Have you ever had to wait on something for so long that you grew restless? Have you ever had to wait for something you thought might not even come?
As Christians we find ourselves ‘waiting on God’ quite often. This can be so hard because we just want something when WE want it! We don’t want to have to wait for something. We can accept when you order something online it may take a few days to deliver, as we already know the waiting time, we can relax about it and be patient! But how about when we don’t know the delivery time of what we think we ‘want’?
Patience is defined as ‘the capacity to accept or tolerate problems or suffering, without becoming annoyed or anxious’. But how often do we become ‘annoyed or anxious’? I believe this happens when you choose to ignore God and fail in trusting him about something happening. If it’s in his word it is going to happen, all we need is to trust him right? But how hard can that be when we want something and we want it now?
‘Psychology today’ defines the ‘power of patience’ as “Patience doesn’t mean passivity or resignation, but power. It’s an emotionally freeing practice of waiting, watching and knowing when to act…”. I love the term “emotionally freeing” and I can totally relate to that. Jesus frees us from that worry, the uncertainty and the anxious feeling that “maybe it won’t work out or maybe it won’t happen”. Jesus is a man that did what he said, and said what he did, so I’m pretty sure we can trust him.
Romans 12:12 says “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer”. Wow! He wants me to be patient in tribulation. How is that even possible? When our God has gone and suffered, been tortured and died for you, for YOU! You can be pretty confident that it is possible to be patient in a time of tribulation. So how on earth do we do this?
Firstly, I believe it is vital to remember we are not alone. God has said in his word “Fear not, FOR I AM WITH YOU” Isaiah 41:10. He has said he is with us always, and he will never leave us, and if he says something is going to happen, then it will.
You see, God speaks in mysterious ways, he may use someone else to confirm a word of knowledge to you, he may help you to realise something in a time of worship, he may speak directly from his word or you may even hear him in a gentle whisper… but the core thing here is being in a direct relationship with him, it is important to weigh and test everything you hear to make sure it is God speaking.
How do we do this? We talk to him, we pray, we ask, the Bible instructs this in the second part of Romans 12:12 “be constant in prayer”
There are tonnes of scriptures that instruct us (they don’t ask gently, they literally instruct) to constantly talk to God. It may take a while to develop this habit, but once you’ve become pretty good at chatting to the most high, you’ll feel this perfect peace, that reassurance that if he said he’ll do it, he’ll do it, even if it’s not in our own understanding of how and when. This is the way God works. He calls us by name and he calls us to trust in him, especially when times get difficult.
The power that comes from this ‘letting go’ is immense. Psychology today certainly was right when they said that “Patience is power” and it is “emotionally freeing”.
Here is my prayer for you:
“Lord, I pray that whoever is reading this, will learn that to let go and to trust you is an emotionally freeing thing, and it brings forth power. I pray that we can be constant in prayer, and we can develop a constant dialogue with you, our maker, who has been through it all and suffered it all and has been fully tempted. You are perfect and I pray we can learn from you and learn to be patient in times of anxiety or uncertainty. Amen
By Joe Mallett