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"P is for Patience"

Patience is a virtue we often need, but often when we need it we don’t have it. “Lord, give me PATIENCE, and give it to me NOW...”is how we sometimes pray.
Are YOU patient? How do you act when you’re in the long checkout line? How do you handle the stalled traffic on the highway? When you are put “on hold” how long are you willing to wait? Even worse – are you patient when you’re waiting on the Lord? When your child is sick, or when you need a job, or when you are struggling with feelings of discouragement and need some hope – are you patient? When that physical pain, or emotional pain won’t let up – how do you handle it?
I recently read again, the story of Jesus’ friend Lazarus who had died (John 11). At first he was sick, and his sisters sent for Jesus to come. But Jesus waited– two days. By the time he arrived Lazarus was dead. Both sisters commented to him “If you had been here our brother would not have died.” Of course, this was part of Jesus’ plan to glorify The Father, and himself by raising Lazarus back to life. Still, the question of patience and waiting comes to mind. Why does God make us wait? Why do we need to learn patience? How do we handle those times when the Lord is delayed...or when our loved one dies?
The Bible says that patience comes from perseverance. Actually it comes from testing, which teaches us to persevere in the midst of our trials, which leads to patience. Romans 5. 3-4 says, ...“We rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” Evidently the Lord wants to build us into stronger, more mature, and more faithful followers of Him. He wants us to learn to trust Him, not just on the sunny days, and not just when prayers are being answered. God wants us stronger. He wants us to be faithful. And these qualities don’t come about without trials and testing. The Lord desires us to be faithful, persistent, persevering. Champions of sports, or medicine, or faith become so by being tested, and by persevering.
Perhaps a better question to ask is NOT– are you patient? but – ARE YOU PERSEVERING? Are you still being faithful despite the challenges? Galatians 6.9 says, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Hebrews 10.23 reminds us, “Le us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” It is easy to become weary...but keep going. It is difficult to “hold unswervingly” but a faithful disciple of Jesus remembers his promises to love, and save, and provide.
Thus, patience involves readiness not resignation… looking ahead not looking back, trusting that what and who we are waiting on will be faithful. The old adage says, “don’t pray for patience, or God will send you more trials, so that you will learn through them to be more patient.” I think in reality people are usually asking God for strength to persevere. I think they are desiring help to be persistent, and faithful. We don’t really pray for “patience” we pray for strength to keep going, or for knowledge about which way to go. I believe our Heavenly Father knows what we mean, and answers according to what we need.
We all know that trials are going to come...and they will always be part of life. Some people seem to have more than others, I don’t know why. But, often it seems that those people are the stronger ones! They are the folks I look up to as spiritual mentors! Often it seems like I look at those people who have been tried and tested and believe it or not, they are smiling! They are joyful!
May the Lord help you and me to grow and become (not just patient) but faithful and persistent and joyful.

 

 

 

Our Service is a blend of traditional and contemporary. We sing traditional hymns and worship choruses. A message based on readings from the Bible is also shared each week.


BOAT CHURCH
(at Lake Manitou Spillway) 7:44am

SUNDAY SCHOOL: 9:30am

INDOOR WORSHIP SERVICE: 10:30AM


Contact Information...

First Baptist Church of Rochester
1000 Main Street
Rochester, Indiana 46975
574-223-3613
FBC46975.ORG