God’s Plan for My Life: Patience

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. Psalm 139:14

God made you and me for a purpose—a Kingdom purpose! A purpose that only God knows and wants us completely reliant upon Him and His power. God’s purpose for you and me has His name written all over it, not ours.  God’s purpose for us is not a job, a career, or a family.  Rather we have commissioning by the Creator of the universe to carry out His plan, His will, and His Word in His way. He provides the platform and we use the platform for His glory.

I am often reminded that God does not call me to be “results oriented,” but rather He has designed me to be “action oriented.”  So many Christians fall short of the purpose God has for them because they are looking for results and when the results don’t happen in their time, they become discouraged and eventually quit.  It is interesting that God tells us in Colossians 1:9-11 that our prayers to God, our obedience to His Word, and our walk with Him, will lead us to the power of God for one specific reason—patience or longsuffering! God gives us strength to wait on Him for the results, no matter how long that takes or what we have to go through (Paul endured imprisonment and Jesus suffered the cross to accomplish God’s will).  One of the greatest if not the greatest teacher in life is patience. Here are three reasons why.

God’s Character. I am thankful that God is longsuffering with me.  God’s longsuffering represents God’s mercy.  Second Peter 3:9 reminds us, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to usward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”  If God is patient to wait for us to respond and bring His desired results, then we must be patient in order to have the power of God on our lives. We must do God’s work on God’s timing.God’s Capability. God desires to use us in such a way that displays His power and capability, not ours. Man’s power is ordinary and limited. God’s power is beyond imagination.  Our sole purpose in life is to bring glory to God (Revelation 4:11).  Jeremiah 9:1 states, “Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!”  Jeremiah had an impossible task of warning the nation of Judah of their pending captivity by the Babylonians due to their unrepentant sin, but no one would listen.  He was ridiculed, beaten, and imprisoned.  In chapter 38 verse 6 we see Jeremiah at his lowest in prison with no friends, no water and “sunk in the mire.”  But Jeremiah never stopped doing what God told him to do.  Did the people listen? No. But ultimately God’s plan was accomplished.  God is capable even when our efforts and actions seem pointless.God’s Courses. Waiting on God clears obstacles and helps us avoid terrible and costly mistakes.  My “results-oriented” nature likes to push ahead of God’s timetable and costs me time and treasure.  Joshua pushed into Jericho while following God’s plan.  The city of Jericho was defeated efficiently and effectively.  However, the next city of Ai did not go so well.  Ai was smaller and easier so Joshua and the Israelites pushed ahead in their own power and timing and it cost them dearly.  Patience allows us to learn God’s lessons by observation rather than pain and suffering.  Patience allows us to gain experience and knowledge with much less loss.

God’s will for our lives is glorious and is meant to be a demonstration of His power and glory, not our capabilities.  God is not looking for us to accomplish anything for Him but through Him and this takes a lot of patience and waiting. God strengthens us for the waiting so that He can bring the results—miraculous results!

Questions for self-examination:

Am I action-oriented or results-oriented?

Am I slow to anger?

Does my patience with others resemble God?

Do I take matters into my own hands when God’s not moving fast enough?