Patience & Suffering

Woman suffering from stress grimacing in painI am not known for patience, but I’m learning more every day. I am not filled with road rage, but I do get frustrated when others can’t seem to figure out how to drive their truck or car like the rest of us! (LOL) Patience is a very important character trait. It’s included as a fruit of The Spirit. (Galatians 5:22) I like being around patient people, it’s not nearly as easy to be patient as it appears. Our culture leans hard toward instant gratification instead of delayed gratification. We like things now and we don’t like to wait. The older I get the more aware of this epidemic of impatience. I was reminded of patience this morning, especially when things are not going as planned and suffering comes on the scene. Check this out…

Therefore, brothers and sisters, be patient until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth and is patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. You also must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, because the Lord’s coming is near.

10 Brothers and sisters, take the prophets who spoke in the Lord’s name as an example of suffering and patience. 11 See, we count as blessed those who have endured. You have heard of Job’s endurance and have seen the outcome that the Lord brought about—the Lord is compassionate and merciful. (James 5:7-8,10-11 CSB)

People who have endured suffering are more thankful than those who haven’t. Suffering is hard and painful. It’s a struggle to suffer and I need others with me in the struggle. Those who have suffered are humble in spirit.  I would not wish suffering upon anyone, but I pray that those during suffering learn that leaning into the Lord is the best path through it. I also know that when I’ve endured suffering, I’m stronger and closer to the Lord than ever before. If I don’t trust the Lord in my suffering, I’ll become bitter instead of better. Suffering, Patience & Endurance build rock solid character on multiple levels. I’ve learned more about myself during these struggles. The Lord has built some character qualities in me during suffering and hard time that I’m not sure could have been built any other way.

I don’t pray for patience, but I really try to practice it. I pray for strength for today. I pray for the Lord to give me strength to endure hardship and hard times. I approach Him with a thankful heart for all that He has brought me through because remember my history of struggle and suffering gives a healthy perspective on today’s struggle. Someone quipped that “life is hard by the yard and a cinch by the inch”. I want to live my life out walking with the Lord through everything – the good, easy or the hard & hectic. His Presence in my heart gives me great strength and confidence to face whatever life throws at me. Life is not always easy, but He is certainly ALWAYS with me.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Simple

businessman making decisionJust because something is simple does not mean it’s easy. If something is easily understood or done, we would call it simple. Sometimes the simple requires courage and deep strength. It takes courage and strength to stand up for Who you believe in and what you believe. It is simple though. It seems simple enough. I could be ask some simple questions but they wouldn’t be easy to answer. For example:

  1. What is your greatest weakness?
  2. If you could live your life all over again, what one thing would you change?
  3. What do you want to be doing in 10 years from today?
  4. Who or what are the top 3 priorities in your life?
  5. What is your greatest strength?

These questions are fairly simple, but require some thought. I really believe that the Christian life is simple – just not easy. Jeremiah writes a simple formula that the Lord gave him for living out my faith. Check this out….

16 This is what the Lord says:

“Stand at the crossroads and look;

    ask for the ancient paths,

ask where the good way is, and walk in it,

    and you will find rest for your souls. (Jeremiah 6:16A)

 

I believe that every day I have options and choices – the good way is always an option. I don’t always choose the good way. When I chose another way other than the good way, there are consequences and it becomes difficult to get back to the good way.

I also noted that to find the good way, sometimes I have to ask for direction. I have a GPS (the Word) but it still is healthy to ask where the good way is. This is really simple, but not easy to live out.

Pressing On!

Dwayne