Last time we talked about how our perspective can make us believe we are stuck in a season of waiting, and how dangerous waiting can be to our faith, our purpose, and our confidence.
This week, we’re diving deeper because a change of perspective is helpful, but there is so much we can miss if all we do is get to the point of believing that it’s just not God’s time yet.
Waiting isn’t idle.
In fact, I’m convinced that idleness in a season of waiting usually extends the waiting. God doesn’t make us wait for no reason. He does nothing without a purpose.
Which brings us to a question:
Why the wait?
Well, let's just start here - it could be so many things. We may as well acknowledge that there is no 12-point list that would cover it.
There is one common theme I see show up over and over and over again.
Oh, if you’ve been with me for a while you know that I have had a love-hate relationship with perseverance and patient endurance.
It’s just no fun! Developing perseverance requires pain and challenge and a lot of moments or situations or circumstances that we would not pick for ourselves to walk through. But nowhere in the bible does it say that life will be all rainbows and unicorns or that we deserve a life that is easy and happy all the time.
(It legit doesn’t - and that’s part of the problem with people not reading their bibles. They get pulled into a wormhole of culture that promises them that the "universe has their back" or whatever other nonsense makes them feel good. And while I recognize this is a total sidenote, I’ve been so fired up about this lately that I want to share a verse I read recently about it:
“For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their ears are itching to hear. They will turn away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” (2 Tim 4:3-4 NIV)
But I digress...)
Part of the point of waiting is so that God can build in us an ability to withstand trials. Because there will be trials. There will be “suck”. There will be hardship and pain. And those all have the potential to derail our faith, or pull us away from God completely. You better believe that's what the enemy is prowling around looking for.
But hold up - it’s not just about withstanding trials and keeping from backsliding or getting pulled into a pit.
Perseverance comes with a promise.
And that promise is Hope.
Paul talks about this in his letter to the Romans - perseverance produces character in us and character produces hope (see Romans 5). And James reiterates the same:
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
(James 1:4 NIV)
I don’t know about you, but I fight the idea of finding joy in facing trials.
That’s natural - our humanity doesn’t like it. BUT - think about this. The promise is that we get hope, and that we will not lack anything.
We won’t lack joy.
We won’t lack peace.
We won’t lack wisdom.
Fruit of the Spirit things.
This isn’t a statement to support prosperity gospel!
“Go through struggle and then you’ll be rich!”
Um…. no… I mean, maybe - having wisdom and living it out, and following God’s principles about money may lead you there, but that’s not the intention behind this promise.
The intention is that we know we will live a life filled with Hope. And let's just bible bounce here for a minute - those who HOPE in the Lord will renew their strength (Isaiah 40:31 NIV). WILL renew. Not might renew.
Hope reinforces our faith.
And Hope is contagious.
In our search for purpose, we have to remember that we have shared purpose. Love God and love people. And in loving people, we share a calling to be a city on a hill, a light in the darkness, a blessing to the world. We do that by sharing hope. Hope is what everyone is searching for, even if they can’t put words to it. Hope for wholeness, hope for redemption, hope for life without pain…
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
(Romans 13:15 NIV)
Perseverance leads us to overflowing hope
So hold on. Hold on to your faith.
Hold on to God’s promises.
Hold on to your dreams that He has confirmed.
Hold on and don’t let go, fixing your eyes on Jesus.
Grace, peace, and power,