Do you find that you’re running out of patience a little these days? Running out of patience with the government for all its rules and regulations? Thinking the government has made too many mistakes? Angry with people who totally disregard the social measures designed to keep us safe? Frustrated with having to deal with your kids supposedly learning at home?
There are so many theories about how to deal with the pandemic out there. Some say we should throw away precautionary measures and just let everyone get sick and build up immunity. Some are insisting we need more vaccinations right now – and in the “hot spots”. Others are clamouring to be included in the “me first” list of people to be vaccinated. Some are afraid the vaccinations are not safe. When will things get better???
I started looking for verses for the devotions that talk about patience. I had in mind verses that would encourage us to be patient. But the verses that struck me first were verses about God’s patience. Let’s take a look:
1 Timothy 1:16 NLT
“But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life.”
Romans 2:4 NLT
“Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?”
2 Peter 3:9 NLT
“The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.”
Heavenly Father, forgive me for being so irritable and grumpy about things that really don’t matter when I look at them from an eternal perspective. I have to admit that every day, I do things (or think things) that don’t live up to your standards of behaviour. I am a sinner. First of all, I thank you for adopting me as your child through Jesus’ sacrifice for me. Thank you for being so patient with me as your Holy Spirit works in my life to bring me closer to you. Thank you for your patience with all mankind, as you wait for everyone to turn to you. Help me to see where your patience is focused so that I don’t get caught up with trivial things, but rather align with you.
When I look at the things that make me irritable and impatient, I have to pray for forgiveness and for the strength to turn my pathetic attitude around. One of the ways that God helps us to grow is to put us through hard times. I know we’d prefer that wouldn’t happen, but I think we all have to admit, that we don’t learn that much from easy, good times. When life is sailing along smoothly, we tend to coast along oblivious to making any changes. We think we have everything under control. I know from my own experiences in life, the times that have changed me the most and made me more reliant on God have been the hard times. That’s when I faced the reality that I was not in control, and often that I needed to change my attitude and priorities.
James 1:2-8 NLT
“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. …”
I am so thankful that during hard times, God is present – the Holy Spirit is at work in each one of us. It’s not a case of absolute determination on our part. Yes, we are thinking individuals made in the image of God, but we also must admit we need God’s help to make the necessary changes.
Psalm 40:1 NLT
“I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry.”
Colossians 1:11 NLT
“We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy.”
Galatians 5:22 NLT
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness…”
We can be sure of this:
Romans 8: 26 – 28 NLT
“And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. 27 And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. 28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”
So, if you are finding this pandemic time frustrating, let’s pray for God’s patience. As we pray, God can give us ideas of how to handle our impatience. We may need to spend some time in prayer asking God to show us what is making us so frustrated. Maybe we can start looking for practical ways that we can spread God’s love and patience to those around us – our families, our neighbours, our community. Is there a person I can help in some way? Is there any organization that I could support? Is there someone who could be cheered up with a gift of home-cooked items, or with a phone call? Start thinking and praying about how God can use you in these difficult times.
Romans 12:12 NLT
“Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.”
Our song for today is Be Still My Soul (In You I Rest) by Kari Jobe