As I have alluded to in past posts, I have been under trial for quite a few years now. Being Big Bro’s mama has demanded countless hours of training, discipline, research, and implementation of the research into our life spanning from diet to general living. And not only in the motherhood realm, but the trial has overflowed into our living conditions and marriage.
Recently, the state of my surroundings has become burdensome to me, and a desire for smoother day-to-day function threatened to overtake me. And that’s not to mention an overwhelming desire to have the loose ends of unfinished construction projects finished that will ultimately enable that desired smoother day-to-day function. As a result, my daily struggle has been to be content in all things even though my flesh wants to demand setting everything right, at once, yesterday.
Of course, the little devil is right there on one side, telling me that I am worth better (which our worth is totally not tied to how our houses look) and that this experience is not fair. The little devil has been trying hard to undermine my marriage by helping me see unfairness. And while there is truth to that, focusing on the negative will surely cause big problems.
On the other side, however, the Spirit whispers about how God will work all this for good, to cast my cares on Him, that suffering will bring about restoration and strength. He reminds me that this is still the day that the Lord has made, that it is for rejoicing, and that I can overcome evil with good.
It’s from this place that I have been learning about Christian patience. The perspective God has given me is incredible and has been a blessing that propelled me to endure and keep fighting the good fight. It has drawn me closer to the Lord and caused me to seek him more fervently. I am eternally grateful that God opened my eyes to this nugget of truth and has kept my feet from traveling down the path that would lead to disaster.
So what exactly is Christian patience?
It is enduring a trial or hardship because you know God’s hand is at work in your life. It is humbly drinking from the cup God has poured for you, trusting that the circumstances will bring Him glory and serve His ultimate purpose. Christian patience embodies the belief that the Lord gives and takes away, as we read in Job 1:21.
When we totally and completely embrace God’s sovereignty, we can find the strength and courage to joyfully travel through a trial or hardship and make lemonade from the proverbial lemons we have been handed.
Remember Jesus’ last hours before his death? He humbled himself before His Father and willingly drank from the cup God poured out for him. Now, he asked that the cup be removed from him, but he also accepted that it was in God’s plan for him to endure the crucifixion. We can clearly see God’s hand was in Jesus’ death. It was the ultimate circumstance that brought God glory.
So as I endure the trials in the here and now of my life, I am comforted by the fact that God has brought them into my life, and he will ultimately remove them when he sees fit. And like Jesus’ life and death, I pray that my responses will point others to the Father or, at the very least, bring glory to God. I know I can trust his plan and have complete confidence in that plan for my life.
If you find yourself in the middle of some challenging circumstances, I would like to encourage you with a passage of scripture that brings me comfort.
“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time casting all your cares upon him, for he cares for you.
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.
But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen and settle you.
To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
1 Peter 5:6-11
That passage is just so relevant, dripping with promise and encouragement. It has been instrumental in keeping my eyes on Jesus as I walk through this life and what God has put in my path. Easy? Absolutely not. It is one of those times that there is only one set of footprints in the sand. But, without a doubt, he is carrying me because there is no way I am doing this in my own strength. And I will say, right along with Peter:
To Him be the glory forever and ever!
Blessings to you on your journey, friend. There is strength and ability to resist the devil in knowing that others are going through suffering also. If you know anyone else being tried and tested, know that I am walking with you. Be encouraged to resist the devil and stand firm in your faith!