Waiting is one of the hardest concepts for modern mankind to embrace. We dislike waiting for anything, not even at red lights, at the doctor’s office or for food at the restaurant. If we had to wait and work for seven years for our future father-in-law like Jacob did, how many of us would stay in love with the same person? The poor guy actually ended up working fourteen years for her; but to him it only seemed like a few days, because he loved her so much (Genesis 29:20-28).
One of the least patient characters in the Bible is Saul. He got tired of waiting on Samuel, and he offered a burnt peace offering to God himself. Samuel was horrified when he found out that Saul was too impatient to do things God’s way! Consequently, Saul lost his kingdom and God sought for a man after His own heart to take Saul’s place (1 Samuel 13:8-14). The prodigal son is another example of impatience. He talked his father into giving him his inheritance early. Then he ended up squandering it and having nothing left. It was only the mercy of the father that took this wayward son back into his home (Luke 15:11-24).
Paul bragged on the Saints in Thessalonica, because they had patience and faith, even in the face of persecution and tribulations. He considered their endurance in their suffering as a manifestation of their worthiness of the Kingdom of God (2 Thessalonians 1:4-5). We too can rejoice in hope of the glory of God, even in our tribulation (Romans 5:2-4).
The writer of Hebrews lays out a list of faithful Saints who patiently waited for the promise of redemption, even though it was afar off. These Saints realized that they were pilgrims and strangers on this earth, and they yearned for their homeland in heaven. God is not ashamed to be the God of these Saints, or of those who trust in Him today (Hebrews 11: 13-16). We only need to allow patience to do her perfect work in our life (James 1:4).
Paul encourages us to hope for what we do not see, and to have the patience to wait on God’s provision of it. He promises that the Holy Spirit will help us with our impatience by making intercession for us according to God’s will. When we wait, we have the assurance that God will work everything out for our good. Nothing can ever separate us from Christ’s love, not even nuisances, disasters, persecution, hunger, destitution or danger of death (Romans 8:24-28, 35).
In the Serenity Prayer, we ask God to grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change; the courage to change the things we can; and the wisdom to know the difference between the two. In this way, we put our energy into changing the issues, which He shows us we can handle (Philippians 4:13). Then we relinquish control to Him over the areas of our life that we cannot change. Living a surrendered life to God’s control brings us righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, aspects which we could never attain on our own (Romans 14:17).
Prayer:Father God, unbelievers do not have spiritual discernment. They do not understand the huge difference Your presence makes in our life. Help us to live as examples to everyone in we know that has not accepted You as their Savior. Season our speech and our actions with Your love and make us a living testimony of your mercy and grace.
Thought for the Day:"Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him." – Psalm 37:7