Posts Tagged ‘patience’

Numerous times over the years, I have heard Christians say such things as, “Ooh, don’t pray for patience, or God will give it to you.”  The implication is that it is better to wallow in impatience and mediocrity and spiritual impotence than to go through the pain of cleansing and maturing necessary to make us holy and effective for God’s kingdom.

What I am saying is that when we joke like that, it often reveals a certain undercurrent of fear concerning our relationship with God — that if we ask God for something (like patience), that it will not only be painful, but actually not worth it — as if God doesn’t care for us as much as we care for ourselves — and that we somehow need to actually protect ourselves from Him at times.  Yes, there is pain at times in following Jesus — but it is always always always meant to bless us — and the glorious pay-off, both here and in eternity is mind-blowingly worth it!

I heard this story about a Christian summer youth camp, where a counselor asked the teens this question: “If you let God choose your mate for you, how many believe that it would be someone unattractive?” And almost all of them raised their hands.

This is how many view God — as that big Someone up there who has this big strategic plan that involves us continually, painfully dying to ourselves, “for our own good”, out of obligation to the “greater cause”. Our lives here on earth may suck, but as good soldiers, we just need to quit our complaining and keep fighting.

When in reality, God has a more wonderful plan for us than anyone could possibly imagine.

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him”… (1 Corinthians 2:9)

“You have made known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand.” (Psalm 16:11)

I believe the key is intimacy. The better we really know Him, the more we will enjoy Him, and the more we will trust Him.

“I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and His incomparably great power for us who believe.” (Ephesians 1:17-19)