Be patient with God and with yourself. One of life's frustrations is that God's timetable is rarely the same as ours.
We are often in a hurry when God isn't. You may feel frustrated with the seemingly slow progress you're making in life.
Remember that God is never in a hurry, but He is always on time. He will use your entire lifetime to prepare you for your role in eternity.
The Bible is filled with examples of how God uses a long process to develop character, especially in leaders. He took 80 years to prepare Moses, including 40 in the wilderness. For 14,600 days Moses kept waiting and wondering, "Is it time yet?" But God kept saying, "Not yet."
Contrary to popular book titles, there are no Easy Steps to Maturity or Secrets of Instant Sainthood. When God wants to make a giant oak, He takes a hundred years, but when He wants to make a mushroom, He does it overnight.
Great souls are grown through struggles and storms and seasons of suffering. Be patient with the process. James advised, "But let patience perfect its work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing" (James 1:4 MEV).
Don't get discouraged. When Habakkuk became depressed because he didn't think God was acting quickly enough, God had this to say: "For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but it speaks of the end, and does not lie. If it delays, wait for it; it will surely come, it will not delay" (Hab. 2:3 MEV)
Remember how far you've come, not just how far you have to go. You are not where you want to be, but neither are you where you used to be. Years ago people wore a popular button with the letters PBPGINFWMY. It stood for "Please be patient. God is not finished with me yet."
God isn't finished with you, either, so keep on moving forward. Even the snail reached the ark by persevering!
Talk It Over
- What are some lessons you have learned when God has delayed something in your life?
- What do you think God wants you to do when you get discouraged with His timing?
- How can you show patience with others like God is patient with you? How can you encourage people today in their spiritual growth?
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
For the original article, visit pastorrick.org.
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