Daily Devotional

Patience, and God's Unfolding Plan

by Simon Whitton

7 Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord's coming.  See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains.
8 You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord's coming is near.
9 Don't grumble against each other, brothers, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!
10 Brothers, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.
11 As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job's perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.

James 5:7-11 (NIV)

Have you ever watched a movie on fast-forward?  It's not very enjoyable and you won't understand what's going on, it is frustrating.  Yet this is often how we view our own lives.  We are trying to live our lives at the wrong speed; wanting to rush to the next scene before we have even understood the one we are in.

If you want to enjoy a movie, you have to sit back and watch it at the speed its creator intended.  Only then will you begin to appreciate the amazing cinematography, the cast of characters, the depths of tragedy and moments of joy, and the plot as it unfolds according to the design of the director.

God has the storyboard of your life all mapped out.  He has all the scenes in mind, knows each of the cast of characters intimately, and has the plot slowly working towards an incredible ending.  But for us to really appreciate this, for us to enjoy and understand our life, requires we sit back and view our life at the speed God intended.  God's speed is 'patience'.  This is the speed with which God sees us, and it's through His eyes that we should see ourselves.

This is not only true for our own lives, but also for those around us.  It's important that we view others with the same patience that God does.  If we would be like Christ, whether in our inward life or in our dealings with other people, we must grasp patience.  Then we will gain Godly insight into life.

What is it in your life that causes you to reach for the remote?  What is it that you want to fast forward through to the next scene?  It is probably suffering or difficulty of some sort, perhaps boredom or apparent delay.  Whatever it is, resist the temptation to skip right to next scene.  There is purpose for this event in your story.  Trust God that it will all make sense in the end.

Patience is a lot like faith.  Without it, your life will be a constant source of frustration.  Exercising patience is not much different to exercising faith, and like faith, it will eventually yield a valuable crop.

Pray for patience, for the ability to persevere through suffering, to see your life from God's perspective.  Pray that God might give you patience for others.  Look forward to what the Lord will finally bring about, for He is full of compassion and mercy.

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