Patience is something that grows with us. Think about any small children you know. Their understanding of the world means that they have very little patience. If they’re expecting something, they want it now. But the older a child grows, the more they understand the reasons for waiting, and the more they build trust and patience with those around them. Our relationship with God is a lot like that. We can often have the patience of a toddler with His plans, but the more we grow in our understanding of Him, read His Word, and talk to Him in prayer, the more faith we develop to say ‘in Your timing’. We can use every waiting period, and every seemingly-unanswered prayer to build our relationship and our trust in Him. In James 1:2-4 we’re told: ‘When troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy…when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow’ (NLT). Let’s learn to identify setbacks and delays as chances to step closer to God, and to seek His wisdom and guidance. The endurance that we build could become a key part of fulfilling God’s plans, as we start to recognise God’s hand at work, hearing his prompting more clearly. The Message paraphrases Romans 5:3-4 like this: ‘We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us… keeping us alert for whatever God will do next’ (MSG). Looking for God in the quiet or tough times can be part of what makes us who we’re meant to be.
The next time you’re about to treat yourself to something fun, such as a chocolate bar, or an episode of your favourite TV show, make yourself wait for a short time first. Set a five-minute timer and spend that time with God.
The UCB Word For You