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Friday, January 19, 2007

Enduring patiently

Have you ever really thought about those two words? Enduring patiently. In my mind, I have a hard time putting them together. Yesterday, our power went out for about six or seven hours during the day and then again during the night. Thankfully we’re not in the middle of an ice storm like so many Americans, but I did have another problem. I’m on a tight book deadline and losing a day of writing. . .well. . .let’s just say I can’t. I typed ferociously until my battery died, then switched to Scott’s laptop, managing to finish most of my goal for the day. With frequent power outages expected to continue across the country, my battery is staying charged now that the power’s back on in anticipation of it going out again.

A power outage won’t be the biggest test of my patience, nor has it been, but it reminded of something God’s been reminding me about lately. Patient endurance. I’m amazed at how many times these two words are used in the New Testament. Over and over we are called to patiently endure trials. It’s a fact I’m reminded of everyday. In Africa, I see difficulties and trials on a daily basis like poverty, AIDS, crime, and corruption. But I know the same is true for people no mater where they live.

I receive a number of prayer requests from various friends and email loops on a daily basis. What I read often brings me to tears at the helplessness in people’s heart wrenching stories. Unemployment, sickness, loss, divorce. . .and the list could go on and on. How can God have simply called us to patiently endure these hardships? What happens when it’s simply too much to endure? There are no easy answers. It’s a topic I often deal with in my books, yet happily-ever-after-endings are too often missing in real life.

In my eyes, Paul was a man of endurance. He seemed to stay strong in his faith whether in prison, sick, or even shipwrecked. Yet I read this morning how he came to the point where he despaired even of life. Things had progressed far beyond even his ability to endure. Then he writes that this happened so that he wouldn’t rely on himself, but on God. (II Cor 1:9)

It was God who delivered Paul from deadly peril.

And he will deliver us!

“On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.” (vs 10-11)

None of us know what the future holds. The Bible says that there will be wars and rumors of wars, but Jesus tells us not to be alarmed. Instead, he calls for “patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God’s commandments and remain faithful to Jesus.” (Rev 14:12)

So whatever your situation is at the moment, “let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful!” Hebrews 10:23

Blessings,


Lisa

2 comments:

  1. Lisa, this was so perfectly timed for me. Last night I was in despair over things...felt completely lost, left behind to God. Forgotten. when I woke up this morning, I knew he'd help me through encouragement like this. So glad yours is the one He used.

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  2. Absolutely wonderful, Lisa. Right on. When I get miserable about something, I feel like God has tossed me into the deep to sink or swim. I who love to encourage others with Scripture and faith tend to panic and feel abandoned when it's me. Yet, I've seen God's wonderful hand in my life so often, when I calmly appraise things. So, I will calmly remember this reminder of yours. "Patient endurance." Thank you, dear one.

    May the Lord keep blessing and using you.

    Hugs and blessings from the cold US.

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