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Friday, December 17, 2010

Why be patient

So many of you may be wondering why we should even try to be patient.  Here are a few reasons.

1.  The bible says so

This is the most important reason, and really it's the only reason that we should need as Christians.  We know that the bible is the inspired Word of God.  So when we read we know that it is actually God speaking to us through the voice of the prophets and other writers.  We don't have to understand why He says it.  He's God, and what He commands, we should obey. 

Romans 12:12  Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 

James 5:8  You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord's coming is near. 

Ephesians 4:2  Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

Psalm 27:14  Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

Revelation 3:10  Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.

2.  It keeps you out of trouble

For those that may be feeling a little overwhelmed spiritually, here is a practical reason--afterall God is a practical God.  Patience keeps you out of trouble.  For example, let's look at the save sex for marriage scenario.  Many people think this ideal is superfluous, restrictive, and archaic.  But more times than not when we are impatient with our sexuality we end up heartbroken, misused, misunderstood, self-conscious and physically scarred.

Or what about driving the speed limit?  Why do we assume when we see the speed limit sign the limit that's indicated is the speed minimum?  Where is it that we are in such a hurry to get to?  Must of us really have nowhere to go, and the rest of us wouldn't have to rush if we would just leave a couple minutes earlier (time management is a virtue too).  Then we have the audacity to pray we don't get caught by the police or pray for increased finances when we do get caught.  The Lord is not trying to hear that.  He called us to patience and obedience not speeding and scheming.

3.  It differentiates you from the world

It has been said in America that we are the microwave generation.  We want everything NOW.  We want instant approval, instant success, and instant prosperity.  When we don't get it, we get instantly mad.  But God doesn't work like that.  2 Peter 3:9 says, "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness.  Instead He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance."  We are made in God's image and should therefore also exhibit such patience.  In this way we become salt and light to a starving and dark world.

4.  It develops you and your rewards

I think I'll use a personal example for this one.  For those who have been visiting the site for a while, I guess it's evident that I love to write.  And I truly have a passion for my topic.  If it were up to me, I would be a best selling author right now.  I can already see my books lined up beside John Grisham, Agatha Christie, and Dean Koontz.  I've already worked out my bio for my first live interview.  I want it all now, and I used to feel like I should have it now because I was doing my best to use my anointing for God's glory.  But I am finding out that patience is invaluable.

Everyday that my success is delayed I am becoming a better writer.  Everyday I am learning more about Christ, more about the gospel, and more about myself.  I am becoming who God always knew I would be.  And I am continually realizing that I am nothing without Him. 

Have you ever wondered why so many famous people have such disastrous downfalls?  More than likely it's because they attributed their success to themselves and not to God.  James 1:17 says, "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."  When we truly believe this, our lives are a reflection of our thankfulness. 

Potential downfalls of instant success
1.  mediocre talent
2.  mediocre return (profits, exposure)
3.  excess anxiety and stress
4.  pride (James 4:6  God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble)

My patience is giving me time to develop and according to Hebrews 11:6 it is allowing my reward to develop as well.  Psalm 10:22 says, "The blessing of the Lord makes one rich, and He adds no sorrow with it."  So in other words, when the Lord sees fit to bless me, there will be no anxiety, no insecurity, and no stress.  I will wait for that. 

Proverbs 14:29  Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly.

Psalm 37:10-11  A little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look for them, they will not be found.  But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy peace and prosperity. 

I am not going to try to tell you that being patient is easy.  It's not.  But as Psalm 27:13 says, "I remain confident of this:  I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living."

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