Consider Him - Patient
We have been really challenged as a people with the need for patience as we endure this battle against Covid 19.
Paul’s list in gal 5 word is Makrothumia, longsuffering, tolerance, persistence
W Barclay qts the writer of 1st Maccabees 8:4, said: it was by makrothumia that the Romans became masters of the world’, they persistently pressed on, never made peace with an enemy even in defeat.
Takes time to achieve things, we live in an instant age, (entertainment, food, material possessions) hence we see so much debt, demanding of rights, quest for fame – signs of a nation with little patience so this challenge cuts right across our culture. Patience now will be a great help to us.
Young William Wilberforce was discouraged one night in the early 1790s after another defeat in his 10 year battle against the slave trade in England. Tired and frustrated, he opened his Bible and began to leaf through it. A small piece of paper fell out and fluttered to the floor. It was a letter written by John Wesley shortly before his death. Wilberforce read it again: "Unless the divine power has raised you up... I see not how you can go through your glorious enterprise in opposing that (abominable practice of slavery), which is the scandal of religion, of England, and of human nature. Unless God has raised you up for this very thing, you will be worn out by the opposition of men and devils. But if God be for you, who can be against you? Are all of them together stronger than God? Oh, be not weary of well-doing. Go on in the name of God, and in the power of His might." (sermon illustrations – perseverance)
So how do we get it?
Patience is rooted in the character of God, ‘who is not slow in keeping his promise as some understand slowness but he is patient with you not wanting anyone to perish but everyone to come to repentance’ 2 Peter 3:9
According to a traditional Hebrew story, Abraham was sitting outside his tent one evening when he saw an old man, weary from age and journey, coming toward him. Abraham rushed out, greeted him, and then invited him into his tent. There he washed the old man's feet and gave him food and drink.
The old man immediately began eating without saying any prayer or blessing. So Abraham asked him, "Don't you worship God?"
The old traveler replied, "I worship fire only and reverence no other god."
When he heard this, Abraham became incensed, grabbed the old man by the shoulders, and threw him out his his tent into the cold night air.
When the old man had departed, God called to his friend Abraham and asked where the stranger was. Abraham replied, "I forced him out because he did not worship you."
God answered, "I have suffered him these eighty years although he dishonors me. Could you not endure him one night?" (Thomas Lindburg)
Tozer: 'God is the sum of all patience and the essence of kindly good will. We please him most, not by frantically trying to make ourselves good, but by throwing ourselves into his arms with all our imperfections, and believing that he understands everything and loves us still'
We are called to reflect our heavenly father in the way we relate to life and to each other
Impatience leads us: to take a Hagar as Abraham did
To steal our brothers blessing as Jacob
To kill a man in haste as Moses
To make an unwarranted offering as Saul did
Yet, Abraham learnt that God fulfils his promise, Jacob learnt about the pain of deception through his uncle Laban. Moses learnt by 40 years with the sheep that God is in control and David was to learn at Saul’s hand the suffering of submitting to the call of God with integrity whilst trusting God to fulfil his word
God wants us to see results as we work for Him, but His first concern is our growth. That's why He often withholds success until we have learned patience. The Lord teaches us this needed lesson through the blessed discipline of delay.
God can so take us in life so that the enemies of our soul which try to destroy us become the very tools God uses to shape us