Saturday, July 30, 2016

Give Me Patience

The Bible uses many terms for patience: waiting on, longsuffering, steadfastness, endurance. These words all have slight connotative differences, but they all speak of patience in some form. The Greek word usually translated as patient means to abide under difficult circumstances that you have no control over, while the Greek word for long suffering relates to an emotional quietness in the face of unfavorable circumstances. They both pertain to times when things are difficult for you. These are times when we want a resolution to some problem but God tells us to wait. Most of us want patience, but we want it right now. One woman advises us to be ready when we pray for patience because our child might call shortly and ask us to keep the preschool grandchildren for a week while she attends a conference.  The
Psalmist indicated that we should be patient when we pray. “I waited patiently for God to help me; then he listened and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out from the bog and the quicksand, and set my feet on a hard, firm path, and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, of praises to our God. Now many will hear of the glorious things he did for me, and stand in awe before the Lord, and put their trust in himPsalm 40:1-3 TLB   When we wait patiently on God, our Lord lifts us out of the sinking sand of the world's approved ways and He gives us a new song of praise.  
Satan traps us by making sin seem innocent and normal just because the whole world celebrates the human right to act independently. Jesus pulled us out of the quicksand of sin and placed us on a rock solid path clothed in His righteousness. When we pray for our kids and grandkids we can take a lesson from the Psalmist. While we pray, we need to wait patiently on God.  People tend to be impatient when praying for the salvation of those they love. One woman prayed for her husband David’s salvation faithfully for many years. David died suddenly of a heart attack.  His wife mourned that her prayers had never been answered. She became angry at God and her faith became weak. A year later, her phone rang and the person on the other end asked to speak to David.  She told him that David had died a year ago that day. He asked her if he could take her to lunch and tell her a story about her husband. She agreed. The man said he gave David a ride to the airport after a convention they attended together the week before he died. On the way, he told the man about Jesus. He prayed in the car and gave his heart to God. The woman’s prayers were answered, even though she was unaware of the answer. We are told to pray with thanksgiving and to trust that God hear our prayers and that He is in control. One of my favorite verses about patience is “Don’t be impatient. Wait for the Lord, and he will come and save you! Be brave, stouthearted, and courageous. Yes, wait and he will help you.” Psalm 27:14
TLB.  When we wait upon God, He  will strengthen our heart and give us courage. Women tend to be emotional beings, and in the Bible, the heart is the seat of the emotions. So God will calm our emotions as he gives us the strength we need.  Once when I was a young mother and going through a difficult week with three preschool boys, one of the verses we studied in church training was this verse from Psalms. It spoke to me then and I committed it to memory. God has brought it to mind many times since then when I was faced with difficult circumstances that were beyond my control. Our next verse tells us why it is important to wait on God. “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11 TLB   Our Lord God knows the bigger picture of our life.  His plan is to give us a future and a hope that is everlasting.  Have you ever looked at a large wall hanging up close and wondered what the design was, only to stand back and be amazed at the picture that emerges when you can see the whole thing?  According to this verse the result of patience is
HOPE.   The day after we found out that our 16 year-old son was gay, I was wondering around in a fog, not knowing what I should or could do. I walked by a computer. The screen saver on the computer was this verse. Immediately I understood that I couldn’t do anything but wait on God. He had a plan for my son that I didn’t know anything about. I printed the verse and gave it to Caleb. Then I started a prayer vigil that has lasted for 22 years now. He lives in Guadalajara. God has brought us back into his immediate sphere of influence. He and his partner have been to hear Wayne preach at the English Fellowship of Guadalajara three times. Over the years, my patience has waxed and waned. Whenever I tire of waiting and my patience is at a low, God sends someone or something to encourage me. During a woman’s bible study in Chapala, I sat next to a woman named Barbara who told us about how she prayed for her son Jason’s salvation for over 25 years. Just six months before Jason died,  he moved out of a dark place and returned to his church and got baptized. That is just the latest example of God reminding me to be patient.  “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”  Isaiah 40:31
TLB .  This verse is translated either as those who hope in the Lord or as those who wait on the Lord, depending on the translation. As we wait upon the Lord and His timing, our strength will be renewed.  Instead of stumbling along on weak legs, as though we have no faith in God, we will soar above our circumstances like Eagles and we will not become weary.  I wrote my first Biblical fiction book, Dinah in the early 1990’s when we were missionaries in Canada. I believed God was leading me to write it. I let several of my friends read it. Then life intervened. I kept my printed copy of the book. Over the years, I let women read it from time to time. I even sent it to a couple of
publishers. I have the rejection letters to prove it. In 1997, we left Canada and moved back to Louisiana. After a couple of years, I went to work for a Newspaper. My editor was lamenting one day that newspapers no longer serialized books as they had in the early days of the nation. I took him a copy of my book and offered to let him serialize it in our small local daily. He and his wife read Dinah. They decided that serializing it would be a good idea. So Dinah was published in a secular newspaper in the Sunday edition. There was a demand for the book in the community, so I self-published it. I put a copy in the local state prison library because one of the readers who wrote to me about the serialized version was incarcerated. When I eventually went to work at that prison, I met the man who had been reading Dinah. Today Dinah is available on Wattpad, a free site on the Internet.   I am praying that God will use my books to reach those He draws near. God had me write the book about 15 years ago and it has not taken any of the traditional avenues that books usually travel. God has the story of Dinah in a second venue where it is possible to reach the backslidden or the unsaved. I’ve definitely been running the race without tiring in my belief that God had me write the book and that he is going to use it. I may not know who was touched by that book or the others that I’ve written until I get to
Heaven.    The scriptures point out numerous situations in which Christians should be patient. We don’t have time to explore them fully, but some of the situations mentioned include in our speech (James 1:19), in our interaction with others (Ephesians 4:2), when we are psychologically wounded and need to offer forgiveness (Colossians 3:13), and when we are tested (James 1:3).  Let me conclude the section on patience with James 5:11: “We consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.” Job is the example given here of a patient man, one who persevered through truly overwhelming circumstances. Even when he doubted and questioned God, God demonstrated patience, compassion and mercy. As you can probably tell by my examples, this is one fruit that God has been trying for a long time to build into my life. -- This teaching on Patience was written by Andi Cook. Andi is a pastors daughter, a wife of a pastor, and a loving mother of three sons.  Andi also graduated from seminary and has published several books. The next Fruit: Kindness. 


  1. A WellSpring Class at Lakeside August 5, 2016 Testimony:"I realized I still had people to forgive in my life that I had bitter thoughts towards. The bitterness has left and now I want to see them! The Lord has opened up my heart, my eyes and my spirit to receive His word, His voice and His healing to depths I could never have imagined and I have been a believer for over 40 years!! I was healed of a broken heart and false burden bearing. I feel "rest" in my body. I am able to "hear clearly" His voice, clarity to help others, and I have a better understanding of God expressed in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit."

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