God calls us to Patient Endurance “Look I’m developing Spiritual Muscles”!!

As I continued to meditate about Patience, I thought about the virtue in relation to time. It is all about time and trust. We have absolute assurance that God has good things planned for us. When we read His words in Jeremiah 29:11. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” We know God is working to make us the best we can be in Him. As the phrase says-“Good things take time.” Consider these verses:

Proverbs 25:15 “Patience can persuade a prince,
    and soft speech can break bones. Luke 8:15 “And the seeds that fell on the good soil represent honest, good-hearted people who hear God’s word, cling to it, and patiently produce a huge harvest.” Hebrews 6:11-12 “We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized. 12 We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.

In each of these verses the idea of waiting and waiting with patient expectation for godly results is expected of us. Whether it be in patient persuasion, the patience of a farmer waiting for his crops to grow and mature or the heroes of faith exhorting us to be patient in our words and actions so that they please God.

I don’t know about you but I’m not the most patient person. I’m an American and we often fall into the desire for immediate results. The idea of waiting for the results is painful. Have you ever thought about why God wants us to wait for results? He desires that we grow and develop in our faith, learn to walk with Him daily and trust in Him. All those things- growth, developing, walking daily and trusting all require us to endure and see things through to the end. The Bible calls this developing patient endurance. Hebrews 10:36 “You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.” God knows we have to live through things, endure to the end- we need to develop perseverance! God knows before the end His people will face great persecution and hardships. Revelation 14:11-12 “And the smoke of their torment will rise for ever and ever. There will be no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name.” 12 This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus.” Living through that time will require perseverance, faith and patient endurance!

We each face challenges in our lives that help us build spiritual muscles. We see God’s faithfulness in our life and in the lives of those around us. We don’t have to endure all trials to learn and grow- we can observe, pray with others, and comfort them in their times of trial. If you are doing okay today, who do you know that is in a time requiring patient endurance of their faith? Pray for them, send them an encouraging note or card. If you are going through a time requiring patient endurance, ask a friend to pray for you and with you.

Look ahead with confidence and be encouraged the next time you struggle with circumstances requiring you to wait patiently for the Lord, to endure and persevere. God is building your spiritual muscles and making you stronger in Him!

Linda

The Benefits of a Walk that is Pleasing to God

Paul was praying for the Colossian Christians in a very specific way. He wanted to see them walking and experiencing an authentic life with Christ. He envisioned them, and us too, living a life worthy of the calling of Jesus. In today’s passage, Paul lists the benefits of such a worthy walk with Christ and how it truly pleases Him. Colossians 1:10-12 “ so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.” Wow! What a list of benefits Paul is praying for the Colossian Christians to experience in their daily walk with Jesus!

Bearing fruit in every good work. A life indwelt by the Holy Spirt, focused on Jesus shows fruit. Which of these is the Holy Spirit producing in your life as you seek to know and follow Him? Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” James 3:17 “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.”

Increasing in the knowledge of God. Is this your goal, to know God more fully? Could this be said of you? 1 Chronicles 28:9 “And you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father and serve him with a whole heart and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will cast you off forever.

strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy. Do you feel God’s strength, have endurance during the difficulties that arise each day or do you see and feel joy when you wait upon Him? Nehemiah 8:10 “for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Hebrews 10:36 “For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.Romans 15:13 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. Are you thankful for your heavenly inheritance to come and grateful for hope-filled life Jesus is providing for you right now? Ephesians 1:18 “having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 1 Peter 1:3-4 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,

I pray as you study and meditate on these benefits provided to us through our faith in Jesus that you will be blessed with a deeper knowledge of Him and be encouraged in your walk. Because Christ died on the cross and rose from the dead, I can receive benefits of faith that lead to greater knowledge of Him, strength, endurance, patience and joy! Thank you Jesus!

Linda

Godly character, what is that?

Because Christ died on the cross and rose from the dead, I can have godly character.  What is godly character?  God has many attributes and some are communicable to us through Jesus and some belong solely to God.  For example, only God is incomprehensible, the creator, omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent or sovereign.  However, those characteristics of God that He wants us to possess are vast and growing characterwonderful.  He desires that we are like Him in having peace, joy, being forgiving, thankful, honest, friendly, generous, loving and humble to name just a few.  As we grow in our relationship with Jesus, the Holy Spirit transforms us in a process called sanctification as we are made more and more like Jesus.

Why does God want to do this for us?  Scripture is clear there are great benefits to this character transformation.  Romans 5:2-4 “Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.”   Wow! Through faith in Jesus we stand in grace, rejoice in hope and our suffering produces godly character in us!  James 1:2-4 also speaks of the count it all joytrials of life bringing about change in our character for good.  Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”  Life’s trials test our faith and produce character that is steadfast and leads to perfection in Christ.   It is the trials in our life that God uses to hone and shape our character to make us more and more like Jesus as we learn to depend upon Him and place our Hope in Him.  

hopeMay you find joy in your trials and suffering as God works on your character, a character that will bring you hope!

Linda

Suggestion:  Determine to take a different view of the hard things you face today.  Seek to see them as character building. Praise God for the ability to cling to Him with a thankful, joyful and hopeful heart!