For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6
I regret the day I prayed for patience. I frequently say how much I despise the word. I really do. I would be lying if I said I didn’t. But I say this in honesty because I have learned so many lessons about life and myself. From my dealings with others, to how I view myself, patience has made all the difference.
I was angry today because a pastor I follow was judging women who are saved for how they dress–because they have not quite gotten to where she is. I had a conversation pertaining to this type of judgment a few weeks ago with a pastor about my own experiences with it and how I have learned that it takes time for God’s works to be completed. It was apparent to me that these people forgot that God didn’t deliver them overnight; they told me themselves. The scripture above confirms that! You see, I wasn’t always this way. I was much different and even though I still have a long way to go, I have made progress which directly reflects God’s hand on my life. I still have some very marked flaws but I trust those to God too. That has been one of my struggles lately, wondering how God is going to get me from here, the place I am in mentally, physically, and spiritually to where He wants me to be. And it rang out, patience, trust the process and allow yourself to be prepared. Likewise, people, including clergy, sometimes forget the process that God took them through to get where they are. I was guilty of this when I was a baby Christian. I wanted my boyfriend at the time, my friends, and family to all get to where I felt I was in my walk. But God showed me that I still had more growing to do. So the next time you judge that lady in church for her tight pants and cleavage in church, although distracting if your mind isn’t focused on getting the word, remember she is not where you think you are, and God invites us to come to Him as we are, imperfections and all. Because He is more than patient with us all, right?
Patience is the product of suffering and trials. It teaches us to endure, and endure in faith. It strengthens our faith muscles, much like push-ups and squats build muscles. But you can’t work out once and expect to lift cars! You must be patient–and endure. God has been drilling me in this lesson for the last 4 years. Everything I desire: healing and deliverance from medications, marriage and children, debt freedom, and now to become a judge…I have to patiently endure the process necessary for all of this. While I know I don’t have it 100% mastered, patience has taught me to trust God and cleave to Him to have the faith necessary to keep believing that the things I want in life will manifest.
I think the most beautiful lesson I’ve learned in all of this is that as long I as trust God for what He has shown me, no matter what, I will have those things. And the reward of patience is knowing God more intimately. To endure and persevere for His promises causes you to draw nearer to Him. And its in the drawing nearer to Him that you are transformed and changed. You gain the intimacy of relationship with God and its there in that intimacy that you learn to walk in those things He has promised you–you walk in your healing, you walk in your favor, you walk in your deliverance. You expect your spouse, you await those children, and you can endure in peace and joy. I’m getting there, because it has been tough enduring for me. I have had to overcome myself and the things that have come against what I want. But I see how God has changed me and those around me, and I can rest in knowing that its simply a matter of time before my desires make their appearance.
So the next time you feel judged, remember two things, God isn’t through with you yet and just like they judge you, God will judge them. Let patience have its work in you and your life.
But patience will have a complete work for itself that you would be perfected and complete, and that you would be lacking nothing. James 1:4
So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Galatians 6:9