I’ve been thinking this morning about patience. It is a fruit of the Holy Spirit and something that we so often joke about.
“Don’t pray for patience or you’re likely to be forced to use it!”
“Lord give me patience, right now!”
There are more, but you know what I mean. Let me ask you; is there anything more peaceful in your life then being able to be patient when the situation demands it? When you know that for a situation to work out – or not – you can do nothing but be patient and you are, isn’t that the greatest feeling?
I’ve not mastered patience yet. I have grown through the years, but I have not mastered it. I’m not sure all the Fruit of the Spirit will ever be completely through growing in my life, but it is encouraging to see growth.
I am 56 years old and I grew up in an era of 3 black and white TV channels, one big black phone for everyone tied to the living room wall, no a gas stove to cook our food on, and I lived in the country miles from (what I felt like was) civilization. That was normal and at that time I couldn’t conceive anything better.
Now we have so many wonderful things, time saving things, and I am so very grateful for them all! I love technology. I enjoy my iPad, my dozens of TV channels on our huge TV, my iPhone, the microwave and so much more! But I believe with all this technology so readily available, we have created an impatient society. With everything so ‘instant’, waiting has become a lost art.
I truly want to be more patient. I’ve see the fruit of it over that past few years and just how sweet that fruit is. One instance was waiting to buy something until just the right time. I waited about 4 years to make a large purchase because I wanted to be patient.
I could have done it at any time during those 4 years, but by waiting until I felt like God said now is the time, I was able to get an amazing deal, it was not a hardship, and the purchase flowed perfectly without a hitch. Also, since the purchase it has been a true blessing and not a hardship the way so many things become soon after we buy them.
Patience and discontentment cannot live together just as faith and fear cannot live together. They compete and war against each other and one will win out over the other.
Discontentment will push you and drive you to do or get something before it is time. It will push you to war against others to get, do and be where you want before you are ready. There is NO peace in discontentment.
I see our children and grandchildren pushing their parents to get or do this or that to satisfy their discontentment and often we give in. We know the discomfort of discontentment and we don’t want them to have to suffer it.
The most fertile environment for patience to grow is in an atmosphere of contentment. In Philippians Paul writes to the church there:
11 Not that I am implying that I was in any personal want, for I have learned how to be content (satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or disquieted) in whatever state I am.
12 I know how to be abased and live humbly in straitened circumstances, and I know also how to enjoy plenty and live in abundance. I have learned in any and all circumstances the secret of facing every situation, whether well-fed or going hungry, having a sufficiency and enough to spare or going without and being in want.
13 I have strength for all things in Christ who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ's sufficiency].
We often quote verse 13. It seems to give us the strength (motivation) to move forward. But I think what Paul is implying here is that it gives him the strength to stay contently where he is until God provides or moves him.
When was the last time you drew from God’s strength to just be content where you were?
Work is awful and your boss is harsh – you pray to leave rather than to be content. You can stay there with contentment because of God’s strength.
You are barely making ends meet and living paycheck to paycheck – you pray for a windfall to instantly transport you out of financial poverty. You can endure with contentment because of God’s strength.
You are believing for healing and some days the setbacks and pain are unbearable – you pray for an instant miracle so the pain will be over. You can endure with contentment because of God’s strength.
This is not what we want to hear. It is never what I want to hear. But I’ve learned as the Fruit of the Spirit has grown in me, the harvest is of the sweetest kind. Waiting to let God work in you and through you, deciding to be content is often the key to unlocking the door to it all.
I am writing this today because my heart is heavy for a young client of mine. Many of you may not know that I am a Realtor and I get to see people at their most stressed. Buying and selling a home is one of the most stressful situations we will encounter. They often say and do things they would never say or do at any other time. And they often make decisions while under that stress that stay with them for a long time.
This client that I have been thinking and praying for this morning needed to build some credit in order the buy a home. It was simple process that her very good and knowledgeable lender was helping her go through. The estimate was that if she did just what he said to do she would be able to buy a home in 3 short months.
From the very beginning she has had such a driving impulse to buy a home right now that she has been trying to finagle a way and make it happen right now. It is now 7 months later and she still cannot buy a home. Her impulsiveness to check her credit continually to see if it is ready has given her so many hits that she goes two steps forward and one step back. Each time she has her credit checked she loses credit points. And even though she has been told this, her impatience causes her to do it anyway.
Recently we spoke and I encouraged her to wait just 4 more days and she would be ready to buy. But the very next day she insisted her lender pull her credit so she could move forward. But pulling it early cost her.
Now she could by a home, but she no longer qualified to get her down payment paid with bond money because her credit score was too low. So now, because she did not wait 4 short days, she had to come up with several thousand dollars to buy a home. She was just 1 point away which disqualified her and had she waited just 4 short days she would have been fine.
She does not have the money for a down payment. So she can wait to get her score up higher or she can wait to save the money. Either way she is forced to wait even longer. Her inability to be patient has cost her again.
I am so sad for her. She wants a home of her own so badly and I want it for her. But she has to learn to be content and wait patiently.
Don’t we all have stories like this? I know I do and could give you more than I have time to write. So what is the moral to this story today? I think that one of the best gifts we can give the next generation, who is showered with quick technology and ready access to everything anyone could ever want, is to help them learn to be content and to wait patiently.
Maybe the next time they want something right now you help them learn to wait. Let’s start teaching them how to grow the Fruit of the Spirit in their lives. And yes, that would mean growing it in our own lives, for kids learn so well by example.
Remember the next time you want it now, right now, that you can be content because you “can do all things through Christ who strengthens you”.
today’s meditation verses:
9 our father in heaven,
may your name be kept holy.
10 may your kingdom come soon.
may your will be done on earth,
as it is in heaven.
12 and forgive us our sins,
as we have forgiven those who sin against us.
but rescue us from the evil one.c
this is the lord’s prayer as translated in the new living translation. most of us can quote it from the king james bible, but i wanted to use the nlt because is brings the prayer into today’s simpler language.
for some reason this prayer has been resonating within me lately. often when i pray these words seem to rise up within me. so, i’ve begun praying this prayer often. because of that i’ve also begun mediating on the words of this prayer and just exactly what i am praying.
verse 9 acknowledges the holiness of god and prays that his name will be kept holy. as we enter into his gates in prayer remembering god’s holiness is of supreme importance and will center us in our faith as we do remember.
verse 10 asks for god’s kingdom to come soon. for years i’ve heard that we should not wish for the end times as there are too many people who still need to come to christ. but as i was meditating on this verse i realized that what jesus is instructing us to do is request that the end times hurry along so that god’s kingdom here on earth can be reestablished.
verse 11 asks for our daily food. we know that there are ample scriptures about god’s abundant provision and that we have no need to worry about it. but here it does show that we are to continue to pray and request that provision. however to be fed by daily bread may not just mean literal bread but spiritual and emotional nourishment as well.
verse 12 shows us to ask for forgiveness as we forgive those around us. we are perpetually forgiven, but if we want to put a kink in the pipeline of grace which rains that forgiveness down on us then all we have to do is not forgive others. note verses 14 and 15.
verse 13 asks god to help us with all the daily temptations that will most assuredly come our way and also asks that he will run interference for us with the enemy, protecting us through out the day.
the preceding verses to this prayer talk about not needing to babble on with long lengthy prayers. i love the simplicity of this prayer that covers so much in such an efficient manner. learn this prayer and its meaning and then you will have no longer have the excuse that you have no time to pray or that you do not know what to pray.
meditating on the meaning of these prayer verses will bring reflection to ours lives. use this prayer to kick start your prayer life today.
each monday we are going to be having ‘monday meditations’. we hope to bring to you each monday a verse to mediate on for the week. this is not for memorization, but to think about and to dwell on. the word meditate, in the bible, means to mutter. so this week as you go about your life, mutter to yourself the verse for the week and think about how it applies to your life. meditating on a verse will bind it to your spirit and it will become part of you! the more of the word you meditate on, the more it will transform you into the image of christ!
no matter what your beliefs are, we want to thank you for visiting our christian blog!
this is a continuation of the post who are the greedy. i recommend that read that you read that post prior to reading this one.
let’s consider a few things as we ponder this scripture.
deuteronomy 8:18 – but remember the lord your god, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today.
there are countless scriptures in the bible confirming god’s desire for us is to have more than enough, living an abundant life. but there are so many who are not living in abundance.
this is what i believe:
god has given everyone the power to obtain wealth in order to fulfill his covenant with abraham. deut 8:18
he wants us to never forget that the source was him and not of our own doing. deut 8:11-17
even though he has given us the power to obtain wealth we still have to seek him about how to do this for our own individual lives. proverbs 16:9
there is effort involved to obtain. sometimes great effort and hard work. proverbs 14:23
stepping out in faith is required just as the one who invested (let go of) their minas in order to hopefully gain more. hebrews 11:6
he expects us to take whatever it is we have whether great or small (10 or 5 minas) and use it and then be content with the reward we have reaped. philippians 4:12
never give up. galations 6:9, romans 12:11
don’t grumble or complain about the work you have before you. philippians 2:14-15
since we know that all things are possible to those who believe (philippians 4:13) then everyone everywhere has the ability to have all that they could ever need or want.
god has at the ready his provision and power to anyone who is ready to take hold and believe him for it. god has not created any victims, and those who wallow in a victim mentality, always blaming others for what they do not have, only create more poverty in their lives as we saw with the fearful victim in the parable above.
but there is hope. if you feel that you have been a victim to circumstance there is hope for you today. stop looking to others to pull you out of where you are. stop blaming others for where you are. start looking to god who desires to take you hand as you reach out to him, and pull you up.
it may not be easy and it may seem overwhelming. there will be work involved. it may only be the work of reading the bible to renew your mind or it may be stepping out in faith to work at a job you never thought you had the skill or ability to do before. just remember that now you do have the ability because god will give it to you.
let me leave on last thought with you.
mark 9:23 – “‘if you can’?” said jesus. “everything is possible for him who believes.”
remember, stop looking at the avenue from which your provision comes and start looking to the source, the provider, and remember he can provide through any source he chooses. trust him and the avenue may change, but the provision will grow beyond your wildest dreams.
no matter what your beliefs are, we want to thank you for visiting our christian blog!
Those who live in America are blessed just to be able to live in such a great country. Most have no idea just how blessed they are because they have not seen other countries and those who are not blessed.
Here in American those who don’t feel blessed make that judgment based by comparing themselves with other blessed people here in the same country.
Yes there are many in need in this country. There are homeless people, people who go hungry and those who are destitute.Keep Reading here»
part of speech: verb
phonetic spelling: (porn-yoo’-o)
definition: commit fornication,. to be unfaithful to christ, while posing as his true follower
1) one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, “come, i will show you the punishment of the great prostitute, who sits on many waters. 2) with her the kings of the earth committed adultery and the inhabitants of the earth were intoxicated with the wine of her adulteries.”