April 25, 2014

patience, time and prayer

Around Thanksgiving I wrote a blog post about one of my 'proverbs', a saying I repeat to myself as a timely word of wisdom: 'treasure the little things'. One of the others which I like to repeat quite often is 'patience, time and prayer'. Usually, there is no better remedy for a difficult situation than obeying the implications of this little proverb; to wait for the Lord to act and in the meantime to pray without ceasing, to not lose faith in Him but trust that He knows best and will accomplish not necessarily what is for our comfort, happiness, or anything at all that we want... but that which is for our good, and His glory.

Of course, there are times when we are in situations when we have to act ourselves. I am not a great fan of the popular phrase 'Let go and let God' because it implies complacency, a fatalistic attitude - as though God will do whatever He wants anyway so it doesn't matter what I do, or the fluffy theology that we can simply float on throughout life and everything will turn out just fine.

God's Word specifically calls believers to action on more occasions than one, possibly the greatest being to 'love one another' - to be selfless, to put others' needs above Your own, which is Christlike behavior, and might I add, much easier said than done! So, the complacent 'castle in the cloud' theology is out. And so is that attitude of fatalism. What we do most definitely does make a difference. Every person who ever lived is going to have to give an account to God for whatever righteousness or evil was committed by them during that time - no exceptions. So don't waste the time you have. Don't fall into the temptation of believing it doesn't matter, because after we die, the rest of eternity begins, and by then, there is no going back, no remedying what has been done. The time for mercy will be over. And this is important: Doing what is wrong is just as bad as not doing what you know is right.

"Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin."
James 4:17

And now, back to my point.

I have found the phrase, 'patience, time and prayer' to be immensely comforting over the past several years of my life. I have held it close, repeated it often, recited it to friends countless times. When I feel least in control, it helps me remember that God is. He is the Author of time, the Answerer of my prayers, the Master of long-suffering; I have much to learn, but He is a wonderful Teacher.

Be patient while waiting or while suffering (James 1:2-4; Colossians 1:9-12).

Take the time to read God's Word, have your mind renewed by its God-breathed power and truth (Romans 12:2; James 1:22), and remember that He is in control and works all things together for good to those who love Him and believe in His Son, Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord (Romans 8:28; Romans 10:9).

And finally, pray like the dickens! (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

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