Tag: Patience

Faith and prayer

Scripture reading for April 13: 2 Kings 18-21

In 1980,  my wife and I were caught in a financial crisis beyond our ability to handle or fix.  We had borrowed money to buy land and equipment and build our farming business and interest rates had more than doubled.  Many neighbors had lost farms to the banks and creditors because they were unable to pay and our situation looked bad.  We had rededicated our lives to the Lord just a few years earlier and as we studied the Word of God, we knew we needed to humble ourselves, repent, and ask God for His mercy.  Mary and I knelt by our bed and did just that in an act of faith and humility.

Hezekiah, one of the kings of Judah, was a man of faith.  Scripture says that he “held fast to the Lord and did not cease to follow Him; he kept the commands the Lord had given Moses.”  (2nd Kings 18:5-6)  Because he trusted the Lord, the Lord was with him and he was successful in all he did.  One of his first moves was to destroy the bronze snake that Moses had built to stop the plague of serpents in the desert.  God’s people had made an idol of it and were burning incense to it!  (2nd Kings 18:4)

Hezekiah was tested by the Assyrians.  He rebelled against the king of Assyria, the military power of that day, and would not serve him.  Assyria captured Samaria and Israel (the ten tribes) in Hezekiah’s sixth year.  In Hezekiah’s fourteenth year, Sennacherib, king of Assyria attacked all the fortified cities of Judah and captured them. (2nd Kings 18:13)  Hezekiah tried to buy off the king of Assyria with gold from the temple, but a large army showed up surrounding Jerusalem.  Hezekiah was told of this situation and he immediately went to the temple in a humbled posture to seek the help of God.  As he prayed for help, God sent word by the prophet Isaiah that God would intervene and deliver them!  (2nd Kings 19:6-7) Hezekiah’s faith lead him to a humble appeal to the Lord of Heaven.  Solomon had prayed earlier at the dedication of the temple for people who were at war and would cry out to God that God would hear and answer!  (1st Kings 8:44-45) 

What are you facing today that seems like a mountain?  Go to God in prayer!  Let your faith move you to prayer.  Go humbly to confess how your own sinful actions led to the trouble.  Go expecting God to hear and answer you!  The answer is already on the way!  By the way, eight years after we prayed, my wife and I were debt-free!  Faith and prayer gives direction and patience!

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Sunday rest and reflection–patience

As I reflect on Joshua and think about what he faced in his lifetime, I am reminded of my need for patience and courage.  It is hard to live patiently when you know what the Lord has said and no one around you is walking in faith.  Joshua kept quiet and had a positive outlook when almost everyone was grumbling and complaining. He lived faithfully and held his tongue and temper.

Joshua had to wait 40 years to enter his inheritance. As one of the twelve spies, he saw the land first-hand and understood from God’s Word that it belonged to them.  He believed that God would help them with the walled cities and the giants.  He had a good attitude and a good confession.  He tore his clothes and pleaded with the people when they rebelled at Kadesh. (Numbers 14:5-9) He faithfully served Moses for the 40 years as he walked with those who were destined to die in the wilderness,  He was chosen by God to lead Israel after Moses’s departure.  The Bible tells us that the first requirement of a steward is that they be found faithful!  (1st Corinthians 4:2)  Joshua was faithful and patient to wait until God’s time came for him to enter and possess his inheritance.

As you take time to rest and pray today, thank God for His faithfulness in sending His son Jesus Christ, our Joshua!    Jesus keeps a good attitude, even when we whine and complain.  He walks with us faithfully, even when we don’t recognize Him present.  He kept God’s Word perfectly and is the only one who can take us into the “promised land’!  He took the lowest place of a servant and God exalted Him to the highest place of authority.  What courage and strength it took for Him to save us!  Are you letting patience have it’s perfect work in your life today?  Have a great day of rest and refreshing!  Remember to gather with others of faith and worship the Lord!  God bless you!  Pastor John

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Faith, prayer, and patience!

Scripture reading for November 29th: Jude, Psalm 88, Proverbs 21

Jude: 20-25 “But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh. Now to Him Who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of His glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

Jude was the half-brother of Jesus Christ and a follower of Jesus as his Messiah. He wrote to the early church, encouraging them to contend for the faith once delivered to them. False teachers and false prophets were seeking to devour and draw away Christ’s followers. Jude had simple instructions and a benediction that has been used by many church leaders to encourage Christ’s followers. Jude recognized the need for faith. Faith comes by hearing and applying God’s Word. Prayer is an act of faith. The Father’s Gift, the Holy Spirit, enables us to pray effectively. When we pray in the Holy Spirit, we build ourselves up in holy faith. Through faith and prayer, patience to wait for and anticipate the coming of Jesus is a glorious by-product! All glory to Jesus Christ, the Faithful One, Who is praying for us as we wait in His Love!

Psalm 88:13 “But I, O Lord, cry to You; in the morning my prayer comes before You.”

Prayer: Father God, I cry to You each morning, responding to Your Word that tells me to ask You for my daily bread and protection from the evil one. May Your kingdom come and Your will be done in my life and those of my brothers and sisters and children. Your Word is a precious Treasure and the Holy Spirit is Oil of Joy in my heart as I keep my heart in Christ’s love, seek His kingdom, pray, and wait for His return.

Proverbs 21:20-21 “Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man’s dwelling, but a foolish man devours it. Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life, righteousness, and honor.”

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Patience with people!

Scripture reading for April 5th: James 5, Psalm 68, Proverbs 6

James 5:7-11 “Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door. As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.”

James, a pastor, understood well the need for patience. His instructions to the beloved brothers was to cultivate a continual awareness of the coming of our Lord. Our Lord is the Judge of all men and believers must stand before the Judgment seat of Christ to receive reward or loss for deeds done in the body. A lack of patience with people is manifested in grumbling, complaining and judging others. To encourage patience, James pointed believers to the prophets who spoke in the Name of the Lord. Job, in particular, was a man of great suffering and trials, yet he patiently waited on the Lord. The Lord restored him double at the end! God is truly merciful and compassionate and worth waiting for!

Psalm 68:3-4 “But the righteous shall be glad; they shall exult before God; they shall be jubilant with joy! Sing to God, sing praises to His Name; lift up a song to Him Who rides through the deserts; His Name is the Lord; exult before Him.”

Prayer: Father God, I rejoice in You today and in Your wise Words of encouragement through the prophets and apostles written down for us. Your Words are a Light and when I am reproved by them, it leads me to a fuller life and the experience of peace. Help me to be patient with others each day, recognizing Your great patience for me and Your endless mercy for Your suffering people.

Proverbs 6:23 “For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light, and the reproofs of discipline are the way to life.”

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Steadfast love brings reward!

Scripture reading for March 10th: Hebrews 6, Psalm 50, Proverbs 19

Hebrews 6: 9-12 “Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things–things that belong to salvation. For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for His Name in serving the saints, as you still do. And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”

The writer of Hebrews had issued a warning against those who fall away in the early verses of this passage. But he was encouraging in this passage that commended the believers for their continuing work on behalf of the saints and their steadfast love. He encouraged them to follow the path of the patriarchs of the faith like Abraham, who through faith and patience inherited the promises of God for fruitfulness and blessing. Like Abraham, they may have to go through times of testing when the promises looked out of reach. But through steadfast love in covenant with God, God always comes through and brings glory to Himself by blessing HIs people and fulfilling HIs Word.

Psalm 50:14-15 “Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and perform your vows to the Most High, and call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you and you shall glorify Me.”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for all Your faithfulness to those who have gone before me. Your divine and precious promises have proven true again and again in my life. Help me to continue in the works You have prepared for me with steadfastness and faithfulness to the covenant of love You have made with me through Jesus Christ. I want to inherit all Your promises and lead my family and others to their reward!

Proverbs 19:22-23 “What is desired in a man is steadfast love, and a poor man is better than a liar. The fear of the Lord leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied, he will not be visited by harm.”

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Steadfast and patient till Jesus comes!

Scripture reading for October 11th: Jeremiah 37, 21, 34, Psalm 79, James 5

James 5: 7-11 “Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not grumble against one another brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door. As an example of suffering and patience, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.”

James concludes his short letter with a call for patience and steadfastness while the believers waited for the coming of the Lord and Judge! He pointed to farmers for an example as they sowed their seed in faith, they must wait for the early and late rains to bring the crop to maturity before the fruit of the earth can be harvested. In the same way, believers must guard their hearts and be steadfast through the trials of life and God working in the hearts of people to soften them and bring forth precious fruit of repentance and faith. The prophets also stood as examples. James sited Job as an example of patience in suffering and how God restored him double. Jeremiah also remained steadfast in spite of persecution, death threats and imprisonment faithfully delivering God’s Word to His people in spite of resistance.

Psalm 79: 4-5, 11 ” We have become a taunt to our neighbors, mocked and derided by those around us. How long, O Lord? Will You be angry forever? Will Your jealousy burn like fire?” . . . “But we Your people, the sheep of Your pasture, will give thanks to You forever; from generation to generation will will recount Your praise.”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for these words of encouragement to remain steadfast in the face of trials or suffering. We are thankful for the examples You gave us in the prophets of old and apostles of Jesus and in Jesus Himself. We look forward to the coming of our Lord and the great reward of eternal life in His presence forever and ever!

Jeremiah 37:16-17 “When Jeremiah had come to the dungeon cells and remained there many days, King Zedekiah sent for him and received him. The king questioned him secretly in his house and said, “Is there any Word from the Lord?” Jeremiah said, “There is.” Then he said, “You shall be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon.””

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Abundant restraint!

Scripture reading for January 21st: Genesis 38-40; Mark 15

Mark 15: 1-5 “Very early in the morning, the chief priests, with the elders, the teachers of the law and the whole Sanhedrin, made their plans. So they bound Jesus, led Him away and handed Him over to Pilate. “Are You the King of the Jews?” asked Pilate. “You have said so,” Jesus replied.” The chief priests accused Him of many things. So again Pilate asked Him, “Aren’t You going to answer? See how many things they are accusing You of.” But Jesus still made no reply, and Pilate was amazed.”

Nothing hurts as bad as being falsely accused by people you love and respect. Both Jesus and Joseph of old had similar experiences and endured it with grace and restraint. In this passage, Jesus was falsely accused but refused to defend Himself. He fully entrusted Himself to His Father and gave Himself to do His Father’s will that He might save all who would believe on Him. Joseph entrusted himself to God and God used him to save His people from famine. God is our defender and will ultimately bring justice for all His people. Now, in this life, our role is to serve others. Our life is the sweet aroma of God’s life to those being saved but the fragrance of death to those who are perishing! (2nd Corinthians 2:15-16)

Genesis 39:19-21 “When his master heard the story his wife told him, saying, “This is how your slave treated me,” he burned with anger. Joseph’s master took him and put him in prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined. But while Joseph was there in prison, the Lord was with him; the Lord showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden.”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for the examples of Scripture where Jesus and Joseph suffered false accusation and imprisonment and with Jesus, death. Thank You for Your purposes and abundant restraint and patience that You bestow on Your people in their suffering and the vision of fulfilling Your will and plans! Fill me with abundant restraint and self control.

Proverbs 16:32 Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.

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Patience required waiting for the Lord

Scripture reading for October 11th: James 5

Key Scriptures: James 5:7-9 “Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door.”

James knew and believed that Jesus Christ would return to earth for His people. He taught the church using the example of a patient farmer who had planted seed and was awaiting its growth to maturity and a harvest. In the waiting, the crop would need rain from heaven early to get it started and growing. It would also need the later rains to fill the seeds and fruit and bring maturity. In the same manner, believers having in them the Seed of Christ, would also need patience to wait for Christ’s return. They would need early rain for the Seed of the Word to grow and be planted in them. The later rains would refresh them and bring the fruits of their lives to maturity. Grumbling and living in known sin would not prepare them for the coming of the Judge–Who was standing right at the door awaiting God’s signal to come for His Bride.

James 5:10-11 “As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the Name of the Lord. Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.”

Faith confession and prayer: Father God, as a farmer, You have taught me the need for patience in waiting for the precious fruit of the earth. Help me to have the same patience with my brothers and sisters in the church as you cultivate their lives through the trials and tests of life. Allow me to rescue the wanderer and see restoration. Give me the steadfastness of Job that I might experience Your mercy and compassion and share it with others.

James 5:19-21 “My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.”

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God’s amazing patience!

Scripture reading for October 21st: Jeremiah 50-51, 2nd Peter 3

Key Scriptures: 2nd Peter 3:9-13 But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.”

Mankind is very short-sighted. They tend to live for each day and many worry about the future, but fail to prepare for it. Peter called the believers to patient endurance. The Lord is patient with each person, and He wants none to perish. The Day of the Lord’s return will come suddenly and bring everlasting destruction to the earth and the unsaved. But followers of Jesus are looking forward to a New Heaven and New Earth and eternal righteousness! It will happen suddenly too! Amen!

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, help me daily to see the big picture and Your amazing mercy and patience with the lost. Use me to help others see Your patience and prepare them for Your sudden return!

Jeremiah 51:6 “”Flee from the midst of Babylon; let every one save his life! Be not cut off in her punishment, for this is the time of the Lord’s vengeance, the repayment He is rendering her.””

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Patience required!

Scripture reading for October 9th: Jeremiah 37, 21, 34, Psalm 79, James 5

Key Scriptures: James 5:7-9 “Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it until it receives the early and the late rains. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door.”

The Church of Jesus Christ needs patience! Jesus has promised His return for His Church and judgment for the wicked. The Church can be confident that He will come again but the time of this great event is left unknown to believers. No one knows the day or the hour! James uses farmers as an example of patience. They plant the crop and must wait through a whole growing season for the precious fruit to come forth. This requires early rains to get it started and late rains to fill the harvest and mature the fruit. Grumbling about the lack of rain is not faith! We must establish our hearts on God’s faithfulness and truth!

Psalm 79:13 “But we Your people, the sheep of Your pasture, will give thanks to You forever; from generation to generation will will recount Your praise.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your great patience with me and with the rebellious of this world. Help me to show Your patience to others and not grumble. I know the Judge is coming soon!

Jeremiah 21:14 “I will punish you according to the fruit of your deeds, declares the Lord; I will kindle a fire in her forest, and it shall devour all that is around her.”

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