Recently I was engaged in an online conversation that reminded me of something, and I thought I’d share it today. I preface that this online conversation was with someone I don’t think is one of my readers, so if you think I’m talking about you I’m not.
This individual was getting frustrated at the appearance of doors closing in their life and many were recommending that the person find a window and go through it. I of course came back with the “keep banging on the door eventually the person behind it will get annoyed and open it.” While we all have our moments of frustration, and I would be a hypocrite if I said I didn’t, I wanted to talk about this for a moment.
We’ve become a society that is focused on the now. We aren’t looking at the long term but only the short term. We want it now, but really we wanted it 10 minutes ago. We’re a fast-food fast-paced culture, which really resents anyone else not being that way. This concept can be found throughout our Western thinking. I personally think that we’ve become a culture so brainwashed that everything has to happen now for us that we’re loosing the concept of patience and endurance. Even writing styles have changed over the course of the last 100 years. As a writer we’re instructed to keep it short and sweet because it keeps the pace of the piece going quickly. I’m thoroughly convinced some of the great classics would never be published today because of how long and wordy they were. I don’t claim to not be affected by this. . .I have a very hard time reading the classics because it feels like your reading in thick mud. They take too long. Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for Carpe Diem. Seize your days because they are short on this earth. Live your life at every moment as if it could be your last.
However if you haven’t noticed by now, the kingdom of God is full of balances. While sometimes it appears things happen suddenly, even suddenlies are prepared for years in advance. Jesus was prophesied about 100’s of years before he came on the earth. Even though “suddenly” Joseph was raised from the pit to the palace, he’d had a dream about what God had told him about 14-15 years earlier. David was anointed to be king over Israel, and I don’t know how long it was but it was over 10 years before he ever stepped in that role. Moses was forty years in Egypt, 40 years in exile, and 40 years in the wilderness. I took Noah and his sons 100 years to build the ark. The second coming of Jesus has been prophesied for centuries, and it will happen, but we’ve been waiting now for over 2000 years.
I was 16 when God put some things on my heart for my life. Soon I’ll be at the 16 year mark for me, and while I’ve seen some beginning signs I’m far from where I know God has purposed for me one day.
People, we are so funny. When things don’t happen when we think they should often times we get frustrated and grumpy. I’ve personally found myself acting that way to God and those around me who love me. We don’t understand why things aren’t happening when we think they should.
If you do a word search in the Bible on the phrase “appointed time” you’ll find several hits. God is very particular about the timing of things. While He loves his children and wants the best for them, sometimes we’ll be uncomfortable in the process. God needs to get us to where He needs us to be, both physically and spiritually. Perseverance is never something people like to talk about. Romans 5:1-4 (NIV) says, “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. “ James 1:3 (New International Version) says, “because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” Matthew 24:13 (NKJV)”But he who endures to the end shall be saved.”
I always love the quote and I don’t know who said it, but it’s “With perseverance the snail reached the ark!” You have to stick in this thing called faith for the long haul. God doesn’t promise you it will be easy, but He does promise you that you’ll get there if you stick it out. Revelation 21:7 (NKJV) says, “He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.”
If you are standing and believing for God to do certain things in your life I promise you living in a place of frustration isn’t going to get you there. God doesn’t move because you’re frustrated. He moves because you dare to believe Him. He moves because you rise up in faith and stand on the promise of what He told you, even when it takes longer than when you think it should.
Shake off the bondage of frustration today!!! The Bible says Philippians 4:6 (NKJV) says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;”
Commit in your heart that you are in this for the long run. You push forward to what you know God has called you to on this life. You seize the day in one hand and in the other grab tight to the peace and victory of the Lord. God has plans for you, and as Kim Clement always says, “You’re somewhere in the future and you look much better than you look right now!”