Tag Archives: Patience

Have You Been Waiting?

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Have you been waiting? This can be one of the most difficult parts of life. We live in a super connected world, so if we have to wait longer than 10 seconds for anything, it is hard. Yet, our lives sometimes take us down paths that require us to wait.

We have to wait to see if we’re going to get our dream job. We have to wait to meet the person we desire to marry. We have to wait as we’re trying to have a family. We have to wait on our prayers to be answered.

The people of Israel also had to wait. They find themselves in a hard time. Their bondage has been harsh, and they have suffered immensely. They are needing and wanting the Lord to work, but they have to wait. As they wait, Isaiah brings encouragement, and it is still encouragement for us today.

Isaiah 64:4 says, “For since the world began, no ear has heard and no eye has seen a God like you, who works for those who wait for him!”

Hang in there if you’re waiting. Psalm 27:14 encourages, “Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.” The Bible promises the Lord is working on your behalf.

waiting on christmas

A couple of years ago I was doing some Christmas shopping at Kohl’s. Items in hand, I headed to the front of the store to pay, but the checkout line started there, wove its way through the store, and stopped at the back of the store. I found a nice associate holding a sign which read, “Line Starts Here,” so I got in line. A few minutes later the line had moved, but it seemed to be very little. Some more time passed, and I was in the middle of the line. Line in front. Line behind, and the nice guy holding the sign was out of sight. All I could do was wait. Wait until it was my turn to pay.

While most of us do not like it, waiting is a part of life. We wait to pay. We wait at the doctor’s office. Elevate our stress and anxiety, and it seems like we wait even longer. We can’t get around the dreaded wait.

The Bible tells us Simeon and Anna waited a long time for the first Christmas. In chapter 2, Luke introduces us to these two faithful believers, and tells us they were eagerly anticipating Christ’s arrival. Simeon’s exact age is not revealed. He is only referred to as an elderly man, so we can assume he had been waiting for Jesus for many years. Anna is 84-years-old, and Luke says she has been coming to the temple daily for 60 years awaiting the arrival of the Messiah. That’s 60 years of watching, hoping, and waiting.

Simeon and Anna were masters at waiting. Doing the same thing daily for 60 years. There may have been moments of discouragement, but they kept waiting because of their faith.

I waited in the Kohl’s line until it led me to the front of the store where I discovered a beehive of activity. There were 4 cashiers and 4 associates putting items in bags. Other associates were running from place to place to replace damaged items and make sure shoppers had exactly what they wanted. One person was breaking the line into 4 parts to ensure a smooth transition to the checkout. Much activity was happening that I missed when I was standing in the back and middle of the store in line waiting my turn.

In the same way, Simeon and Anna waited. They had no idea of the Lord’s activity to prepare for Jesus’ birth. Enemy nations were being conquered. Long seasons of peace were being established. Roads were being constructed for easier travel and people were being prepared. All to fulfill Scripture. Mankind couldn’t see God at work in the moment, but looking back, history teaches us the Lord was hard at work in the days leading up to Christmas.

Simeon and Anna didn’t realize or even understand the Lord was hard at work. They only waited hopefully and faithfully. Could it be the same for us? Could the Lord be hard at work to bring about what we are waiting on? Could it be he just needs us to wait hopefully and faithfully a little longer? When the timing is right and everything is ready, our prayer will be answered, the needed change will succeed, and the other things for which we are waiting will happen.  

Simeon and Anna spent a lifetime waiting, and they were blessed to see Jesus as a baby. Their blessing was worth the wait. It will be worth the wait for us as well. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

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Patient in Affliction

Impatient Reaction vs. Patient Response

Billy, a young potato farmer, was having a conversation with Satan. Billy was harvesting his potatoes, and each one seemed smaller than expected. The crop was small, and the potatoes were little.

Satan offered to Billy, “Follow me, and I promise you big potatoes every year.”

Billy responded, “If I follow you, you will not give me any potatoes.”

Billy patiently responded in a rough moment in life. Satan was hoping Billy impatiently reacted. How do we handle those moments in life?

Romans 12:12 encourages Christians to patiently respond. “Be joyful in hope. Patient in affliction. Faithful in prayer,” encourages Paul.

Patient in affliction.

You and I are being encouraged to be patient during adversity. 1 Peter reminds us it is these seasons in life which help our faith develop.

As adversity comes, here is encouragement.

 

  • James encourages us to consider trials pure joy because they are developing Godly character in us.
  • The adverse seasons may be leading to a better place then we have been thus far. A wise man once said, “Waiting on God is worth the delay.”
  • “Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent. Instead you will follow the example of those who are going to inherit God’s promises because of their faith and endurance,” says Hebrews 6:12.
  • We can look ahead to what is coming for us.

Trials will come, and we can follow Billy’s example to navigate the season. It is better to have small potatoes than no potatoes.

 

4 Lessons Learned from Moses’ Life

A life of overcoming barriers.

From beginning to end, Moses’ life was filled with barriers. Getting through each stage of his life required him to overcome a barrier.

Moses’ life teaches us 4 lessons we can apply to our lives.

1. Faithful parenting helps our kids.

Moses parents were up against it. Pharaoh issued a decree that any newborn Israelite boy was to be killed. They ignored the decree and were forced to make some hard choices. Keeping Moses hidden for 3 months, they decided to float him down the Nile. His parents reached a point where they had no choice but to pray and trust the Lord.

Lamentations 2:19 encourages, “Pour out your hearts like water to the Lord. Lift up your hands to him in prayer pleading for your children….”

Moses’ parents believed the Lord would care for their son. Being faithful parents can start our kids on the right path. We should follow the example of Moses’ parents.

Pray and trust the Lord. Seek his guidance in guiding our kids.

2. Patience is needed.

Moses had to develop the virtue of patience. He patiently endured the struggle of Israel wondering in the desert. Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, and he desired to lead them into the promised land. However, their unfaithfulness resulted in desert wondering the rest of Moses’ life. It would have been easy for Moses to give up in this situation, yet he remained faithful.

Hebrews 10:36 says patient endurance is what we need right now. Life may be a struggle right now but pushing through today’s struggle will bring tomorrow’s reward.

Moses patiently endured his circumstances. He knew something better was ahead. Patient endurance will lead to a reward worth the wait.

3. Making right choices may be hard.

Moses went from somebody to nobody because it was the right thing to do.

“It was by faith, Moses, when he grew up refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.” Hebrews 11:24-26 records, “He chose to share the oppression of God’s people rather than enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He thought it was better to suffer for the sake of Christ than own the treasures of Egypt. For he was looking ahead to his great reward.”

As we are working to fulfill our purpose, we may be forced to make hard choices. We may have to temporarily suspend some activities, spending, etc. This may be necessary to progress toward our goal.

We learn from Moses to focus on the future in these moments. Today’s struggles will bring tomorrow’s rewards.

4. God is magnified in our weakness.

In our society, weaknesses are viewed as a negative; however, God views them as an opportunity. His power is displayed in moments when we are weak.

Moses had a difficulty with speech. He stuttered, so he believed there was no way he could represent God. The Lord, on the other hand, knew Moses was the right person for the job. He reassured Moses and worked powerfully through him.

Perhaps we can relate to Moses. We have a weakness which we view as a stumbling block to serving. God, however, views it as an opportunity.

We can be encouraged by knowing God has a plan. In weakness, we cry out for help, and with power, God responds. He did for Moses. God provided Aaron as a spokesperson for Moses. Moses’ weaknesses did not prevent him from fulfilling his purpose, and our weaknesses will not prohibit us from completing our calling.

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Patient Endurance Pays Off

Don’t give up. Patiently enduring today’s struggles will pay off with tomorrow’s successes.

Frank wasn’t known for his patience. While he was working, Frank’s wife called him. She was speaking kind of slowly, and her mood was somewhat down.

Irritated by this, Frank barked, “Get on with it. What do you need? And, be positive!”

She was silent for a moment, and then chipperly reported, “I found out today the airbags in our brand-new BMW work very well.”

Patience can be hard. We live in a well-connected world with virtually everything at our fingertips, so when patience is required, you and I may struggle a little. We want what we want when we want it, but sometimes patience is needed. Having patience may seem grueling to us, but the reward will be worth the backbreaking work.

Hebrews 10:36 implores, “Patient endurance is what you need now so that you will continue to do God’s will, then you will receive all that he has promised.”

Moses serves as an illustration of someone who had patience. He patiently endured the struggle of Israel wondering in the desert. Moses led Israel out of Egypt and wanted to take the people into the promised land, but the unbelief of the people forced Israel to stay in the desert the rest of Moses’ life. It would have been easy for Moses to give up in this situation, yet he remained faithful.

Moses patiently endured his circumstances. He knew something better was ahead. Moses knew what was ahead would be worth the wait. For him, it was Heaven, and for Israel, it was the promised land. Patient endurance will lead to a reward worth the wait.

Two frogs fell into a bucket of cream. The sides were slippery, and the frogs did not have an immediate way out of the bucket.

One frog immediately gave up. He said, “there’s no way out. We’re going to drown.” So, he stopped swimming and sank to the bottom.

The other frog said, “I’m going to keep swimming and see what happens.” He kicked and paddled; he swam and churned. Eventually, butter formed a platform under the frog. He was able to jump out of the bucket.

Right now, life may be in a season of adversity. Achieving goals, realizing dreams, and fulfilling purpose may be a struggle. Don’t give up. Tomorrow’s successes will be worth enduring the hardships of today.

Patient endurance will be worth it when we find success.

You are working hard. Your hard work uncovers more work needing done. It shows you more practice is needed or more connections made. You see the goal and dream, but you are beginning to doubt its obtainability.

Michael Jordan can relate. Jordan may be one of the best NBA players to ever touch the court, and he had to patiently endure missed shots, game losses, and letting the team down on his way to success. “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games; 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over again in my life, and that is why I succeed,” Michael Jordan once said.

The work you and I are now doing is helping us find success. It will be worth it when our goals are achieved, and dreams realized. Don’t give up. Patiently endure the struggles of today to enjoy the successes of tomorrow.

Patient endurance will be worth it when our purpose is fulfilled.

You’re trying to fulfill your purpose. It seems you have to overcome a barrier each step of the way. Your suggestions are ignored; your ideas fall on deaf ears. And, life seems to always pose an interruption. You’ve determined your purpose, but the present trials are causing you to doubt. Are you really the right person for this purpose?

Moses was ignored. His requests to the people fell on deaf ears. He endured all of this as he faithfully fulfilled his purpose. Moses wondered if he was the right person for the job; he doubted leading Israel was his purpose, but God said it was.

We, too, may wonder and doubt, but God gave us life and our purpose. Like Moses, we will experience struggles. The reward of fulfilling our purpose will be worth patiently enduring the struggles.

Patiently enduring this life will be worth it in the next.

The struggles of this life will be worth it in the next.

  • James 1:12 says, “God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”
  • “For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long, yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever,” 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 says. “So, we don’t look at the troubles we can see now. Rather we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”

Acting

Don’t give up. Today’s struggles will be worth tomorrow’s successes. Ask the Lord to help you patiently endure the struggles of today.

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