" In your patience possess ye your souls ." (Luke 21:19) Too often we are tempted to do things in our own strength because this or that event or answer to prayer doesn't come right away or in the delay that we have fixed for it. We go off assuming that our will or want is synonymous with God's will or want just because there is a delay in "getting" a clear answer to what it is we are petitioning about. But is this really the case, or are we not rather jumping the gun and doing things in our own strength instead of by the grace of God ?
What is synonymous with patience however is faith. You cannot have faith without patience and patience will work faith into something strong and mature. " But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." (Hebrews 11:6). Actually the entire chapter 11 of Paul's Epistle to the Hebrews was all about faith.
Faith takes on the attitude that things will work out even though we do not quite understand how nor when, or even if they will in the way we want or expect. That is why we say that you must give God a blank cheque and let Him fill in the details. It is not up to us to bring our agenda to God for His aproval, but rather it is up to us to find God's agenda and get His aproval for being faithful at trying to fulfill it.
" Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." (Prov 3:5-6) Now if you have some sort of preconceived idea of what that path is supposed to be then you are most likely in for a big surprise, not to mention a disappointment. This is where many people get disillusioned because they think that God has abandoned them when He doesn't seem to be answering their wants and desires in the way they expect. But that is not how it works. It's God's plan, not yours, that counts, and how that plan gets done is really up to Him, and where you fit into it depends on your ability to be flexible enough to bend in the direction that His wind blows.
It truly is amazing how that once you have learned to give it all up to Jesus knowing that He will do what is best that your life is never lacking in anything that you need. Of course, things take a little more time and you don't get to control every little aspect of everything you want, but then you learn very valuable lessons of faith and grow spiritually strong because of it. At the beginning of this Newsletter there is a quote, " In your patience possess ye your souls ." (Luke 21:19) The opposite is also true; impatience can cause you to get into all kinds of problems and situations that, had you exercised patience/faith, you could have avoided altogether, and these situations lead to frustration and discouragement which affect your faith in a negative way, and all because you were too impatient to wait on the Lord to see what plan He had in mind.
Every morning when we recite the Lord's Prayer we should be concentrating on the words in that prayer; amongst "forgive us as (in the same way) we forgive others" is also "Thy will be done in Earth as it is in Heaven", so once having commited your day to God's will it is imperative that you let God have His way with it by being slow to speak, slow to wrath, as the Apostle James wrote, " Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God." (James 1:19-20) and having faith that God will work in it for the best. But that takes faith which requires patience.
James again wrote, " Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing." (James 1:3-4) Growing in the Lord and gaining spiritual maturity is something that comes with time, it doesn't happen overnight there is a process involved. Just like a new baby isn't born fully formed and mature so it is with Christians who are new in the faith; Salvation (re-birth) is instantaneous upon receiving Jesus into your heart, although it doesn't stop there, there is yet a growing and learning process that must take place, and in that process the quicker you learn the lessons of patience and faith the quicker you will mature. So, possess your soul, be patient.