I have this Scripture on a beautiful plaque in my bathroom. And as I was getting ready this morning, I glanced up and there it was…like a beacon of truth, light, and hope. It was a wonderful reminder that I don’t have to do this thing called life all by myself. In I Timothy 1:12 it says that the Lord stands by my side and gives me strength…strength in all situations. This strength He gives me is much more than just bearing and suffering through a trial. The strength God gives, enables me to effectively handle with grace and patience all things that come into my life. For it’s only through Him, I can cope with all things for His glory.
The only way you can become really good at something is to practice…whether it’s a sport, a musical instrument, or a newly discovered talent, without practice, it’s just wishful thinking. Today, this Scripture wants us to take a new and different attitude when faced with the trials in our lives. It wants us to consider trials as practice. Every time we’re put to the test, we need to realized it’s a God-ordained crucible in which we are being purified. In other words, trials equal refining…trials equal developing patience…trials equal suffering in the faith…trials are a chance to practice what we preach.
God is not hesitating out of uncertainty…it’s not from indecision either that He has held off judging the world. No, it’s because of the Lord’s long-suffering grace and mercy that He delays the Judgment Day. For in I Timothy 2:4 it tells us, “God our Savior, Who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” Our Lord wants no one to perish, but all to come to the saving reality of Jesus Christ…but neither will God wait forever.
As we grow in our Christian faith, things that tempted us early on no longer entice us… for we have grown in wisdom and godliness. So when you see a new Christian struggling, remember where you were as a baby Christian, and as I Thess. 5:14 says, “Help the weak, be patient with everyone.” God brought them to you to encourage not to condemn.
Elsewhere in Proverbs it says, “…Patience can persuade with a gentle tongue.” Many times, it’s just the tone of our voice that makes all the difference on how our message is received.
Patience is to sustain calmly, when all we really want to do is not wait! The Lord plants a vision in our heart, we know it’s out there, but the key is timing. Self control and endurance enables us to wait for God’s timing…for His timing is always perfect. It’s never too early, never too late…always at the appointed time.