Grace and Peace Radio
Ep014 Godly Patience in Uncertain Times
We Christians are Pretty Bad About Patience Let's face it, if there is one thing Christians are pretty terrible with, it's patience. We are so like the Israelites in the Wilderness, sometimes we even resemble Saul rushing to act and sacrifice before Samuel arrives. Human weakness or not, God does not give us a pass on our impatience. Over and over in the Scriptures we are commanded to "wait on the Lord". As I record this, COVID-19 has literally stopped the world, and we don't yet know for how long. The "experts" crunch their data, hoping it is reliable to begin with, create their models, and offer their best guesses. Meanwhile, like a freight train whose emergency brake has been pulled, we've lived through life as we know it screaming and grinding to a halt. We Christians need to model our faith in God to our neighbors. We can do that by modeling at least three characteristics: Patience, Persistence, and trust in God's Providence. Over the next three episodes we'll talk about each of these, starting today with Patience. * What do we do with our impatience?* What resources does God give us to be patient?* Can we be patient and eager at the same time? We'll answer these questions together, today, on Grace and Peace Radio. No Free Pass on Being Impatient I admit, as I write this my patience has waned over the last few days. I'm recording this episode as much for me as for you. I'll spare the details, but they're probably some of the same reasons and feelings you have--wanting life to return to normal...or at least its usual level of so-called normal. And therein lies the problem. Impatience is a fundamental discontentment and grumbling against the timing and providences of God. In very plain terms, impatience is a temper trantrum we throw against God's will for our lives in the moment. At the heart of impatience are two little words: I WANT... We want something and we want it now. We are tired of waiting for it. If this is your first time listening to Grace and Peace Radio, first off, WELCOME! A central theme of the show is taking some issue and discovering together how we ought to think biblically about it. How should we conform our minds in accordance with God's Word about something? As we begin to think biblically about patience and its opposite, the first question, then, before us is: What Do We Do With Our Impatience? It should be obvious by now that impatience is a sin. Like all sins, at its heart is rebellion, rebellion against the Lord and his good and wise decrees in our lives. And so, as a sin, we must go to the Lord and repent of it. We must go our Father and confess that we’re grumbling at how we are feeling ourselves inconvenienced by his will for our lives at this moment, which means in our hearts there is a part of us saying we know what’s best. As believers, this should shame us, but only so far as it causes us to confess and repent. Having done that, we can be thankful that even this sin, like all our others, is mercifully and lovingly covered under the atoning blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. “If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all righteousness” (1 John 1:9). Forgiven, we can ask the Lord to kindly re-invigorate our hearts to be fully submitted to his decrees once more, trusting once again that he is good and sovereign. And, of course, this likely will not be a one-time event. We may find ourselves needing fresh mercies daily, if not hourly!