August 10, 2020
Hanging on When It Feels Like God is Holding Out
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"But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience." Romans 8:25 (ESV)
I heard the clanking crash and mournful wail before I reached the kitchen. I didn't need to see my daughter's forlorn face or the fragments of shattered porcelain scattered across my dirty tile floor to guess what had happened.
Fifteen minutes earlier, my daughter had raced into the laundry room dressed in a shiny purple princess gown. Her plan spilled out in a rush of words and excited squeals. She'd prepared a tea party for her sisters, complete with homemade placemats and their favorite snacks. She'd adorned her teddy bear with poppy-bead pearls and had turned her snuggly pink blanket into an opulent tablecloth. "All I need now is the special tea set, Mom," she'd said. "Could you come help me?"
The special tea set was a vintage ceramic teapot with four dainty cups and matching saucers. Housed on the highest shelf in the kitchen cupboard, it added a touch of "fancy fun" to ordinary childhood play.
"I'll get the tea set for you when I'm finished with the laundry," I'd promised.
"OK!" my girl had said with a grateful curtsy. "I'll be in the kitchen ..."
Sure enough, it was in the kitchen where I found my daughter sobbing over the wreckage at her feet.
"I'm sorry, Mom," she cried. "I got tired of waiting, and I wondered if you were gonna keep your promise." She dropped her head into her palms as she surveyed the shards all around her. "I wish I'd just been patient," she murmured.
I handed my daughter a tissue and reached for the broom. We would discuss her impatience when the tears were dry, but for now, the Lord was using fragments of a fancy tea set to remind me of a lesson I desperately needed: Faith without patience falls short.
My little girl wanted to trust my word, but without patience, she didn't have the fortitude to wait for its fulfillment.
As I swept the slivers of shattered porcelain into a pile, I recognized myself in the impetuous tea-party planner.
At first, I too am prone to trust God's Word. I believe if He says it, He will do it, as Hebrews 10:23 says: "Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise" (NLT). But trusting God to keep His promises requires more than just confidence; it demands endurance as well.
Maybe that's why God's Word reminds us over and over again that faith and patience are partners. One without the other can leave us dangling in discouragement.
Faith gives us the moxie to trust God's Word, and patience gives us the mettle to trust His timing.
In today's key verse, the Apostle Paul writes, "But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience" (Romans 8:25).
The original word in this verse for "patience" is hypomone. It paints the picture of a person holding on, persevering and refusing to give up. I once heard a pastor describe this particular kind of patience as "hang-in-there power."
Patience is what keeps us holding on when it seems like God is holding out.
Patience is what keeps God's mysterious timing from becoming our faith's undermining.
Waiting on God isn't easy, but with patience, it is possible.
I don't know what you're waiting on today, but I know God's Word can be trusted. So, hang in there, dear friend. Keep believing! On the other side of your wait is a promise fulfilled. And when your eyes see what your faith has believed, there will be reason to celebrate.
Dear Jesus, I'm growing weary in the wait. Please increase my patience and grow my faith. Give me courage to keep trusting You and tenacity to cling to Your promises. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Psalm 27:14, "Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!" (ESV)
Hebrews 6:12, "... so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises." (ESV)
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Visit Alicia Bruxvoort at her blog today for more encouragement and a free printable to help you persevere in the wait.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
What promise are you waiting on God to fulfill right now? Share with us in the comments, and pray for the person who commented before you! Invite a friend to pray for you - and together, let's ask the Lord for a fresh surge of "hang-in-there-power."
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