Let Patience Rule

delivery

When we know the desires of our hearts, yet don’t see them happen the way we’d like, we’re easily discouraged.  Everything seems to be against us when our focus is on what we don’t have.  God never intended for our hopes and dreams to taunt us every time we thought about them, for they aren’t meant to be a burden to us.  Matthew 11:30 tells us: For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.  Our only burden is to believe, while God carries the burden of making the promise come to pass.

To trust God with our dreams, we need to know that our dreams are His will—that He wants those dreams for us.  We must know that unless God or we have chosen for us to stay single, then we’re free to desire marriage.  God promises that when we make Him our greatest delight, He will give us the desires of our hearts. As long as our desires aren’t purely selfish (James 4:3), we can confidently ask Him for such blessings!

1 John 5:14-15 is God’s promise: Now this is the confidence that you have in Him, that if you ask anything according to His will, He hears you. And if you know that He hears you, whatever you ask, you know that you have the petitions that you have asked of Him.

Yes!  No more worries!  You ask and He gives!  So, like…where’s the guy?

Human nature wants things yesterday.  For example, we wish that the outfit we ordered from the Amazon would arrive tonight.  We want the pizza we ordered to show up on our front step within two seconds.  Now is the key word.  Unfortunately, UPS has to load our orders into a truck that has to be driven miles to deliver that new shirt and skirt to us.  And Pizza Hut has a hard time faxing pizzas.

I John 5:14-15 says that God hears our prayers when we pray.  The moment we placed our order, He sent a message to the warehouse to load up our merchandise with our name on it.  We need to understand, however, that everything we order in life may not always show up for our eyes to see right away.  God may send the answer by fax or e-mail.  He might choose to send it overnight by a FedEx jet.  Or He may choose to make the delivery by snail mail.  Regardless of the speed of delivery, the stuff is still ours.

There’s a time and a season for everything (Ecclesiastes 3:1).  God will never hurt us by sending the answer when the time isn’t right.  Either He may have some people and situations to organize first, or maybe He needs us or the other person to mature before we get into a relationship. What will we do if it doesn’t happen as quickly as we thought it would?

One night as I drove away from a church service, I quietly prayed for a husband.  I hadn’t been very consistent about believing for one in the past, but that night was different.  I had just left a prayer service and I was spiritually sensitive.  Somehow, I just felt that it was time for me to send my petition—seriously—to heaven.  In response to my prayer, I distinctly heard God speak to my heart, “Request granted.”

I know that God heard and answered my prayer that night, but when my dream didn’t come true weeks later at the conference (see “Special Delivery, Part 1” under “Trust” category), doubt crept in for a season and challenged my trust in God’s promise to me.  My head screamed for answers.  Did God mess up somehow?  Or was I just supposed to wait (oh, please, God, no!)?  As God worked me through my doubts, I realized that the whole situation—or at least my immature response to it—was an obstacle sent to stop my faith.

No matter how strong our trust, we will be faced with challenges that come along to break our focus.  Most of the time, the discouraging part is the timing.  It’s the devil’s way of getting our focus off the promise and onto the circumstances around us.  If he can get us discouraged, he can stop our faith.  If he can stop our faith, he can keep us from receiving the answer to our prayers.  But no matter whether it takes a long time or a short time, we still have our answer: God heard and responded with “Yes!”  Like a package in the mail, that response may take some delivery time.  That’s when we have to hang on to the promise and not get discouraged.

My lifeline during this time was verses like these:

. . . that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises  (Hebrews 6:12);

For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise (Hebrews 10:36);

But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing (James 1:4).

Though endurance and patience were hardly favorite words in my vocabulary, a “perfect work” occurred when I put those traits into action.  I didn’t want to fall short when it came to relationships.  I wanted that relationship to be perfect and complete with every part of God’s blessing and goodness.  To see that happen is going to take some patience.

One of Andrea’s (see “Hand It Over” post under “Surrender” category) favorite Bible verses is Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him… (Psalm 37:7).  “Resting” was hard to do while Andrea waited.  In spite of the difficulty, the “resting” that took place when she wrote the poem was the key to God setting things in motion for the desires of her heart to be given to her.

People who are willing to be patient are the ones who see their dreams come to pass.  On the other hand, those who lose patience think the package got lost in the mail and go chasing after it themselves.  Often, the delivery truck is just around the corner.  Sometimes, when the delivery is at the person’s front door, no one is home to receive it.  The impatient person is trying out relationships that were never sent by God, and in the process, miss the delivery of God’s chosen altogether.  Letting patience rule has great rewards if we’re willing to let it have its perfect work!

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