Patience in Suffering

I was reading through a devotional this morning and was led to share this with someone who is full with expectancy for something great, something new, something refreshing, something reviving! You might be full of  great anticipation and expectation, but maybe you become impatient and you quietly think that it’s all for nothing. The door will never open, you’ll never reach the next level, or the anticipation begins to drown because of doubt, fear and frustration. Listen – Continue to be faithful unto God, as He will remain faithful unto you. Remain obedient and stand on His word – it shall never return void.

“Be patient, then brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains.” – James 5:7

When I think of suffering, I often think of Job. After all his earthly wealth – including his entire family – is taken away, he shaves his head, tears his clothes, blesses the name of the Lord, and waits. He waits and waits and waits. Night after miserable night. It must have seem to him like forever.

Waiting is hard. In the black nights of suffering, when ominous clouds come in from the west, it’s hard to know whether those clouds bring nourishing rain or devastating hail that destroys a year’s work. We have no way of knowing how long we’ll be sitting in ashes and how long our heart will ache. When will our new story emerge?

The bible doesn’t instruct us to muzzle our thoughts or pretend we are happy about our situation. The Gospel never orders us to love misery. Even Job plead to the Lord for mercy and was open about his fear and dread. The Bible tells us to have confidence in those who have suffered before us and trust that the lessons in Job are relevant for our modern day pain. It tells us to cast our burdens to the Lord.

Perseverance is a gift; a block of character. Perseverance grows in time, and often in the dark. Trusting that God’s lesson in Job is relevant to our own personal stories is key. The Lord is indeed full of compassion and mercy, even if we are currently sighing and groaning, resting in our turmoil.
Questions for Reflection: What have you been grumbling about lately? How can you focus your inner thoughts on God instead of yourself and ask for God’s sweet relief in his perfect time?

Prayer: Faithful God, we are hurting. As we sit in our lives and face trials we never expected, give us the patience to be still. To survive in a deep dark place with hope that it won’t last forever. Please let us believe in your promises: redemption will occur, and restoration is not only possible, but true. Your mercy is beyond understanding. Help us know that the seed underneath the soil will be nourished by rains we cannot see today, but in time will come. It is so hard to wait and yet we trust in your word and promises. Help us persevere in our suffering. In Jesus name – Amen!

The High Calling. Amanda Hill. March 9. 2013

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