Patience. It is a fruit of the Spirit we don’t particularly like. Still, it is a characteristic we develop to reflect Christ.
There are several examples in Scripture of people who experienced patience. Noah was told to build an ark, yet he waited 100 years for the flood. Moses was used to deliver the children of Israel from Egypt, yet they waited decades before finally entering the Promised Land. Abraham and Sarah were promised a son, yet they waited many years before Isaac was born. The Old Testament is filled with promises of the coming Messiah, yet the world waited centuries before Christ arrived. Today, we wait patiently for His return.
Timothy encourages us to pursue patience (1 Timothy 6:11). James says that those who endure are blessed, as we learn from the testimony of Job (James 5:7-11).
John Waller’s song, “While I’m Waiting,” is an excellent representation of our response while we wait and gives several ways we can respond while we are in the waiting.
- We are hopeful. We are confident “that he who began a good work in you will complete it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6, NKJV). Glorify God in the situation, and look for ways He is working in the waiting.
- We move ahead. We continue to wait patiently for what we do not yet have (Romans 8:25, NIV) and press toward the goal for the prize of God (Philippians 3:14, NKJV). We press on … we keep on track … we stay the course.
- We are bold and confident. Psalm 138:3 (NKJV) says He makes me bold with strength in my soul. We have confidence that as we focus on God in the waiting, He continues to work in our lives to make us more like Him—patience is a fruit of the Spirit He is developing in us.
- We take every step in obedience. What greater way to be obedient than to “love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength” and to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:30-31, NKJV). Fix your eyes on Him and walk in faith and obedience.
While we wait, we serve, we worship, we do not faint. We run the race even when it is not easy. The result: The prize. As we delight in Him, He gives us the desires of our heart (Psalm 37:4). As we take these steps, He may change our heart’s desire so it aligns with His best for us. We are His workmanship, created for good works (Ephesians 2:10).
A lot happens in the waiting. It is hard. I included many Scriptures today to encourage you to hang in there. Focus on the Lord. He will stay with you all the way. And you will come forth as gold (Job 23:10).
We connect to others by our testimony of patience. We influence and impact those around us. We give others hope by our example. We encourage others and help them thrive in situations in which they may struggle. We walk with them and remind them that they are not alone. What a blessing!
Our Faith Connection Challenge: Reflect on some of the Scriptures referenced, and read the context of the passage to gain a deeper meaning. Receive encouragement from the video–and maybe even enjoy the movie that features the song, “Fireproof.” Be blessed!
Lord, I pray for this precious one who struggles in the waiting. Give them hope, boldness, confidence to move ahead and as they wait for the fulfillment of their longing. May You be the desire of their heart as they wait. In Your name, Amen.