Patience.

My mother in law pointed out that I haven’t blogged in awhile and I should start again. I agree. I’d like to kick off my comeback with something I wrote for my  friends and for myself in 2009. It can also be found on facebook in the notes section of my Facebook page. It’s lengthy- but it still pertains to my life as much as it did four years ago. Maybe it will apply to you too…..

For my girls (and anyone else who happens to stumble upon this):

Patience. Greek word: Makrothymia- patience, forbearance, internal and external control in a difficult circumstance, which control could exhibit itself by delaying an action.
The word “Patience” represents a reoccurring theme that I find myself stumbling upon. I’m not a very patient person by my own standards, but it seems to be my answer to many things. I have a handful of friends that talk to me about relationships/crushes/etc. (I have no idea why considering that my past relationships have never been what I would call successful), but I feel that no matter who it is, or what they specifically come to me to talk about, I essentially give them the same answer. “Be patient. God has a perfect plan for your life. I know that it’s hard, and it’s not what you want to hear, but it’s so true. God wants you to be happier than humanly possible, and he will bring into your life everything and everyone that will make it that way.” The funny thing about it is, when I’m doing my best to be a good friend and to encourage these girls that I love, I’m actually reminding myself of the same thing. Be patient. I struggle with remembering that God’s timing is different than my own, and from what I’ve gathered, I’m not the only one.
This is what this note is about. My main focus in writing this is for the single girls. A lot of girls just want to be loved. To find “the one” that God created just to love them unconditionally and guide them spiritually. HOWEVER, that isn’t the only situation in which it can be applied, and I most definitely apply to many different situations and areas of my own life. Whether it’s the future, money, family, relationships (romantic and otherwise), education, fill in the blank- Patience is huge, and sometimes we need a little reminder of why it’s so important. God brought wonderful friends into my life to be my reminder to take a deep breath. Think about what I want. Be patient for God to fulfill the desires of my heart according to His plan for my life. God is even good enough to give me EXTRA reminders through scripture (He knows I need it!). Maybe it’s because the word “Patience” intrigues me so much, and maybe not, but when reading the Bible it seems like reminders of patience and God’s plan are simply everywhere. And here’s where the lengthy part begins. It’s a lot of reading, but it’s something I’ve kind of been researching and keeping track of for awhile now. This isn’t something that I’m looking for comments on, and if you feel you must comment, please send me a message instead. Please keep in mind that my comments on the passages are not necessarily fact. It’s my opinion on how I apply what I have read; it’s simply something to think about. It’s encouragement for those that are looking for it. Above all, it’s just a little something for my girls….

Luke 6:20-21 [Message]
You’re blessed when you’ve lost it all, God’s kingdom is there for the finding. You’re blessed when you’re ravenously hungry, then you’re ready for the Messianic meal. You’re blessed when the tears flow freely, joy comes with the morning.

This is my favorite verse. I love it because it’s so encouraging. No matter what hard times we go through, joy will come in the morning. We go through the hard times to get to the good ones. You can’t appreciate a rainbow unless you experience the rain.

Psalm 40:1 [New King James Version]

I waited patiently for the Lord, and He inclined to me, and heard my cry.

To me, this says that when we ask for something, God hears us. He knows what we desire and if we wait patiently, He will give us those desires. However, even though He already knows our desires, we still need to ask for them. “He inclined to me, and heard my cry”.

James 1:4 [New King James Version]

But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

I like this a lot because though it’s short and simple, it says a lot. When we are being patient for something, it’s usually for something that we want. If we want something, it’s usually because we feel that we are lacking it. The longer we go without that something, the more we want it because we want to feel complete. This is a reminder that if we chase after God and allow Him to fill the spaces that we are trying to fill with other things, He will eventually give us the things that we want to bless us, instead of to complete us. Only He is perfect, therefore only He can make us perfect.

Psalm 69:1-4 [Message]

God, God save me! I’m in over my head, quicksand under me, swamp over me; I’m going down for the third time. I’m hoarse from calling for help, bleary-eyed from searching the sky for God. I’ve got more enemies than hairs on my head; sneaks and liars are out to knife me in the back. What I never stole, must I now give back?

At times it feels like the weight of the world is crashing down on us. We feel like we lose control of everything around us. Everyone and everything is out to get us, and there’s nothing we can do to stop it. This is yet another reminder to lean on God. When we trust him, He will follow through. Again, you have to go through the rain to get to the rainbow.

James 5:7-8 [New King James Version]

Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early latter rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.

Funny story about this particular passage…. It’s actually part of a passage that I was assigned to write an exegesis paper on last semester. It was during this time that I started recording verses that I stumbled upon that related to this topic of patience. How cool is it of God to send me a reminder through my homework? How sneaky of Him. haha. Anyways, the passage: Everything worth waiting for is precious. Just like the farmer waits patiently for his precious fruit, God waits patiently for us. If God can wait patiently for us as we make mistakes and veer off the path He has for us, and as we screw up time and again, then can’t we also be patient for the blessings He has for us?

Romans 8:25-27 [New King James Version]

But if we hope for what we don’t see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance. Likewise the spirit also helps in our weakness. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

I had to read this passage a few times to understand what it was saying. After meditating on it for a little while, I feel like it’s saying that God knows what is best for us. We might think that we do, but the reality is that we don’t. We should pray for the things that God has planned for us, because those are the things that are going to bless us the most. These are the things that are worth waiting for.

James 5:12 [Message]

And since you know that He cares, let your language show it. Don’t add words like “I swear to God” to your own words. Don’t show your impatience by concocting oaths to hurry up God. Just say yes or no. Just say what is true. That way, your language can’t be used against you.

The part of this verse that I want to focus on is where it says “Don’t show your impatience by concocting oaths to hurry up God”. How many of us have tried to bargain with God? I think you’d be lying if you said you never have. I know I have. We say things like, “God, I’ll do this better, and this more often, and I’ll stop doing this, if you’ll just _____”. Fill in the blank. It’s better for us to do what is right from the start, rather than to make promises to God that we may or may not keep, right?

Proverbs 25:15 [Message]

Patient persistence pierces through indifference; gentle speech breaks down rigid defenses.

Two words: Patient. Persistence. If we’re being patient, it’s got to be for something that we really want. So that should make it easy. If it’s really worth waiting for, we need to be persistent in asking God for the desires of our heart. Even though He may not answer right away, our patience and persistence will be recognized and we will eventually be blessed.

Ecclesiastes 7:8 [New King James Version]

The end of a thing is better than its beginning; the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.

The patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. I think that sometimes as Christians we begin to falsely believe that we DESERVE to be blessed. We become proud. “I’m a Christian, God says that He will bless those that follow Him, so where the heck are my blessings?!” hmm… false. God blesses those that are patiently serving Him. It’s ok to know that God will bless us. He told us He will. It’s not ok to have a proud spirit, and to think that we deserve it. We don’t at all. We have all sinned. It’s God’s Grace that saved us; and to think that not only did He save us, but He wants to bless our lives above and beyond that! We’re so much more fortunate than we realize sometimes.

Galatians 5:22 [New King James Version]

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.

Longsuffering. A long word for “Patience”. Patience is a fruit of the Spirit. As Christians, we are to bear God’s fruit. It becomes evident that we are children of God when we are fruitful. One of these fruits is patience. This is just more evidence of why patience is so important!!

Colossians 1:11-12 [Message]

We pray that you’ll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul- not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father that makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that He has for us.

Wow. I love this one because it’s a reminder that being patient is more than just waiting. We should be joyful in our patience, because we’re lucky enough to know that God has a perfect, beautiful plan for us, and it’s bigger than anything we have planned for ourselves. When we have the right attitude, we’re honoring God, and the patience becomes that much more fruitful in the end.

Hebrews 6:11-12 [New King James Version]

And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

To me this simply means that we can’t become lazy in our faith. We need to earn our blessings and in more or less words… “Keep on keeping on”.

Romans 12:10-13 [New King James Version]

Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer, distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.

“Be patient in tribulation”. Even in the hard times it’s extremely important to be patient and to continue praying. It’s in the hard times that it becomes crucial that we pray because it shows that as Christians, we put our faith and trust in God.

1 Corinthians 13:4 [New King James Version]

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up.

I reallyyyy like the choice of words in the New King James Version. I think that it’s a great reminder that patience isn’t easy, wish as we may that it was. This kinda goes along with having patience in tribulation in Romans. Tribulations are difficult to go through, and though we may suffer through them, it is always worth it in the end.

2 Corinthians 1:6-7 [Message]

When we suffer for Jesus, it works out for your healing and salvation. If we are treated well, given a helping hand and encouraging word, that also works to your benefit, spurring you on, face forward, unflinching. Your hard times are also our hard times. When we see that you’re just as willing to endure the hard times as to enjoy the good times, we know you’re going to make it, no doubt about it.

I take this is as, “You’re not alone”. As Christians, we always have someone cheering us on, praying for us, wanting us to succeed. But we have to be willing to endure the times that we have to suffer through. If we aren’t willing, who would want to cheer us on? It’s like sports. If your favorite team isn’t willing to play the game, and has no ambition to win, are you going to cheer them on? It’s not likely.

2 Peter 3:9 [Message]

Don’t overlook the obvious here, friends. With God, one day is as good as a thousand years, a thousand years as a day. God isn’t late with His promise as some measure lateness. He is restraining Himself on account of you, holding back the End because He doesn’t want anyone lost. He’s giving everyone space and time to change.

Ok so, I realize that this verse is talking about the End times, however, I think it can be applied to the topic of patience as well. God’s timing is just that. It’s HIS timing, not ours. It can’t be measured and we can’t rush it. He has His reasons, and I don’t know about you, but I’d rather not mess with God’s plan.

Psalms 37:7-9 [New King James Version]

Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret-it only causes harm. For evildoers shall be cut off; But those who wait on the Lord, They shall inherit the earth.

This one is kind of intense; at least for the “evildoers”. It’s simply a reminder that just because there are people that are seemingly getting their way in life, regardless of how they live it, it doesn’t mean that we should be angry with them. They won’t have their way in the long run, and if we worry about it or if we are jealous, we’re only creating trouble for ourselves.

Hebrews 6:13-15 [New King James Version]

For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, saying, “Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you.” And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.

I always find it easier to understand a concept when it’s explained to me through testimony. This passage is Abraham’s testimony on patience. If God makes a promise to bless us, He WILL follow through. Abraham is proof.

So there you go. Patience is huge, and I just barely made a dent in it. I hope that it encourages you at whatever point in your life that you’re at. We’re all always waiting for something. Just remember to do more than just wait; be patient. Its gunna be worth it.

And with that, I leave you with this:

Revelation 14:12 [Message]
Meanwhile, the saints stand passionately patient, keeping God’s commands, staying faithful to Jesus.

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