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Patient in Affliction

February 5, 2008

Romans 12:12,

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”

 

In one of my previous posts I wrote about what I have learned about this first part of the verse, “joyful in hope“.  God has also spoke to me concerning the second half of this verse, “patient in affliction”.  I understand what it means, but when I first read this verse to be “patient in affliction” seemed like such a far off place for me to be.  I understood that as a believer, in my life I am guaranteed to be faced with affliction.  How I respond to affliction shows the depth of my love for God. This was really disheartening to me to realize this because my response to affliction, trials, difficult days was not a response that pleases the Lord.

As I thought about how we should respond to affliction my thoughts turned toward 2 men in the Old Testament.  First Job came into my thoughts.  He is known for his patience during unbelievable circumstances.

He lost his children, his livestock, his health and yet he never cursed God.  Scripture tells us that Job was “blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil.”  He was not a bad person, he loved God and lived his life to God’s glory.  So when his life fell apart if anyone had a reason to say, “I don’t deserve this, this is not fair!  It was Job.  But, he didn’t do that.  He knew that his God loved him deeply and even if he never gained back all that he lost he would always love his God.  Do I love that deeply?  Can I be as patient as Job?  Can I say, “If you take it all away, I will still love you & live for you.” ?  I really can’t honestly answer that.  I would like to think that I could, but I don’t know.  I know that my family has lost things that we once thought were great, but now looking back, we see that they were not so great.  So there was really no loss.  Job experienced great loss and yet he remained patient in his affliction and God restored all that he had lost and blessed him twice as much.

 

Next I began to think about Joseph, found in the book of Genesis.  He was the 11th son of Jacob.  His brothers were very jealous of him as he held the favor of his father.  They sold him into slavery where he ended up in Egypt.  His father Jacob was a godly man.  Though his sons were not as upright as he was, God still used them to build his Israel.  But God set Joseph a part from the rest for a very special plan.  After Joseph had been sold into slavery he was sent to be a servant in the house of the Captian of the guard.  This was a great start for Joseph, until Potiphars wife decided that she wanted him for herself.  She was a very deceptive women and had the trust of her husband.  She lied to him saying that Joseph tried to take her to bed and Joseph was sent to prison.  He stayed there for 2 years.  Genesis 39:21 says, “while Joseph was in prison, the Lord showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes or the prison warden.”  It says over and over that the Lord was with Joseph…in prison.

So, I’m thinking that if I am Joseph, I would just want out of there.  I don’t want to have a job in prison as a  prisoner.  I want out of prison.  But, Joseph never asked God to get him out of prison.  He was there for 2 years.  He had a lot of time to think about himself and his God.  He was stuck here in this pagan land and his God was all that he had.  He could either believe that his God would deliver him, or he could just try to believe in his self.  He could be patient in his affliction or he could try to figure out a way out…his way.

 

The deeper in my walk with Christ I get the more aware I am of the reality that no matter the reason for the affliction, my patience and trust in the midst of it teaches me more about the greatness of my God than anything else.  Learning to embrace my suffering rather than trying to run away from it brings me into a deeper understanding of the sovereignty of my God. 

 I am blessed when I am patient in my afflictions. I experience my God in ways that I would not if I did not choose this reponse.  I am loved by the God of Job and the God of Joseph who never left them, but prospered them because of the their trust and love of Yahweh. 

 Father, Forgive me for my inpatience in my afflictions.  Forgive me for wanting relief.  Help me to keep my heart searching for your truth and hope.  I want to be joyful in hope and patient in my afflictions.  Thank you for your patience with me and your deep love that brings me hope every new day you allow me to experience.

 

 

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Jesus_saves permalink
    July 23, 2008 10:27 am

    The Lord reminds us in the bible that He knows whats best.

    Isaiah 55: 8 “ For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
    Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD.
    9 “ For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    So are My ways higher than your ways,
    And My thoughts than your thoughts.

    With this assurance we can pick ourselves up and continue the day, knowing that when we pray we have been heard and God will turn things around for our own good. Even when it appears we are losing the battle we can rest on the promises for we know we have not come this far by our own strength, for it is He who carries us and fights the enemy for us. Our deliverance comes in standing in faith knowing that we are waiting on the one and only true Mighty God.

    2 Cronicles 20 : 17 You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you.’ “

  2. koen permalink
    September 27, 2008 4:22 pm

    I can relate so well to the struggle to find solitude, especially in a home with 7 children. My introvert personality has always been one that needed some time for meditation and solitude. Over time I have learned to go without it as much or in the way that i was use to before children. The struggle to MAKE the time was compounded with what do I put off doing? Nothing I do during the day is wasteful or unnecessary. We school, do laundry, continually do dishes throughout and sweep, cook supper, try to spend some time with the children… its not like I am sewing (which i would like to do), watching movies, or doing my nails! (which i have none)

    I was also used to being able to have Bible study in the mornings (early) for at least an hour. As time went on and more children came that became more and more rare. The last 4 children being close together meant I hadnt slept for 4 years through the night. (I am sure others experiences are more difficult in this area-) But what I am trying to say is that God has graciously shown me and helped me come to terms with the fact that my time with Him does not have to be ‘this one way’. It was so norm for me and so ingrained in my head that you must rise at the crack of dawn and spend hours with Him to be ready to face the day. Well, that would be nice but it isn’t reality for this season of my life. God looks at our heart and I very strongly believe it is our heart He wants. So if we rise giving Him our first thought, breath in prayer and then continue the day in fellowship with Him, praying about everything, calling out to Him when we are stressed or facing a challenge, that is where our relationship is. If we spend time in His word in the afternoon or night, that is fine. It is not a sin to not have a time with Him in the morning. What He cares the most amount is our walking with Him, worshiping Him throughout the day. Yes our minds get distracted and busy, but as soon as they are freed from that algebra problem or reading the recipe…turn them back towards Him. Pray the verse you read that day. Talk to Him as your friend. That is the relationship and practicing His presence in our life.

    I think another thing as i read your article is that our children are part of that process He uses to teach us and grow us. Even or especially in the frustrations and challenges they bring. We are being refined and our responses in those situations more clearly reveal where we are in the Lord.

    Yes we definitely need to be with the Lord in His Word, but sometimes we need to be more open to how and when being with Him is carried out. We get so caught up on one way, and it is not always the only way. ( I want to make it clear here that I am not saying to not be in Gods word but the time we are in Gods word is not what is written in stone) God is not bound by our perceptions of the way things ought to be. I say all that because this is where I was, and I felt trapped because of my inability to live up to the way I expected things should be (time with Him) He showed me 1) what I just wrote above and 2) He can take the few minutes of heartfelt seeking Him I might get in the bathroom with a short devotion (which I tenderly named my ‘manna minutes’) than if I out of duty read a chapter in the morning half asleep or in a rush.
    A nugget of gold is worth more than a heap of stone. (myquote)

    God is so good to break the chains we often tie ourselves in. He is so beautiful to want such an intimate relationship with us. Praise Him
    Psalm 31:19 He has treasures stored up for us, we just need to turn to Him
    Psalm 34 is a great reminder to magnify Him not the difficulties we face
    Blessings-
    Koen

  3. Emebet permalink
    January 2, 2009 11:17 am

    God bless your ministry.

  4. January 6, 2010 5:52 am

    I enjoyed reading this stuff. It was all very good. It taught me that when things get tough, God hasn’t necessarily turned His back on you. Perhaps, in the end, it is all to glorify Him. When we go through tough times, God may also use the bad for good. Overcoming evil with good? Yep.

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