The Joy of Practicing Peaceful Patience

Whoever gives attention to the Lord’s word prospers, and blessed is the person who trusts the Lord.

Proverbs 16:20 GW

The Lord is the one who directs a person’s steps. How then can anyone understand his own way?

Proverbs 20:24 GW

Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Ephesians 3:20‭-‬21 NRSV

Who said waiting on the Lord to return was easy?

How are we supposed to live abundant lives in the interim?

Well, you got to live in the present moment.

Forget the past.

Don’t future trip.

Do you want to know the secret to living in the moment?

Would you like to walk in love, peace and joy all of your days?

How about knowing how to conquer anxiety and worry?

There’s a one step process to freedom that’s freely available to everyone that believes.

What is it?

I’m glad you asked.

It’s called casting all your cares upon the Lord.

What does that look like?

Trusting God.

It’s hard to physically see what trusting God looks like, but the fruits are readily observed.

It’s a quiet confidence.

It’s an unshakable faith in times of trouble.

It’s a peace and joy that surpasses all understanding.

Understanding is great.

But sometimes, things happen that we don’t understand.

And given the nature of God and the nature of man, it’s guaranteed that our limited human minds can’t fully comprehend what God is doing all the time.

There’s freedom in humility.

I had a very capable and good looking friend who struggled with pride.

He would remind himself often, “God’s world, God’s rules.”

God doesn’t play favorites.

We are all held accountable to the same rules.

So trust God and obey His instructions.

Some people are naturally rebellious.

I think we call them human beings.

They want to do what they want to do.

I understand that, but it doesn’t make it right.

If you struggle with obeying God, think of it this way: you get to choose.

He doesn’t force you to obey Him.

Just like the police can’t force you to obey traffic laws.

All they can do is encourage you to obey them and punish you when you break them.

Fear of punishment is one way to motivate correct behavior.

That’s called negative reinforcement.

Rewarding correct behavior is called positive reinforcement.

That’s usually how you train dogs.

Do this and you get a treat.

Dogs are eager to please.

And the treats keep them motivated.

Where am I going with this?

We’re not so unlike man’s best friend.

But in this case, God is our master and we’re like dumb animals in his presence.

Do what He says and you’ll be blessed.

You don’t have to understand or agree.

You just have to obey.

Sit. Stay. Good boy.

I’m oversimplifying to make a point.

You get to make your own decisions.

Or, at least, you are held responsible for all the decisions you do make.

I recommend acknowledging the Lord in all your ways.

To follow Jesus means that you let Him guide you.

Have a decision to make?

Bring it to the Lord in prayer.

He’ll never steer you wrong.

Think about that.

There’s someone who will never give you bad advice.

His name is Jesus.

So commit all your ways to God.

You will be blessed.

And remember this one thing:

You have to let go before God can take it.

Drop it.

Good boy.

Now, fetch!

The next instruction.

Grace be with you this day, my friends.

And may God richly reward your obedience to do His will.

Amen.

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