Developing Fortitude and Patience with God’s Plan

Patience |

We are children of God, and much like children, we can find waiting on God very trying. Not knowing or understanding God’s ultimate plan can make us impatient. It is easy to forget that we can only see part of God’s plan; the windows we are given are still partially veiled. We are called to trust in God and wait patiently for His plan to unfold. The Bible is filled with stories of believers who waited for His plan to unfold for years, even decades, and struggled during the process.

Fortunately, we have been given plenty of Biblical examples of Christ-like patience. Consider these stories of Biblical forbearance and patience in the face of tribulations. They may put that bad day at work into perspective.

Abraham: Can anyone have waited as long as Abraham for their heart’s desire? God’s promise to Abraham that he would be the father to many nations seemed impossible. Imagine waiting, year after year and never even being blessed with a child! Finally, when Abraham’s wife was 90 and he was 100, God blessed them with a son, Isaac.

Esther: With the ear of a spy and the patience of a saint, Esther waited with fortitude. First she waited to be chosen as Queen in a palace of unbelievers; then later, she waited for the opportune moment to save her people from those meaning to destroy them. Her patience and cunning not only saved her family and people, but also led to the king’s trust and future protection of the Hebrews.

Job: A story so familiar to us that to extort someone’s longsuffering, we say he or she has “the patience of Job.” To prove that Job was God’s faithful servant, God allowed Satan to destroy Job’s life completely. Job lost his property, farm animals, and servants. Most devastatingly, he lost all his children. Even through tragedy, Job never doubted his faith in God, and patiently trusted God’s plan for his life.

In all of these stories, God’s aims for His children eventually unfolded. Perhaps what is most difficult is that we aren’t given a timeline for God’s plan for our lives. We must wait patiently, like Job, Esther, Abraham, and many others.

Waiting can be a challenge, especially if we live in less-than-ideal circumstances. Consider that there are two ways to wait on God: actively and passively. Passively waiting is just that, waiting, hoping, and sitting around until something happens. Actively waiting, on the other hand, means being expectant and looking for God in every part of your life. Expect the promise of something good.

Think about Paul and Silas in prison. They are so busy singing and praying that they hardly notice their chains had fallen away. They expected God to save them, and instead of sitting on the cell floor waiting for a miracle, they waited for the miracle they assumed was coming, and the whole time praised God for it – before it even happened!

Remember, God’s plan for us is bigger than what we can see. Trust in Him with patience and forbearance, and He will guide us.

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