“But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently” (Romans 8:25 NIV).
by Todd Shupe
One of my greatest desires is peace. However, it also can be one of the most elusive. I “postpone” peace until some task is completed. The problem is that some tasks can often go on for years, if not for a lifetime. As I hurriedly try to check items off my “to do” list, more items are added.
A friend recently told me that I should focus on discerning what it is that God wants me to learn, see, or do while waiting for Him to act rather than trying to prayerfully “nudge” Him to move faster. This was God-breathed advice because he was providing me a roadmap to both honor God and find peace. I later read my favorite chapter of the Bible, Romans 8, and was particularly struck by the 25th verse. “But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently” (Romans 8:25).
I shared a recent devotional on patience with a close friend and asked for his comments. I shared with him how I was seeking peace but lacking in patience. He told me that we cannot dwell in peace without some semblance of patience. Perhaps when I am waiting on God, He is waiting on me. Isaiah 30:18 tells us “Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.” I don’t think any of us want to get into a “waiting game” with God. Time is meaningless to God as indicated in 2 Peter 3:8-9. So even though we may be impatient with Him, he remains patient with us.
James 5:7 encourages us to be patient and know that there will be a great harvest. “Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains.”
A lack of patience is a mental, physical, and spiritual drain. This is a fruit of the enemy. This is not what Jesus intended based on John 10:10. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” An abundant life is one in which we wait upon the Lord and renew our strength. We mount up with wings as eagles and run and will not be weary. We walk and will not faint (Isaiah 40:31).
Prayer: Dear God we confess that all too often we seek to do things our way and do not prayerfully consider your will for us. Help us to seek your will in all that we do and to have the courage, confidence, and strength to knowingly wait for you to act at the perfect time and in the perfect manner. We love you, need you, and trust in you. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.
About the Author:
Todd Shupe is the President of DrToddShupe.com and is a well recognized expert on wood-based housing and wood science. Shupe worked as a professor and lab director at LSU for over 20 years. He is active in several ministries including his Christian blog ToddShupe.com. Todd is the Secretary of the Baton Rouge District of United Methodist Men, Database Coordinator for Gulf South Men, and volunteer for the Walk to Emmaus, Grace Camp, Iron Sharpens Iron, Open Air Ministries, HOPE Ministries food pantry. Todd is currently preparing to be a Men’s Ministry Specialist through the General Commission of United Methodist Men.