1 Thessalonians 1:3 Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;
I like the phrase 'patience of hope.'
I hadn't ever linked my hope and faith in the Lord with patience. As I pondered on that the other day, these are my thoughts on faith, hope, and patience...
For me, having faith and hope in a better outcome just isn't enough to sustain me in the waiting. There are just to many 'what if's' that can paralyze me. I have to have faith in a higher power that is in control of the plan in order to remain patient through all of the muddling. I have to know that the plan is working for my benefit in the long run.
As I have faith and hope in my Savior, I find patience to endure my trials, to keep pressing forward steadfastly, and do good things. Faith in Him helps me to trust His plan for my life and His timing. I can patiently wait for events to happen like my house selling, our family's healing from grief, finding companionship, or number of other concerns that plague daily life.
Am I always in this perfect place of faith, hope and patience?
But when I start to loose sight...
- When I start to spiral down with the 'what if's'...
- If I stop myself and make myself remember who I put my faith and hope in.
- (Yes, I actually reread or say these things to myself!)
A lot of people stare at me in shock when I tell them that I think my husband's death was part of God' s plan. They say…
With all the evil people in the world, how can God take such a good man?
His patients needed him and his family needed him? Why would God allow this?The past two years has taught me patience as I have seeked to better understand this truth. Some answers have come as I have prayed and become more devoted to God, but not all... I suppose it would spoil the ending of the book of my life and make the living of it rather mundane.
This is one answer among many that has come…
I am a kinder, more compassionate, more empathetic person as the result of my husband's death, and I needed that. I had become very judgmental and complacent in my perfect little life. I did not realize how many people have sorrow. I did not realize how difficult holidays are for so many. These experiences have given me the ability to reach out and help youth and adults who I never related to before. That has been a joy. It's good work and it brings me joy.
I would not choose to give up the understanding that has come to me because of my own pain.
Because of God's love for me and his desire for me to grow, He allows me to choose, make mistakes, and sometimes get myself in bad situations. However, even in my self-imposed sorrow there is always a way out and up if I turn to Him with a desire to change and repent.
Why does He let us struggle and suffer a bit first?
Learning and understanding always come at a price.
Experience is a far better teacher than the written or spoken word. He knows that, and so He allows us to touch the hot stove and feel how it burns. The memory of the burning is enough to eventually make us want to quit touching hot stoves. So the suffering acts to change our desires and our character.
I know that God's love for us, for everyone, is consistent and unconditional. A good friend always lifts and makes us better than who we are. If you don't know this I encourage you to pray and ask God how He feels about you individually. Do it for a couple of weeks… Ask, seek, and knock.
Matt 7:Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:With persistent knocking, answers to prayers come. Reading and studying about the life of Christ helps me too. The Scriptures help us get to know him.
So there's your first challenge...
Get to know Christ and understand his love for you so you can have faith and hope in him.
That faith and hope will enable you to be more patient. Good luck and share your experiences back.