she stands in the golden light, waiting. How beautiful is the serenity of victorious age that has not been overthrown, that has gone through the rugged way, and across Jordan into the promised land! How noble, too, is the heroic patience of men willing to give their lives for their kind, without selfish ends, with noble and heroic aspirations, waiting, waiting. (H. W. Beecher.)

Patience and perfection:—1. The perfection of our graces is not discovered till we are put upon great trials. As a pilot’s skill is discerned in a storm, so is a Christian’s grace in many troubles. 2. The exercise of grace must not be interrupted till it be full and perfect. Ordinary spirits may be a little raised for a time, but they fall again (Gal. 5:7). It is not enough to begin; our proceedings in religion must be answerable to our beginnings. While you are in the world, go on to a more perfect discovery of patience, and follow them that “through faith,” and a continued “patience have inherited the promises” (Heb. 6:12). 3. Christians must press on to perfection. “That ye may be perfect and entire, nothing wanting.” (1) Christians will be aspiring to absolute perfection. They are led on to growth by this desire: they hate sin so perfectly that they cannot be quiet till it be utterly abolished. First, they go to God for justification, then for sanctification, then for glorification. And as they are bent against sin with a keen hatred, so they are carried on with an importunate desire of grace. They that have true grace will not be contented with a little grace; no measures will serve their turn. (2) Christians must be actually perfect in all points and parts of Christianity. As they will have faith, they will have patience; as patience, love, and zeal. (3) They aim at the perfection of duration, that, as they would be wanting in no part of duty, so in no part of their lives. Subsequent acts of apostasy made our former crown to wither (2 John 8). (T. Manton.)

On patience:—

  1. The nature of patience. 1. It is a grace of the Holy Spirit, and is not to be confounded with that constitutional hardiness, or apathy of mind, which renders some men insensible to the most affecting events. 2. It is manifested in a cheerful submission to the trials of life. The good man perceives the mercy there is in God’s frowns, and the kindness there is in His strokes. 3. It is manifested in the steadfast pursuit of religion in spite of all its difficulties. 4. It is manifested in forbearance and kindness to our fellow-men. 5. It is shown in the steadfast expectation of the blessings of grace and glory.
  2. The import of this exhortation. 1. This intimates that our patience should rise to the highest improvements of which it is susceptible. We must labour to attain such measures of this grace as to glorify providence in the whole of its dealings with us. 2. It intimates that we should endeavour to persevere in the exercise of this grace to the end, in spite of the increase of our troubles.

III. The motive to this conduct which the text suggests. Attention to the state of the primitive Christians will lead us to the true import of the apostle’s language. Their faith in the gospel and their attachment to its Author were strong, they had enabled them to overcome prejudices in favour of the Jewish religion which they had long fondly cherished. They had enabled them to relinquish the esteem of their bigoted countrymen, which had formerly been their solace amidst the indignities of the heathen, and to unite themselves with the followers of the Lord Jesus in spiritual worship and in pure benevolence. Now, as to these principles, they might be ready to imagine that they constituted the whole of the Christian character; but, though essential parts of it, more was still requisite. Patience was a grace which it was necessary they should cultivate most assiduously. It is a principal feature in the character of Christ. In this motive the apostle may be considered as intimating the influence of patience in securing and improving the other graces of religion. It keeps the shield of faith firm on the breast, and the fire of love flaming in the heart. It keeps the hands of prayer from falling down, and the song of praise from becoming cold or careless. Where patience hath its perfect work it hath as powerful an influence on happiness as on goodness. No anxiety can harass, and no despair cloud the heart where it rules. Conclusion: I shall give you a few counsels to aid you in the cultivation of this principle. 1. Be frequent in your prayers to the God of patience, that He may confirm you to the end. 2. Study with care the character of Jesus, and especially His patience. 3. Converse frequently with your companions in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ. You should state your sorrows to each other, not to give vent to a querulous temper, but to solicit aid in presenting such considerations as may animate your resolution and confirm your fortitude. 4. Search the Scriptures daily. The Bible is the word of Christ’s patience. There you will see a goodly company who, through faith and patience, inherit the promises, and there the most animating motives are presented to excite you to follow them. 5. Think on the lustre which this will shed on the religion you profess. This has been one of the boasts of philosophy, that it has made men superior to the evils of life; and nothing will degrade Christianity more, in the estimation of such men, than a querulous temper in its followers. 6. Think on the approbation which Christ will express of the perfect work of patience (Rev. 2:19). (H. Belfrage, D.D.)

Patience:—I never feel more strongly the divinity and perfectness of the Christian system, than in reading the works of those classic authors whose morality makes the nearest approach to the Christian standard. The chief fault that I find with Seneca is his omission of patience from his list of virtues; and from this omission, unessential as some might deem it, there flow the most fatal consequences. He gives many admirable precepts for contending with the evils of life, and destroying their power by exterminating them. But if they exceed mortal strength, and cannot be overcome, he represents it as beneath a wise or a brave man to bear them, when it is so easy to leap out of existence. The very field of discipline, which the heathen moralist thus precluded for his disciple, is that on which the precepts and example of Jesus are the most full and clear. Courage is an occasional act or effort of the soul; patience, a continuous habit. Courage is the mission of some; patience, the duty of all. Courage courts observation, and sustains itself by every possible outward stimulus; patience is lonely and quiet, its warfare is within. Courage may give its strength to evil, and may nerve the arm of the thief or the manslayer; patience dwells only in the bosom of piety, and always beholds the face of her Father in heaven. I now ask your attention to a few remarks designed to illustrate the necessity and the means of cultivating the virtue of patience, and the mode in which it so reacts upon the whole character as to make the patient disciple “perfect and entire, lacking nothing.” The necessity of this virtue can hardly be overrated. Our Saviour said, with literal truth, “In the world ye shall have tribulation.” Who escapes it? No one can feel more fully than I do that God has placed us in a good world, and has put within the reach of us all a large preponderance of happiness over misery. And these visitations of Providence are not momentary, so that they can be met by a sudden and defiant effort; but they are prolonged, spreading out into the future, and the end is not yet, but is beyond our calculation. 1. Among the means of cherishing patience I would first name a deep and enduring sense of the love of God, and of the merciful purpose of all His dispensations. This we all confess in words; but we must feel it. This needed faith in a fatherly Providence parents should teach their children, when they are full of joy; and the young, prosperous, and always happy should grow into it more and more in daily adoration and thanksgiving. There has been, there is, enough in the life of each of us, if we would only ponder upon it, to draw forth the confession, with gratitude too full for utterance, “God has nourished me as a child—in ways and times without number He has revealed Himself as my Father and my Friend.” This spirit will give us patience when the evil days come. We shall know that afflictions are but altered forms of mercy, ordained with kind purpose and for a blessed ministry, that outward trial is sent to heal inward disease. We shall lean in faith upon a Father, whose ways seem dark to us only because we are children and fall short of our Father’s wisdom. Our trust will be confirmed by exercise and deepened by experience, so that every new period of trial will give to patience its more and more perfect work. 2. Again, patience derives nourishment from the hope of heaven, not from the mere belief in immortality, but from the personal appropriation and consciousness of it. We think little of a rough road or a bad inn, if the end of our journey is near and attractive. We cheerfully encounter temporary inconveniences if fully assured that they are to be followed by long and unbroken quietness and prosperity. Did we let our contemplations rest habitually on eternity, all our earthly trials would in like manner seem light and short, and not worthy to be compared with the joy set before us. 3. Patience receives also ample support from the life and example of Jesus. In Him the disciple learns that whom the Lord loves He chastens. Yet we behold Him calm, submissive, trustful. Not a murmur escapes Him, not an unconditional prayer for relief. His patience is tried at every point, both by the mysterious hand of an afflictive Providence, and by the malice and scorn of the wicked. But this life is a school for heaven, and we are accustomed to believe that we learn lessons here to practise there. Is not patience an exception? We can have no occasion for its exercise in heaven; why, then, assign it so prominent a place in the Christian character? This question will be best answered by considering the uses of patience. (1) Under this head I first remark that there is one work which we must all accomplish, would we enter heaven, namely, the formation of spiritual characters, the establishment of the supremacy of the inward over the outward, of the soul over sense, of things unseen and eternal over things seen and temporal. This, however performed, is an arduous process; but perhaps not more so for those whose discipline is that of protracted suffering, than for the prosperous and happy. But for those who are rich, and full, and strong, if they would reach favoured places in the heavenly kingdom, there must be a course of self-restraint, self-denial, and self-renunciation. And herein lies one essential office of patience, in the spiritualising of the character, and how beautifully and effectually it does this many of us can testify, from our having felt nearer heaven in the abode of penury, or by the bed of chronic illness, than in the gayest and brightest scenes that have fallen within our experience. (2) Then, again, in no form does a Christian example seem more attractive, and win more honour to the Christian name and character, than in patience under severe trial and suffering. Piety, indeed, is in the sight of God the same, under whatever form; but by man it cannot be equally appreciated in all conditions of life. In prosperity and joy, there will always be the sneering and sceptical, who will repeat Satan’s question. “Doth Job serve God for naught?” But touch the disciple in his dearest earthly interests, and if he then holds fast his faith, and if he talks of the goodness of God, and manifestly dwells in inward peace there is no room left for cavilling. God means that we should all be examples to one another; that, while we save our own souls, we should shine for the salvation of others; and that thus the world should from generation to generation become more and more filled with lights on the heavenward path. This office as I have said, seems to be performed with superior felicity and power by those whose mission it is to suffer rather than to do. (3) I remark that patience is not a virtue to which even death sets limits. It belongs to heaven and to eternity What! you ask, patience in heaven! Will there be suffering there? By no means But what is patience? It is implicit trust, exercised in the darker scenes and vicissitudes of life. These scenes will brighten into the perfect day, these vicissitudes will be merged in the great change, when the corruptible puts on incorruption; but the faith of which they were the theatre will live for ever, and be for ever needed. There will be mysteries in heaven as well as here: things to be taken on faith before they can be fully known, portions of the vast administration of God, in which, in our ignorance, we must cast ourselves in humble reliance on His wisdom and goodness. I have thus spoken of the necessity, the aids, and the uses of patience. It makes life beautiful. It sheds a calm and heavenly glory upon the bed of death. (A. P. Peabody.)

Patience needed by God’s workers:—In the New Testament “patience,” in almost every case, has a reference to what has to be endured or suffered rather than to what has to be accomplished. Nor is this to be wondered at. The first age of Christianity was an age of labour, but it was more conspicuously an age of endurance. Since that age Christianity has become a conquering religion as well as a suffering religion. The spirit of patience takes a wider range now; and instead of meaning endurance under suffering, it takes in all the difficulties which come in the way of well-doing, and embraces all that might come under the word “perseverance.” Let me notice some points in the nature of the Christian life which demand this spirit of patience or perseverance.

  1. The kingdom of God shares, with all the works of God, the character of growth; and those who are fellow-workers with Him must accept the laws and conditions of His kingdom, and must, perhaps, wait long. I need hardly dwell on this fact of the growth of the kingdom of God. Take any single element of the character of a good man, or of a Church, or of a nation, and you see how impossible it is that it should all at once attain to perfection. Time, experience, are necessary. And perhaps the greater the virtue is, and the greater the work to be done, the slower will be the growth. It is so in the natural world, where the strongest tree, or the most sagacious and vigorous animal, comes to maturity after many years of slow growth. Civilisation is slow of growth; art, learning, high character in races and in individuals, all are of slow growth; but slower still is the development of religion, of high Christian virtue and character, whether in men or nations. What has strengthened the Christian graces of good men, their wisdom, their faith, their charity, their spirit of watchfulness, their faithfulness? Was it not the daily struggle against evil, the daily need of resorting to God for help, the falling back upon great eternal truths in the heart? If a man had all he wanted at the outset, he might, after a long life, be worse off than when he began. Certainly he would be deficient in many good qualities, and his inner character would be less complete. In countries where the inhabitants can live without labour, civilisation makes no advance; they have all they need, and in vain do you ask them to put forth efforts to rise higher in knowledge or in skill. But not less is the training of the soul in what is spiritual the fruit of opposition and hindrance. The hardest thing in the world is to do good, to chase away the prejudices and the errors and the bad habits which have taken root in the world. If a man could accomplish all this as by the magic wand, would he himself be as good a man as if he had been obliged to reach his end by the long laborious process of thinking and revising his thoughts, restraining his spirit, looking in upon himself, and upward to the Source of all purity and wisdom? Christ prepared His followers for all this. By His parables, by His life, by His death, He taught His disciples that opposition, defeat, and apparent destruction were, or might be, parts of the history of His Church, and that the harvest might only be reaped after long ages of waiting. This growth—so slow, so uncertain in outward appearance, so often advancing when it seems to have ceased, this growth of the kingdom of God in the individual—calls for a spirit of patience on the part of those who belong to the kingdom of God.
  2. Patience in the work of God is necessary because it is no part of the condition of Christian service to see results. Results of some sort we ask to see, and results of some sort we do see; but the full sum of our labours it may require more than one generation to see. The man of clear judgment and pure feeling will doubtless, before his career is ended, enjoy the sight of many persons who have caught his spirit and character. But even that reward comes by patience. I do not speak of the individual only, I speak of the Church and of the world.

III. The spirit of patience in Christian work and duty is the only spirit which really apprehends the right character of the Christian faith. The spirit of patience is not measured by the reward or the result. The whole essence of Christianity is a contest with what is evil and wrong. It is presumptuous, and in the highest degree unbelieving, in us to say, “I shall not take part in this tremendous conflict until I know what is to come out of it, and what good is to be done.” The essential impulse of the Christian spirit is to set itself on the side of what is right and pure and true, irrespective of the issue. I know there are amongst us cases where, again and again, there has arisen, as if prompted by stern necessity, the suggestion that some work on behalf of an individual, or a class of individuals, may as well be thrown up. It comes to nothing. Is there any use doing more? What do you mean? The struggle is not a contest for one individual or for many; it represents the whole question of the supremacy of good or evil, the whole question of our faith in God, the whole question of our hope in the destiny of man. But the question may well arise in every heart, “What right have I to ask that all my plans and purposes shall succeed, or that any one of them shall?” Where do we see universal success free from mischance? In what region of nature do we find gain without loss, progress without decay? Everywhere we see a capacity for life and growth cut short and perish. We never see in other cases what we so rigorously demand in our own. And what are we, it may well be said, what are we that an exception should be made on our behalf, and that we should never encounter disappointment and failure? (A. Watson, D.D.)

Patience:—Patience is not there to begin with. It is no inborn grace, like love. It comes to us by and by, and tries to find room in our nature, and to stay and bless us, and so make us altogether its own. The first thing we are aware of in any healthy and hearty child is the total absence and destitution of this spirit of patience. No trace of it is to be discovered in the eager, hungry outcries, and the aimless, but headstrong struggles against things as they are. But presently Patience comes, and rests on the mother’s lifted finger as she shakes it at the tiny rebel, and puts a tone he had never heard before within the tender trills of her voice, and he looks up with a dim sort of wonder, as if he would say, What is that? Then, in a few years, she looks at him out of the face of the old kitchen clock. It seems impossible that this steady-going machine should be so impassive, and persist in that resistless march; should not be quick to strike the hour he would drag before its time out of the strong heavens, or should not delay a little as he sits in the circle when the day is done, and dreads the exodus, at the stroke of eight, to his chamber. Poor little man! he has got into the old sorrow. It is not the clock, but the sun and stars he would alter, and the eternal ways. Then, as the child passes into the boy, he has still to find this angel of patience. It is then very common for him to transfer his revolt from the sun to the seasons. If he is in the country, he rebels at the slow, steady growth of things; they never begin to come up to his demand. It is with all boys as it was with John Sterling. His father gave him a garden-bed, to till as he would; and he put in potatoes. They did not appear when be thought they should; so he dug them out, and put in something else; and so he kept on digging in and out, all one summer, because the things sprouted and bloomed at once in his hot little heart, like Jonah’s gourd. It was an instance of the whole boy life. Nature can never come up to his notion of what she ought to do until Patience comes to help him. But your big, healthy boy fights it out, hard and long; nothing is just as he wants it. Christmas comes like a cripple, and school, when the holidays are over, like a deer. It is a shame cherries and apples will not ripen sooner, and figures find their places more tractably, and geographies run as straight as a line. It is easy to see, again, that these habits of the child and boy are only the germs of a larger impatience in the youth and the prime. We soon get our lesson from the angel about the kitchen clock and the courses of the sun, and the limits of our power to make this world turn the other way. We learn to come to time, and set ourselves to its steady dictation in all common things; and patience, so far, has her perfect work. I wonder to see the patience of some children, at last, about what they know they have got to do and be, in their tasks and strivings. But if the boy does learn all he ought to learn about times and seasons, and tasks and treats, and lines and limits, it is very seldom that the lesson holds good as he begins the march to his manhood, or when he gets there. Patience, then, has to teach him deeper things: time still says one thing and his desire another, and he hungers again for what God has forbidden in the very condition of his life. But now it is unspeakably more serious than it was ten years ago, as she comes to him and tries to teach him her great lesson. She has to remember what myriads of young men, strong, and eager, and headstrong as he is, have broken away from her after all. Fortune and position, weight for weight, with what faculty the Maker has given him, is just as sure to come to a man in this country as the crop to the farmer, and the web to the weaver, if he will only let this angel have her perfect work. Travellers in India tell us they have seen a magician make an orange tree spring, and bloom, and bear fruit all in half an hour. That is the way many believe fortune ought to come. They cannot wait for its patient, steady, seasonable growth. Patience comes and whispers, “It will never do; the perfect work is only that done by my spirit; the magician can never bring his thirty-minute oranges to market, because they can never nourish anybody as those do that come in the old Divine fashion, by the patient sun and seasons.” He gives no heed to the wise, sweet counsels; takes his own way; and then if he wins, finds that somehow he has lost in the winning; the possession is not half so good as the expectation: but the rule is, that the man who will not let Patience have her perfect work in building up his position and fortune, ends bare of both, and has nothing but a harvest of barren regrets. No man, again, comes to middle age without finding that this is the truth about all the noble sensations that give such a colour and grace to our life, and are such loyal ministrants to its blessing, if we can say “No” to the enemies of our good angel when they come and counsel us to disregard her ways, to let our passions take the bit in their teeth, and go tearing where they will. Twenty years ago last June, when I had been a few weeks in this country, I tasted, for the first time in my life, an exquisite summer luxury; and it seemed so good that I thought I could never get enough of it. I got some more, and then some more, and then I found, for the first time, I think, what it is to have too much of a good thing. The angel is there with his flaming sword, insisting that I shall only eat of it out of Eden. It has been to me ever since a parable of this deep old verity. I disregarded the angel whispering, “You had better take care; if you eat that for a steady diet, through a whole June day, you do it in spite of me; the hunger for some more, which has been growing all your life, is a pledge that the good of this will abide with you as long as you live if you will always let hunger wait on appetite.” I had no idea of doing that. Impatience got the rein, and I gathered and ate the whole harvest of that good thing between dawn and dark. Every glass of wine, or dram of whiskey, drunk by a healthy and strong young man, is an insult and injury to this good angel, and makes it so far impossible for her to do her perfect work, because he is spending ahead of his income of life, and bringing a fine power of being to beggary, if not to worse than that. He can only get that glow and flame at a heavy discount, both of life itself and of all that makes life worth living. Patience would help him to infinitely finer pleasures from her simple and wholesome stores, and they would stay with him as long as he lived; but he will not listen to her counsels, and will have none of her reproofs; therefore will she weep at his calamities, and mock when his dole cometh. There is a whole world of evils of very much the same sort, some more fatal still than the one I have named. It is the same thing whichever way we turn. Nature says one thing, and desire another. Only the perfect work of Patience can make both one, and then the result of both is grace. This is true, first, of our relation to one another. The very last thing most of us can learn of our relations to each other is to let Patience have her perfect work. Very few fathers and mothers learn the secret this angel is waiting to tell them about their children until perhaps the last is born. It is probable that he will give more trouble than any one of the others. Then love and duty were the motive powers; now it is love and patience. Patience is the only angel that can work with love. To refuse her blessing is to refuse God’s holiest gift, after what He has given us in the child’s own being. I think the day is yet to dawn when fathers and mothers will feel that they would rather scourge themselves as the old anchorites did, than scourge their little ones; and will not doubt that they, and not the child, deserve it, when they feel like doing it. The fruit ripens at last all right, if we have the grace to let the sun shine on it, and to guard it from the destroyer. All the tendencies of our time to give children the right to have a great deal of their own way, are good tendencies, if we will understand that their own way is of course the right way, as certainly as a climbing vine follows the turn of the sun: all we have to do is carefully and patiently to open the right way for them wherever they turn. Patience, again, must have her perfect work in our whole relation to our fellow-men. It is very sad to read of the shameful things that have been done in the name of religion, for the sake of conformity: how the fagot has burned, and the rack has wrung. Want of patience, indeed, apart from the vilest reasons, must be the main cause for the dreadful rank growth of this evil weed of divorce in our social life. If they did love each other once, they will never find such blessing as could come to them, with patience as the aid to their affections. Human souls have an imperial quality in them; a turn for insisting on being master; and when they come so close together as husband and wife, and love recovers his sight, as he will, Patience must take up her part and adjust the thing by a constitution of equal rights, and by an equal giving up of rights, or, in spite of love, there will come infinite trouble. We have very much the same thing to learn in our relation to each other in the whole length and breadth of our life. Ministers with their people, and people with their ministers; employers with their servants, and servants with their employers; men in their dealings with men, and women in their judgments of women. For, finally, there must be a Divine impatience, too. Jesus Christ felt it now and then; but you have to notice that it is never with weakness or incompleteness, or even folly or sin; for all these He had only forbearance and forgiveness, and pity and sympathy. What roused Him, and made His heart throb, and His face glow, and His voice quiver with a Divine indignation, was the hollow pretence and ugly hypocrisy He had to encounter, and the judgments one man made of another out of a sense of superior attainment. That is our right, as much as it was His right, as we grow towards His great estate. Last of all, for this angel of Patience we must cry to heaven. (R. Collyer.)

The lesson of patience:—

  1. We ought to learn this lesson, in the first place, because of the comfort it gives. Patience means not getting put out when things do not turn out just as we wish. Look at Job. Look at Abraham. And then look at Jacob. An old proverb says, “Patience is the remedy for all troubles.” The best remedy for hard times is patience. Patience stifles anger, and sweetens the temper, and subdues pride. Patience bridles the tongue, so that it shall not speak in anger, and holds back the hand from striking in wrath. Patience makes us humble in prosperity, and cheerful in adversity. Patience comforts the poor, and restrains the rich.
  2. In the second place, we ought to learn this lesson because of the good it does. When a ship is going to sea, it is necessary for her to be properly ballasted. The ballast steadies the vessel, and enables her to meet the storms and billows in her way with safety. This shows us what good patience can do.

III. But there is a third reason why we should try to learn this lesson, and that is because of the help we have in doing so. We have great help given, in seeking to learn this lesson, from the examples of those who have learned and practised it before us. Suppose we are trying to climb up a steep mountain. We find it very hard work. If we see no footprints of others, we may say, “No one has ever been along this path before. Perhaps it is impossible to reach the top of the mountain. What is the use of trying?” We feel discouraged, and cease striving. But if the path is well worn, and there are footprints, we know that many people have gone up the mountain: then we may feel encouraged to keep on climbing to the very top. And so, when we have examples of those who have learned the lesson of patience, and in whom “patience has had its perfect work,” then we may feel encouraged to try and learn this lesson for ourselves. How patient Jesus was all the days of His life on earth! “When He was reviled, He reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not.” But this lesson of patience can be learned only by the help of God’s grace. (R. Newton, D.D.)

Patience:—Patience is spoken of by the apostle in the text as having a work to do. Our work as men, as Christians, in this world is to strive to be more like God, more like Christ, in ourselves, in our home lives, our business lives, our duty, our pleasure; and this cannot be done without patience. Now patience has two main qualities which enable her to do her perfect work. Patience is willing to wait; secondly, patience is willing to endure. There is an old proverb, “All things come to him who can wait,” a proverb which commends itself to those who observe how in this world’s affairs hurry and worry hinder success, or spoil it, if gained. How often excitement or irritation mar the best laid plans, rendering a man useless or harmful at critical moments. Patience that is willing to wait is necessary even to energetic persons, eager to make money, and, as it is called, “to get on in the world.” They learn by experience that energy out of season is wasted, if not harmful, and so they bide their time, and are patiently watchful for opportunity. Now, if this is true in worldly matters, we need not be surprised to find that it has its counterpart in spiritual matters. Patience is willing to wait, being well aware that the strong walls of prejudice which divide class and class are founded mostly upon ignorance, and with it break down. It takes time, and therefore demands patience. Impatience would attempt to cure what is amiss by remedies which in themselves and in their consequences are worse than the disease. Patience, on the other hand, cherishes hope, and has faith in the increasing purpose of God for good—God whose mercies fail not. Patience willing to wait is characteristic of God’s providence. It was also characteristic of the life of Christ on earth. He who was content to grow in wisdom and stature was content to spend the long years of His early manhood in subjection to His earthly parents till He reached the age of thirty and the appointed time was fulfilled. But if in Christ’s life is seen patience thus willing to wait, in the record of His ministry and passion we see that very quality of patience which we speak of, namely, patience, willing to endure, working out for our sakes the perfection of human nature. And as a Teacher, what trials must His soul have felt—that soul full of knowledge and wisdom, yet only able to impart but little, and that little veiled in parable, to hearts not receptive and ears dull of hearing! How trying to the patience to find Himself misunderstood and the gospel lesson forgotten even by those nearest to Him and most ready to learn! And then again, all the feeling of indignation aroused by the wilful malignity of the “Scribes, Pharisees, hypocrites,” insinuating, traducing, and finally conspiring to kill; and all this endured with patience. These are the facts which in the life and death of Christ tell us of His patience, willing to wait and willing to endure. (E. Warre, D.D.) The perfect work of patience: This endurance, which the writer seems to consider the finally desirable thing, may have two meanings: it may signify the being able to bear whatever is laid on us by our Lord, and which we call patience, or it may signify permanence of character. The latter seems the fixed meaning. Before the blast the dead leaves are driven, or the waves on the surface of the ocean are tossed, but the tree has endurance and remains; the ocean has endurance and remains. It is this permanence of character which is desirable above all things. The earlier trials are the first weight imposed upon character. They tend to give compactness. There is a line of density below which no substance can be pressed. Every additional pound of weight causes that which is pressed to approach that compactness which no additional burden can increase. This completed compactness the writer calls the “perfect work” of endurance. The sooner a man reaches this effect of trouble, the sooner is he at the point where no trouble can ever work him any harm. He is “perfect and entire.” (C. F. Deems, D.D.)

The completion of the godly character:—The three characteristics of the man of God form a climax: ye are to be spiritually perfect, having all your graces and virtues in their entirety, and in no one thing are ye to be deficient; the ideal statue is not to present to the view one grace in abundant development, and another of stinted proportions, symmetry not deformity is the model, each part is well balanced with the rest, and all in graceful harmony with the whole; the law of physical is also the law of moral beauty. As the temptations spoken of are various, of divers sorts and kinds, assaulting and testing the various constituents of the whole character, the effect of a successful endurance of them severally would be the perfection of each and all of the members of the inner man, the completion of the godly character, the production of a man after God’s own heart. (F. T. Bassett, M.A.)[7]


1:4 “And let endurance have” This is a PRESENT ACTIVE IMPERATIVE. Of the 108 verses in the book of James there are 54 IMPERATIVES. It is a book of exhortation to practical living.

© its perfect results, so that you may be perfect and complete” The Greek word “perfect” (telos) means “fully equipped,” “mature,” or “ripe.” It is often linked to love (cf. Rom. 12:2; 1 Cor. 13:9–13; 1 John 4:18). Noah is described by this same word in the Septuagint of Gen. 6:9. It seems to have the connotation of a mature faith which issues in faithful, loving service. It does not imply or suggest “sinlessness” or “without fear.” It is just possible that this could have an eschatological reference. James often looks toward the culmination of the Christian hope (cf. 1:8–9, 12; 5:7, 8).

The second term “complete” (holoklēria) is used of the health and wholeness of the physical body (cf. Acts 3:16) and metaphorically of the well-being of all mankind, both physically and spiritually (cf. 1 Thess. 5:23 and in an eschatological sense, vv. 8–9, 12).

© “lacking in nothing” Notice that a mature Christian is described in three ways: (1) perfect (telos); (2) with integrity or complete (holoklēros cf. 1 Thess. 5:23); and (3) lacking in nothing (NJB “not deficient in any way”). Trials are God’s means of producing maturity (cf. Heb. 5:8–9). Maturity is not theological insight only, but daily faithful endurance! Maturity is who we are, not what we know! Its fruit is seen and developed in crisis.[8]


4. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

James repeats the noun perseverance to demonstrate that this concept is important to the message of the epistle. By repeating the term, James alludes to the teaching of Jesus, who on two different occasions taught his disciples, “But he who stands firm to the end will be saved” (Matt. 10:22; 24:13).

We cannot hasten perseverance. It needs time. For example, a patient receives the encouraging news from his physician that his broken leg is healing satisfactorily. Daily the doctor visits the patient and each time tells him virtually the same thing. The patient realizes that he must obey orders not to put pressure on the injured leg, even though it is supported by a cast. The healing process must run its normal course. Should the patient abruptly end this process, the results would be disastrous. Paul asked the Lord to remove the thorn in his flesh. “Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me,” writes Paul. “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness’ ” (2 Cor. 12:8–9). Note the term perfect, for James uses the same word. “Let patience [perseverance] have her perfect work” (KJV). That is, do not interfere with God’s plan for your life. Persevere in your trials, so that the work God has begun in you may be brought to completion. As David prayed in one of his psalms,

The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me;

your love, O Lord, endures forever—

do not abandon the works of your hands. [Ps. 138:8]

Parallelism is one of the Semitic features in the Epistle of James. Note that verse 4 repeats the thought of the preceding verse and thus explains its meaning. Here is the parallel:

The testing of your faith completely works out the virtue of perseverance.

Let perseverance work out its course completely.

Just as a fruitproducing plant must be allowed to finish its complete growing period, so perseverance must be given its full term.

  • “Mature and complete.” James has a penchant for linking words or concepts, preferably by repeating the same term. A literal translation illustrates this: “And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (NASB).

What does “perfect” mean? Certainly it does not mean “without sin.” In 3:2 James writes, “We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.” James intends to convey the concept of wholeness, that is, “not lagging behind in any point.” Addressing the Philippians, Paul also uses the expression perfect. The New International Version translates it “mature”: “All of us who are mature should take such a view of things” (Phil. 3:15). With respect to the readers of Paul’s and James’s letters, the term perfect means “mature.”

A synonym of “mature” is the word complete. In the name of Jesus, Peter healed the lame man who daily sat begging at Solomon’s Colonnade. Luke writes that this beggar was given complete healing (Acts 3:16). The crippled man’s feet and ankles became strong so that he functioned as a complete human being without handicap.

  • “Not lacking anything.” The phrase not lacking anything is synonymous with the preceding term complete, which expresses the concept that all parts are functioning. Although both terms state the same concept, the first does so positively; the second, negatively. If, then, we have received all the necessary parts that make us mature and complete and if God has given us all things so that we lack nothing, we should be able to endure the trials God is giving us. And because God has fully equipped us, we are able to persevere in faith.[9]

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1998). James (pp. 32–34). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Guthrie, G. H. (2006). James. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Hebrews–Revelation (Revised Edition) (Vol. 13, p. 213). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] McKnight, S. (2011). The Letter of James (pp. 80–82). Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, UK: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

[4] Davids, P. H. (2011). James (pp. 27–28). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[5] Calvin, J., & Owen, J. (2010). Commentaries on the Catholic Epistles (pp. 280–281). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[6] Moo, D. J. (1985). James: An Introduction and Commentary (Vol. 16, p. 64). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[7] Exell, J. S. (n.d.). The Biblical Illustrator: James (pp. 22–35). Cincinnati; Chicago; Kansas City: Jennings & Graham.

[8] Utley, R. J. D. (2000). Jesus’ Half-Brothers Speak: James and Jude (Vol. Volume 11, pp. 10–11). Marshall, TX: Bible Lessons International.

[9] Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953–2001). Exposition of James and the Epistles of John (Vol. 14, pp. 34–35). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

August—24 The Poor Man’s Evening Portion

 

And God said, Ask what I shall give thee.—1 Kings 3:5.

My honoured Lord! may I not, with all humbleness of soul, apply what was here said to Solomon, in the Old Testament dispensation, as said to all thy redeemed under the New Testament grace? Didst thou not say, Lord! “Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. Hitherto ye have asked nothing in my name; ask and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full?” (John 16:23, 24.) I feel encouraged by this saying of my Lord; and I am come up, this evening, to my Lord, to get large supplies of grace, mercy, pardon, peace; yea, Christ himself, with all his gifts, with all his fulness, and all his blessings. And sure I am, if my Lord will give me as large a hand to receive, as my Lord’s hand is to give, I shall have a blessed time of it this evening. My soul, look to it, that thou take with thee all thy wants; yea, come as empty as the poorest beggar that ever appeared in the poverty and wretchedness of a fallen nature; for, he that gives, “gives liberally, and upbraideth not.” And knowest thou what thy wants are, and what the wants of Christ’s Church upon earth are, and thine household, thy family, thy children, thy friends? Let them tell thee, if thou dost not know; for say unto them, Jesus is upon the throne, and delighting to give out of his inexhaustible fulness; and there is an assurance of blessings, if asked in faith. Tell them that thou wilt faithfully lay their cases before him: yea, bring them with thee, and let all unite in prayer and supplication together, that every want may be supplied, and every poor sinner’s heart made glad! Oh! what encouragement it is to consider, that every thing in Christ is for his people, and that he waits to be gracious, and delights in imparting blessings. The Father’s gift of Christ is to this express purpose; for he so loved the world as to give his only begotten Son; and therefore, with him, “he will freely give all things.” And Jesus, who gave himself for his people, will surely give every thing that can be needed to his people. And it is the glory, grace, and love of the Holy Ghost, to give to the people views and enjoyments of both the Father’s love and the Son’s grace. Hear, then, my soul, the voice from the mercy seat, this evening, “Ask what I shall give thee?” And see that thy petition, and the blessings thou prayest for, be great and large, suited to the glory of the great giver, and the largeness and tenderness of the Lord’s heart. And do mark this down, as an encouragement to take with thee, of the assurance of thy success. If he that bids thee ask, gives thee faith at the same time to believe; and if, while the Lord is stretching forth the sceptre of his grace, he enables thee to stretch forth thy withered hand to touch it; sure I am, that thou wilt not come empty away; for he hath said, “All things that ye ask believing, ye shall receive.”[1]

 

[1] Hawker, R. (1845). The Poor Man’s Evening Portion (A New Edition, pp. 250–251). Philadelphia: Thomas Wardle.

If the Evidence for God is So Compelling, Why Don’t More People Believe? (Video) — Cold Case Christianity

Why don’t more people believe in Christianity? What causes some people to doubt or reject the claims of Christianity? This clip was excerpted from one of J. Warner’s Q and A sessions (following a conference presentation). To see more training videos with J. Warner Wallace, visit the YouTube playlist. For more information about the scientific and…

If the Evidence for God is So Compelling, Why Don’t More People Believe? (Video) — Cold Case Christianity

August 24 Life-Changing Moments With God

 

I know their sorrows.

Father, Jesus Christ was a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. He can sympathize with my weaknesses.

He Himself took my infirmities and bore my sicknesses. Jesus, once being wearied from His journey, sat by the well.

When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled. Jesus wept. In that Jesus Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.

Lord God, You looked down from the height of Your sanctuary; from heaven You viewed the earth, to hear the groaning of the prisoner, to release those appointed to death. You know the way that I take; when You have tested me, I shall come forth as gold. When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, You knew my path.

Anyone who touches me touches the apple of Your eye, Lord God. In all Your people’s affliction You were afflicted, and the Angel of Your Presence saved us.

You know me and my sorrows, my compassionate and gracious God. You comfort me and rescue me, and I praise You!

Exodus 3:7; Isaiah 53:3; Hebrews 4:15; Matthew 8:17; John 4:6; John 11:33; John 11:35; Hebrews 2:18; Psalm 102:19–20; Job 23:10; Psalm 142:3; Zechariah 2:8; Isaiah 63:9[1]

 

[1] Jeremiah, D. (2007). Life-Changing Moments With God (p. 255). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Cartoons and Memes · Aug. 24, 2020

The Problem

 

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This Is Fine

 

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Dizzy Joe

 

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A Terrible Endorsement

 

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They Pinko Promise

 

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Kamala Harris

 

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Locked Up!

 

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Harris

 

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Bet You Can’t

 

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American Greatness

 

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Think Outside the Mailbox

 

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More Democrat Kneeling

 

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Now Trump’s Putting Mail Trucks in Cages

 

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Guess

 

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Goodyear Execs: ‘BLM’ Good, ‘MAGA’ Bad

 

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No Apology Necessary

 

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John MacArthur Files Declaration Against Los Angeles for Repeated Church Closure Attacks — Faithwire

The battle between Los Angeles County officials and California megachurch Pastor John MacArthur is continuing.

According to a press release obtained by Faithwire, county officials are attempting — for the fourth time — to get a court order to shutter MacArthur’s Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, which has been holding in-person worship services since last month, a violation of orders from Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), who has mandated churches keep their doors closed amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

John MacArthur Defies Covid Orders: ‘Welcome to the Grace Community Church Peaceful Protest’

https://www.faithwire.com/2020/08/10/john-macarthur-defies-covid-orders-welcome-to-the-grace-community-church-peaceful-protest/embed/#?secret=CoyHdhROLd

MacArthur, in his declaration released Monday, argued the county is attempting to impede on his and his congregation’s “free exercise of religion by criminalizing activity directly required by our faith.”

“As a church,” he wrote, “we have a moral and religious obligation to continue allowing our congregants to gather in our sanctuary to worship the Lord.”

He continued, in part:

This church is the core of life for thousands from nursery to seniors. Our church is not an event center. It is a family of lives who love and care for each other in very intensely personal ways. So essential to personal well-being that people rushed back as soon as they could. The utter unnecessary deprivation of all our people by completely shutting down the mutual love and care that sustains our people in all the exigencies, pressures and challenges of life, was cruel. And after 63 years of sacrificial, kindness to our city, to be repeatedly threatened with court-ordered efforts to shut Grace Community Church down when no one is sick, reveals an inexplicable preference for a mostly harmless virus over the life-enriching and necessary fellowship of the church. Our leaders and congregation see no real health threat to warrant such restraint. We see this action against us as an illegitimate misuse of power.

MacArthur’s declaration comes amid an ongoing stalemate between Grace Community Church and Los Angeles officials, who want to see the church close its doors, arguing in-person worship services could contribute to the spread of the coronavirus.

During an interview with CNN’s Brianna Keilar earlier this month, MacArthur argued the California government is intentionally “targeting” the church, adding his congregants don’t “buy the deadly narrative” that all the restrictions in place are really simply for safety.

“I don’t know of anybody in our church — and that’s a large church — who is sick at this time,” he said. “I don’t know of anybody, we haven’t had anybody at our church in the hospital with this through all these months.”

John MacArthur to CNN: Government Is ‘Targeting the Church,’ Pandemic Restrictions Make ‘No Sense’

https://www.faithwire.com/2020/08/12/john-macarthur-to-cnn-government-is-targeting-the-church-pandemic-restrictions-make-no-sense/embed/#?secret=bEpxly5vMI

He further explained to Keilar that churchgoers “know life is being restricted in a way that is not constitutional, that is burdensome, that is targeting a church, and that makes no sense in light of the actual number of deaths that they’re seeing.”

A few weeks ago, MacArthur pointed to a double standard that has seen massive social justice protests but has continued to restrict religious gatherings. Jokingly, he opened up a recent sermon by saying, “Good morning, everyone. I’m so happy to welcome you to the Grace Community Church peaceful protest.”

John MacArthur Files Declaration Against Los Angeles for Repeated Church Closure Attacks — Faithwire

John MacArthur Explains Why Christians Can’t Vote Democrat, Trump Calls to Thank Him for Taking a Stand for Religious Freedom | Reformation Charlotte

John MacArthur has been almost single-handedly taking the heat from both the right and the left for his stand for religious liberty. As the California government has unleashed its wrath upon MacArthur, he and his congregation have stood strong in the midst of what is clearly a power grab by tyrants.

To be fair, MacArthur is not the only pastor who has stood up against the tyranny — there are countless others. But, because of his notoriety, his stance has received the most attention and has been targeted for the most attacks — even from other Evangelical leaders.

MacArthur discusses how Donald Trump called him to thank him for his stand and then talks about how no Christian should ever vote Democrat. It should be noted that Donald Trump has been much more supportive of the Christian community than most of our Evangelical leaders have been. For more on MacArthur and this situation, see this link.

Source: John MacArthur Explains Why Christians Can’t Vote Democrat, Trump Calls to Thank Him for Taking a Stand for Religious Freedom

Chris Christie SCHOOLS Stephanopoulos on Biden’s Competence, Far-Left Agenda | Newsbusters

August 24th, 2020 12:20 PM

In the hours leading up to the Republican National Convention Monday, ABC journalists were ready with their list of grievances. However, anchor George Stephanopoulos stepped in it during Sunday’s This Week, when he went too far defending Democrat nominee Joe Biden, and former New Jersey governor Chris Christie destroyed his Biden narrative with facts.

It started with the ABC anchor dismissing Republicans for calling the Democrat candidate, far-left. Stephanopoulos also asserted that Biden’s competence for the job was no longer in question, simply because he read his acceptance speech without any obvious blunders:

STEPHANOPOULOS: Chris Christie, for the time being at least that speech seemed to put to rest for the time being –questions about whether Joe Biden is up to the job. How do Republicans this week make that case, that Joe Biden is far leftist given that he’s been around for 30 years and doesn’t have that reputation?

But Christie mocked the media’s notion that reading a teleprompter meant you were ready for the job.

“Well first off, as I said to the other night I don’t agree with that issue that it’s put to rest,” he said adding, “Almost anybody can read a teleprompter and I don’t think that passes the qualification for being ready to be president.”

The ABC News political contributor also called out Stephanopoulos for dismissing Biden embracing the radical left of the Democrat party, revealing one of his debate moments:

“I think the way they make the case is to start off with the first democratic primary debate and that tape when they said, do you agree–who on the stage agrees with decriminalizing the border? And every person on that stage including Joe Biden raised his hand,” he noted.

Stephanopoulos tried to keep defending Biden, insisting, “He came out against that!”

“But he raised his hand that night George,” Christie shot back, adding that this is what voters should expect from a Biden presidency:

The argument I’d make if I were the Trump campaign is, don’t just worry about the guy in the middle there, worry about all the people around him because that’s his cabinet. That’s his cabinet, those are the people who are going to be making policy from day-to-day. That’s the Progressive wing of the democratic party and if you support that, great. Go and vote for Joe Biden because that’s what he’s going to give to you. If you’re uneasy about that, you have to look at the alternative.

ABC’s spinning for Joe Biden was paid for by Cascade, Lysol and Ocean Spray. You can tell their advertisers how you feel here.

Source: Chris Christie SCHOOLS Stephanopoulos on Biden’s Competence, Far-Left Agenda

5 Things Christians Should Know about QAnon

In recent years, the followers of a conspiracy theory known as QAnon have become more visible in American life. The movement, which has largely been fueled by internet message boards and social media, started in 2017. However, several supporters of Q have been involved in political campaigns this year and the President was asked about their theories at a recent press conference.

Followers of the movement tend to be supporters of President Trump, so they are often conservative in their outlook on politics. A church in Indiana spends hours a week help studying Q’s messages and seeking to support them with the Bible. QAnon has moved from the fringes of American conservatism and into the limelight, so Christians should understand this movement and see the potential pitfalls of spreading the group’s message.

Here are five things Christians need to know about QAnon:

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Cengiz Yar/Stringer

Source: 5 Things Christians Should Know about QAnon