Wednesday, February 5, 2020 -
Patience, waiting on the Lord, and endurance are common themes in Scripture. We find them over and over again, both in the Old Testament and the New Testament.
The Apostle Paul in I Corinthians 10 writes about the Israelites’ immorality and idolatry while they grew impatient waiting for Moses while God was giving him the law on Mount Sinai. “The people sat down to eat and drink and stood up to play” (I Corinthians 10:7). Elsewhere Paul wrote, “For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope; now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus” (Romans 15:4-5).
Okay, so we find ourselves faced with having to wait upon the Lord. This is when we are tested in the most significant ways. Do we persevere and delve into Scriptures for encouragement as Paul tells us to do? Or do we yield to the temptation and do as the Israelites did – eat, drink, and play, giving up on God and putting other things before Him? Perhaps we’re tempted to delve into TV or movie binge-watching, or video/computer games. In this day and time, the options are too numerous to mention, alcohol, drugs, and sex/pornography being among the most prominent, not unlike what the Israelites did as they failed in their impatience.
Paul links patience in with righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness (I Timothy 6:11, Galatians 5:22-23, Hebrews 6:11-12). He says we should “glory in tribulations also; knowing that tribulation worketh patience” (Romans 5:3 KJV). When we are patient, it means we are waiting on the Lord. “He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength, they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will work and not become weary” (Isaiah 40:29-30). “Therefore return to your God, observe kindness and justice, and wait for your God continually” (Hosea 12:6).
And with waiting on the Lord comes great promises and blessings! “How blessed is he who keeps waiting” (Daniel 12:12). “Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his own way, because of the man who carries out wicked sickness. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; do not fret, it leads only to evildoing. For evildoers will be cut off, but those who wait for the Lord will inherit the land” (Psalm 37:7-9).