Don’t you think patience is wonderful? Me either! I will be perfectly honest, I don't like to wait on anything. In our culture we are quickly conditioned to believe we simply don't have to wait. We can have it all right now--no patience required. But if I’ve learned anything from Scripture and my walk with the Lord it is that He is a patient God and definitely believes patience is a virtue worth pursuing. If he wasn’t a patient, loving God I would have been toast a long time ago. So, thank you Lord for your patience!
I became a Christian as an adult. This essentially means I brought a lot of junk into my relationship with Jesus: unforgiveness, bitterness, anger, disappointments, and a long list of broken or strained relationships. It didn’t take long to realize something had to go. Christ’s love and acceptance both through His word and those in the body of believers motivated me give up many destructive friendships and activities and to pursue all the Lord had for me.
The Bible teaches us that in Christ all things are made new (2 Corinthians 5:17); I began believing Jesus would make me a new creation. I just didn’t realize how long that process might take or how hard it would be to intentionally renew my mind through the word of God. I wanted a quick fix to problems that took a lifetime to become deeply rooted in my life. I heard stories about people who came to Jesus and immediately experienced transformation in every area of their lives. That’s what I wanted. Not to discount those stories, because God can and does transform in the blink of an eye, but there are countless stories of Christians who undergo long processes of transformation through God’s cleansing. My walk has proved to be one of the latter cases.
Ephesians 4:22(NLT) instructs us to throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Verses 23-24 go on to say let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes…put on your new nature, created to be like God-truly righteous and holy. This is an intentional process we must embrace to become and stay truly transformed into the image of Christ. We cannot accidentally fall into this new nature. Even Christians who have immediate transformation must embrace this form of discipleship if they are to keep their new lives. This requires patience.
As I submitted to God’s process of renewal, he reminded me of past hopes and dreams. I committed these dreams to the Lord. I had no idea committing my dream to the Lord would land me back in a classroom pursuing a teaching degree, nor did I realize how much I would learn about patience. God has a sense of humor like that. While I have enjoyed this journey, there have been times of overwhelming discouragement and disillusionment. Sometimes I slip into old patterns of thinking. One of the most consistent thoughts is that I’ve wasted far too much of my life to be useful to the kingdom of God.
If YOU think you are not useful to God, no matter the reason, go to Jesus right now, because this is a lie from the deepest pits of hell to keep you from all God has for you!
If you think you are not useful to God, no matter the reason, go to Jesus right now, because this is a lie from the deepest pits of hell to keep you from all God has for you!
In some of my times of discouragement God has sent faithful sisters in Christ to share a word of encouragement. He has also taught me how to encourage myself through the Word of God. Psalm 37:7 says “rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him.” God continually reminds me to wait patiently for Him, and also to be patient with myself. Maybe you, too, have dreams that have become stagnant and dusty, are weary in praying for lost family members, or maybe you are simply not where you think you should be at this point in your life. Allow God to rebirth the dreams He has placed on your heart by breathing new life into them and you, and to sustain you throughout your journey with Him. Most of all have patience with yourself and with God as you wait for his perfect timing in all things.
Keep your eyes on His heart for you ~