“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; Do not fret when people succeed in their ways.” Psalm 37:7
Let’s look up the definition of PATIENCE: the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.
Just recently I found myself in a frenzy of emotions. I began contemplating a few decisions because I started to feel as though things just weren’t progressing. I felt STUCK! I landed myself in a traffic jam of projects and nothing, and I mean nothing, was getting accomplished. I felt like I was failing if I quit now. I was going to fail myself and the goals I had set. But worse of all, I felt like I was about to fail God. I felt as if this vision God had placed in my heart was just never going to blossom. I had all these seeds planted and nothing was sprouting.
I definitely wasn’t at any capacity of accepting where I was. Much less tolerating this long delay that apparently only I saw as long. Everyone around me was cheering me on, telling me I was doing a great job. Keep it up. And then they hit me with the P word. I started to hear, “You just need to have PATIENCE.” Guess what? They were right. Nothing was happening.
Have you ever found yourself driving with your tank low on PATIENCE?
Ever felt like no matter how hard you try, progress just…isn’t…happening?
Today I want to give you some pointers on how to overcome discouragement and be patient while you wait. We will learn from Abraham and Sarah’s story in Genesis 15, how we should not act and move so quickly when we begin feeling as though God just isn’t moving those mountains.
Let’s look at Abraham and his wife Sarah. They were never able to have children. In Genesis 15:2-3, Abraham asked God, “Sovereign Lord, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abraham said, “You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.” After Abraham brought up the fact that he and his wife could never have children God made a covenant with him. In verse 15:4 God tells Abraham, “This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir.” God went on to promise Abraham that he would indeed have as many descendants as stars in the sky.
Now you’d think this would have been enough for Abraham and his wife Sarah. But as time passed nothing had happened. There was no baby and they were both getting older. So what happens? Sarah, his wife, decides to take matters in her owns hands. She became so impatient and discouraged that she told Abraham to take one of her Egyptian slaves named Hagar and sleep with her so they could have a child. And Abraham being the obedient husband, did exactly as he was told despite the covenant God had already made with him.
Sarah thought this was what she wanted and in her mind, was a great idea at the time. But this backfired on her. Hagar started acting ugly towards Sarah. Genesis 16:4-6, “He slept with Hagar, and she conceived. When she knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress (Sarah).” So Sarah sees this and runs to Abraham and starts blaming him for what she has done. Oh yeah, Sarah wasn’t about to take the blame all on her own. She felt betrayed and hurt. So with her anger, she starts treating Hagar horribly and Hagar runs off. The moment Sarah decided to take matters into her own hands, not abiding by God, not following his promises to Abraham, her life was turned upside down. Eventually, God did give her a child. Of course, after a good scolding to Abraham for listening to his wife. Abraham was 100 and Sarah in her 90’s when their son Isaac was born.
Being patient while enduring the wait isn’t always as simple as it appears. Discouragement starts to creep in. That uncertainty, if in fact anything will actually happen as we hoped for, starts to plague our mind. We start wondering just how much longer will this go on for. Is God truly going to fulfill His promises?
I became discouraged with all those questions. God where are you? I have not done enough? Is what I’m doing not good enough? God, why haven’t you moved this mountain yet? I went on and on throwing a tantrum because God just wasn’t moving my mountains. I wasn’t seeing a sprout of any seed that I had planted. I became stagnant. No longer fired up to keep pushing forward. My endurance was running on fumes. I was driving on a tank empty from patience. I wanted action! I wanted to results! And I wanted them on my time. But guess what? God wasn’t on my time. God is on HIS time.
So how do we overcome those feelings of discouragement while we wait? I learned that I couldn’t sit and expect God to move what I wanted, when I wanted, and how I wanted. I needed to trust God and His timing. I needed to free myself from the worry and frustration and accept that when He saw it was time, it would be harvest time for me.
5 Pointers on How To Have Patience While Enduring The Wait
- Trust God’s Timing – Habakkuk 2:3 says, “For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries (lingers), wait for it; Because it will surely come, It will not tarry (linger).”
- Free Yourself From Worry & Frustration – Isaiah 41:10 says, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
- Be Still – Psalm 37:7 says, “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways.”
- Stop Trying To Figure It All Out – Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” Another version I found on BibleGateway says, “Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own.”
- Don’t Quit! – Philippians 3:12 says, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.