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Posts Tagged ‘patience’

In John 2 we see the first miracle Jesus performed. He was at a wedding and the bridegroom’s family ran out of wine, not a good thing in those days. Jesus’ mother asked Him to do something about it. Although His time hadn’t arrived to go public He obeyed His mother. Water was turned into wine. But it wasn’t just any wine it was the best.

God doesn’t do things half-baked. When God provides it’s always the best and for the best. I thought I was going to school to learn a few skills to help those suffering from depression and anxiety. However, what  God was doing was planting a seed for what He wanted to grow. I never thought that I would be working on a Bachelor’s degree in human services and then go on to become a counselor. This was not in my sites.  A little disclaimer: It’s not always going to be this drastic.

We want something and pray for it as the scripture says, and we get something else. We may not realize it at that point, eventually, though, we will see that it was His best for our best. And the prayer may not get answered right away either. His timing is everything. He will provide what is needed when it is needed.

He has a plan that we need to trust Him for. Jeremiah 29:11-13 says this:

“’ For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for me with all your heart.’”

I never thought that my depression and anxiety would be the stepping stone on this journey. What is it you are waiting and praying for? Are you struggling in the waiting? Keep praying (I haven’t had answers to some of my prayers yet) He will answer it in His timing with His best.

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*Patience : to  Calmly tolerate; syn.: endurance, long suffering, forbearance

1 Corinthians 13:4 starts with, “love is patient”.  Growing up teachers taught me that the first item in a list is usually the most important.  Maybe the reason patience was listed first was because it’s the hardest virtue to exhibit. You can ask my family, patience is not a strength, but I have gotten better.

I looked up patience in a Bible Dictionary.  The entry said there are two types of patience, one for relationships and another for situations. I’m just going to deal with the relationship aspect.

While reading scripture verses, the underlining factor of God’s patience, was love and mercy.  I don’t know about you but I wonder why He puts up with me.  I make the same stupid mistakes, open mouth insert foot, doubt, become fearful and…well you get the idea.  His patience with me must wear thin sometimes.  However, the Bible states that He is the God of endurance and encouragement.

“May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus.”

Romans 15:5

Because He loves me He will not give up on me no matter what.  I want to be careful here.  It doesn’t mean He will not discipline me.  He will in order to grow me.

The question that came to my mind was, did He ever lose His patience?

In Exodus chapter thirty-two, He told Moses on the mountain “These people are so stubborn what am I going to with them. I know, wipe them out and start over with you.” (Christine’s paraphrase) But Moses who was considered God’s friend, seemed to talk Him out of it.

I decided to ask one of my pastors what he thought about this. I loved what he had to say.

 

“God is holy and just, and when His people rebelled as they did, God reacted to this.  He did not lose His patience but, reacted justly because of His holiness. Since He is sovereign and omniscient, He knew beforehand how the people would react to Moses’ absence – it did not take God by surprise.  He also knew how Moses would respond to God’s threat to destroy His people. Therefore, knowing this, we can see that God used this situation to cause Moses to intercede on behalf of the people and to impress both Moses and the people with the seriousness of rebelling against God. Due to Moses’ intercession, God “relented” (i.e., He did not change His mind but chose a course of action that was consistent with His divine will).”

When Moses went down from the mountain he told the people God’s reaction.  Most repented but 3,000 didn’t and were killed.  I believe He did this because they were unrepentant and He didn’t want them to bring down the whole nation. He loved His people enough to keep His promise but also loved them enough to hand out a punishment.

One of my daughters had sticky fingers as a child.  She wanted some books at the school book fair.  I said, no.  However, she sneeked into my purse, took a check and wrote it out for the amount due. She almost got away with it except, she wrote in pencil.

We were definitely angry. My husband decided to take drastic measures to make sure it wouldn’t happen again.  He drove her down to the local sheriffs department and talked to a deputy.  Fortunately, she got the message.  A few times after that the sticky fingers went to work again, thankfully nothing felony worthy. We handed out discipline and forgiveness and finally the behavior ended. Patience was rewarded.

Praise God, this is the same patience He has with us but on a grander scale.

How about you?  Do you fear God has lost patience with you?  Take heart, His loving patience for you means He will never give up on you.  Be honest with Him and repent of the sin and turn away from it.

If you are not part of God’s family, know He loves you, for He created you.  I would encourage you to read the  “An Invitation” and become one of His.

“But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.”

Psalm 86:15 (ESV)

 

*Webster’s student Dictionary and Thesaurus

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