From Pastor Tony Tice:
“Are We There Yet?”
A farm boy accidentally overturned his wagon-load of corn in the road. The farmer who lived nearby came to investigate. “Hey, Willis,” he called out, “forget your troubles for a spell and come on in and have dinner with us. Then I’ll help you get the wagon up.”
“That’s mighty nice of you,” Willis answered, “but I don’t think Pa would like me to.” “Aw, come on, son!” the farmer insisted. “Well, okay,” the boy finally agreed. “But Pa won’t like it.”
After a hearty dinner, Willis thanked his host. “I feel a lot better now, but I just know Pa is going to be real upset.” “Don’t be foolish!” exclaimed the neighbor. “By the way, where is he?”
“Under the wagon.”
Yeah I know, a bit corny. Get it? Corn-y. Anyways, the point is that waiting is difficult, isn’t it? If it’s true that “patience is a virtue”, I’ve got some work to do on my virtue. And I’m guessing that I’m not alone.
Sometimes it’s just silly things we lack patience for. Like a slow computer or a slow driver in front of us or a long line at the grocery store. But sometimes the issues we need patience for are more serious. Like patient with a co-worker who’s hard to work with. Or a wayward son or daughter that needs to come back to their faith. Or perhaps, it’s a season of difficult circumstances.
Galatians 5 tells us that patience is one of the fruits of the Spirit. That means it’s a quality that we should strive for. It’s a mark of a disciple of Jesus. But how can we see it flow out of our lives when life is so frustrating? I believe the answer is to keep our eyes on the SAVIOR not the SITUATION. Don’t ignore the situation, but focus more of your time and attention on who Jesus is in your life. Hebrews 12:1–2 says,
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
We are to look to the One who endured the cross, and defeated it. He did so for you and me. And by defeating death, His resurrection power is available to us. The more we pursue our relationship with Christ, the more we will begin to see His power at work in our lives. Take time to celebrate Jesus in your life today. The problems may not go away, but how you process the problems will change!
- What are the things you are struggling to show patience with? Why do you think that is?
- What are some practical ways that you can focus more on Jesus than your problems this week?
- Write down the top three things that you are struggling to have patience with. Each morning this week do the following:
- Pray for godly patience for each of those three things.
- Take time to explore how God could use them for good in your life and thank God from them.
- Take time to read Hebrews 11. Jot down what you can learn about patience from the individuals mentioned in the chapter. Commit to one or two practical applications from Hebrews 11.
- Memorize Hebrews 12:1–2