LETTING GOD TRAIN YOU IN PATIENCE
Updated: Jul 25
“Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations. Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience. But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4 AMPC
These past three months have been challenging for me personally and pastorally. Navigating challenging times will stretch us all, no matter how long you've journeyed with God. I have felt the stretch both in my faith and in my emotions lately but the Lord reminded me today to let patience have its perfect work in me.
Discerning the times and seasons with the Lord has been a big part of my life's work as a minister. I didn't choose this as part of my calling, nevertheless I have attempted by his grace to walk it out with him. Last July I sensed the Lord giving me a heads up on the change that I would soon experience in ministry but had no idea what shape that change would take. All I knew was the timeline of April -May of this year.
Discerning God's voice and obeying his will have not come easier with time for me. God stays the same but his methods are at times different relationally and with changing seasons.
As many of you know my mothers health took a drastic shift that required my brothers and I to make big decisions this year. During the last three months there have been many decisions that have affected us in many ways-emotionally and otherwise. Watching someone slowly fade mentally and physically will put a stretch and pull on your faith, soul and body-especially when it's your mother.
Because God's ways are not our ways, and his thoughts are not our thoughts, we don't always understand the things we go through- especially trials and afflictions. None of us get to escape the human condition, even when we belong to God as disciples of Jesus. Trusting God, when you don't understand his ways or what he allows to happen in your life can really cause your patience to undergo a conditioning process. I'm not sure I've counted it is as Joy yet, but I'm certainly growing. I'm really desiring to let patience have its perfect work in me right now and I want to encourage you as well.
When God allows big and unexpected change to hit your life it can feel like the biggest tailspin ever -no matter what you are going through. In the end we must remember his character and take refuge in His Word-not only the sacred scriptures but in Jesus himself. He is near to the broken hearted and those crushed in spirit.
And whether or not we sense his closeness, he is indeed with us by his Spirit, and he is working for us in ways that we can trust. He is way more loving and merciful than we know.
So let me leave you with this passage of scripture today; and I pray it strengthens you as He perfects you in patience:
“Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 AMPC
There are some seasons, we have to walk through that we won't fully understand until we get to see Jesus face-to-face. In the meantime, take heart, and be of good courage, for the Lord is with you and his love will never fail or give up on you.
Love and prayers as you wait with hope,