Learning to be patient does not come naturally. In this post, discover some practical tips on how to handle life during a waiting period.
If you’ve experienced a storm in your life – whether it be loss of a loved one, health issues, financial trouble, relationship problems, addiction, or any host of other problems – you know how difficult it can be to be patient and wait for a resolution. Or if there is no resolution, to wait for the grief or pain to pass on by. If you are in this season of life, learning to be patient or “wait on the Lord” can be a tall order – but let me share some tips that have helped me along the way.
1. Realize you will not reach your breaking point.
In my opinion, the reason we are so impatient for our prayers to be answered is that we think we won’t make it otherwise. Subconsciously, we think that without this “thing” we are praying for, we cannot survive.
If you constantly think to yourself, “I can’t take it (insert your problem here) anymore!” – well, you may not realize it, but you’re calling God a liar. God has promised not to let you be tested beyond your ability to endure (1 Corinthians 10:13).
In fact, worrying about your ability to cope is more likely to make your problem last even longer. When we realize God is literally ALL we need, regardless of the situation, contentment is already within our grasp.
2. Look for the gift in the difficulty.
There is no pain or loss that is devoid of some sort of blessing. Whether it be a friend reaching out to you, discovering a strength you didn’t know you had, or the ability to help someone else in the future, there is ALWAYS something good within the bad. You may never know how this blessing could impact the world.
3. Rejoice for the opportunity of a “faith check.”
When you go through something awful or unexpected, you get the chance to see whether or not your faith in God is real. Before I experienced any major difficulties in my life, I remember being afraid of anything bad happening to me. I would wonder if my trust in God was strong enough to withstand a storm. Now, I don’t have to wonder – I know my faith is the tried-and-true, real deal!
Remember Job? Satan told God that the only reason Job was faithful was that He had put a “hedge around him.” That used to be me. I doubted the strength of my faith before a trial, wondering, “Do I only worship God because things are going well in my life?” It’s such a blessing not to wonder that anymore.
When Satan penetrated that hedge of Job’s, his response was, “The Lord gave, the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.”
Let’s look at this a little deeper by diving into 1 Peter 1:6-9.
Verses 6-7 In this [salvation, assurance of heaven] you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
This passage clearly states a purpose in our trials – it refines, clarifies, and helps us see that our faith and trust in God is real. It’s not just there when things are rosy. The impurities in our faith like doubt, selfishness, and worry – these can be burned away in the midst of a trial, leaving a beautiful strong and sparkling faith behind.
Verses 8-9 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
Although may not see Christ with our physical eyes, His presence is clearer during difficulties than at any other time. And we can rejoice despite the circumstances, knowing our home in heaven is a sure thing.
If you’re struggling, consider it a badge of honor! Remember – God bragged on Job when He proudly said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job?” No matter what Satan threw at him, Job remained a friend of God.
Maybe God has said to Satan recently, “Have you considered my servant (insert your name here)?” Take this opportunity to cling to God regardless of what Satan throws at you, saying, “In your face!” Your faith is shining brighter than ever.
I love this quote I read in an article recently:
When you’re waiting, you’re not doing nothing. You’re doing the most important something there is. You’re allowing your soul to grow up. If you can’t be still and wait, you can’t become what God created you to be. Read more here.
Whether you are trying to be patient for an answered prayer or for a storm to pass – God is always faithful. He will give you the exact amount of strength you need for each day (His mercies are new every morning, Lamentations 3). He will provide a beautiful blessing embedded in the difficulty – keep your eyes peeled! And, He will give you the blessing of knowing that you possess a faith that can go the distance.
Remember Isaiah 40:31!
Let wait become the resolution to your problem, instead of a “weight problem” becoming your resolution. Let’s be patient and gain wait – the right kind!
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If you found this post inspiring, please share! What’s the hardest part about learning to be patient?