23 MAR



Patience (2)

‘The testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work.’ James 1:3-4 NIV

When we’re in the middle of a time of suffering, it can be really hard to keep our patience. We begin to question God’s goodness and ask ‘why me?’ or maybe we simply give up. It doesn’t have to be like this. Job is a great example of how we should react when we’re suffering. ‘You’ve heard, of course, of Job’s staying power, and you know how God brought it all together for him at the end’ (James 5:11 MSG). Job went through a whole range of emotions when experiencing suffering, but he ultimately kept his faith in God and endured the process. ‘When he has tested me, I will come forth as gold’ (Job 23:10 NIV). This was completely opposite to the way the Israelites reacted when they were in the desert. For 40 years they went round in circles, spending their time complaining, drifting away from God and wanting to go back to their past. This is a natural reaction for us to have but God is calling us to persevere and endure the hard times. We can learn so much from times of suffering; it’s a process that we need to go through in order to reach completion with Christ. And we need to be patient with the process, not trying to rush it or escape it but patiently enduring it. Paul said that he learnt to be content in all circumstances, good and bad, because God gave him the strength to carry on (Philippians 4:12-13). God will give us the strength to patiently endure suffering and we too ‘will come forth as gold’ (Job 23:10) if we let the process happen.

What Now?
Find a recipe for bread and get cooking. As you leave it to rise, and then to bake, remember that patience is part of the process to create something worthwhile.

Deut 13-15, Mark 12:28-44


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