Friday, May 6, 2011

Strengthened to Have Patience

The Holy Spirit falling on the people.

“being strengthened with all power according to his glorious

might so that you may have great endurance and patience

and joyfully giving thanks to the father, who has qualified

you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.”

Col.1:1112 (NIV)

“Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power,

unto all patience and long-suffering with joyfulness;

Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to

be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light”

Col 1:1112 (KJV)

Paul stated he prayed for the people of Colosse. He wanted to see the Colossian citizens to gain knowledge of God’s will fully, be fruitful in every good work, and constantly learn of God and His Will.

Pastors whom God has called and who preach His word desire to see the same for those they shepherd.

God gives His children strength to withstand the trials and tribulations of life. He reminds us that He is with us and protects us from harm. We learn patience through these tests as we persevere.

As we lean on God, we learn of Him. When we learn on our Father, we become more like Him. This is a desirable goal and is attainable as we learn patience.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Test for Patience

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you

face trial of many kinds because you know the

testing of your faith develops perseverance.

James 1:3 (NIV)

I have learned to love this scripture. For a long time, I focused on the first part of the passage. I couldn’t understand how I was supposed to ‘consider it pure joy’ when I had a child with special medical needs, when I had a family that, for the most part, seemed to not care about others without wanting something for themselves. Their habits and way of live now seem mostly unacceptable. I know now they all needed God in their lives.

One Sunday as I sat in church, the pastor read this scripture. My mind began to focus on the last part of the passage. All at once, the advice from James made perfect sense.

What I have learned is that God can use our trials and times of difficulties and uncertainty to teach us and refine us into what He wants us to be.

Friends of ours had a son and a daughter in the first Gulf War. Both parents found the time their children were in Saudi very difficult. The mother went through a terrible time of depression. The father had to manage their business but he still had doubts and some fears. Both the son and the daughter returned home safely. Their concern for their daughter was real. That daughter found simple things to be thankful for-things she and a lot of us had taken for granted. She married and found the Lord. She and her husband have two children. All four of them serve the Lord and are a pleasure to know.

We don’t desire the difficult times in our lives but when those times are behind us, with God on our side, we can remember how He guided us through and give Him thanks.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Why God is Patient

“Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance:

Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners-of whom I am the worst.

But for that reason I was shown mercy, so that in me, the worst of sinners,

Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those

who believe on Him and receive eternal life.” 1 Timothy 1:1516 (NIV)

These are the words of Paul to his son-in-the-faith, Timothy. We see transparency here. Paul, the writer of almost half of the New Testament and traveler across the known world as he spread the gospel, considered himself the worst of sinners. If he thinks of himself in this way, we should think of ourselves as sinners saved by grace.

Jesus Christ demonstrates His love to others through us by displaying His patience in our lives. He makes us into His image so that others may see Him in our lives. When we surrender our hearts to Jesus, we give Him full reign.

Jesus Christ shows His unlimited patience-perseverance without end. As humans, we sometimes find ourselves ‘running out of patience’, ‘at the breaking point’ or we feel someone is ‘trying our patience.’ Our Lord and Savior has persistence that will not end and displays that quality of His character as He waits for me to get things right.

As I wrote this, we were still in the Lenten season. During this time we aim to draw closer to Jesus Christ and get to know Him better. I sat in my living room and wondered if we can ever fully understand how great Christ’s mercy and grace and patience can be. I believe His patience, like His mercy and grace, is matchless.

As I transcribed this essay to my computer, I found I have to live this passage. I choose not to go into the details but I had to allow God to work with me on a few issues that, at one time, I would have been very hurt about and would have shown my broken heartedness or my anger in a couple of situations. Yes, I have times I live what I study or even write about. Can you identify with this feature of my life?

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