In the past two days, we have been talking about a typical challenge that a lot of believers face towards the end of the year, as they look despondently
over their "yet to be answered" prayer list, wondering how much longer they can wait or have to endure before something breaks.
For some, this list contains some long standing petitions and requests that may even be from many years past.
On Monday, Jesus in Luke 18:1 tells us to always pray and not to lose heart. This admonition as many will bear witness to, when we are faced with delays
to our prayers and enduring obstacles that prevent them from being answered, becomes a very hard road to navigate; indeed, we read from Proverbs
13:12 yesterday, that when hope is delayed, the heart is made sick.
Today's bible reading picks up the slack, and gives us an interesting insight as to how we can stay strong in the midst of waiting —
Count it all joy — See it as an opportunity to rejoice!
Count it all joy when things are falling apart around me, when I'm waiting for some miracle to deliver the money to meet my mortgage or rent payment
as the deadline for payment looms? When I can't fix the car or pay my kid's school fees, when I have challenges with my children or suffering
from persistent health issues?
James's recommendation to us is—
"My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials" James 1:2
How is that even possible? Do I live in a state of oblivious denial and ignore my challenges or pretend that they are not really happening?
But James wants you to know something, going on to say more that will help us to achieve this objective —
"knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience." James 1:3
You know that your faith is being tested.
You know that this testing is not meant to break you, but to make you.
You know that this testing is meant to produce patience in you.
Now, let's look at that word "patience".
Patience — The capacity to accept or tolerate delay, problems or suffering, without becoming annoyed or anxious.
It is from the Greek word hupomonē, that means cheerful or hopeful endurance.
In the English derivative of the word, patience has its root in the Latin word "pati", which means to suffer or endure, and directly
from Latin "patientia", which means patience, endurance, submission; that is where the term "patient" comes from — a noun which is used to describe
someone who is receiving or registered to receive medical treatment in hospital.
In summation, "Patience" literally means "quality of suffering", but also "firm, unyielding, hard". So in essence, what James is saying in today's
text, is for you to see your challenges as opportunities for victory and your tests as the making of testimonies that will cause you to rejoice
in the end!
Knowing this, we are able to remain firm in our resolve, unyielding to temptation and hardened against the buffeting the enemy has designed to
crush our hope or destroy our faith as we wait.
James concludes by saying in Jas 1:4—
"But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing."
Pastor Wale Ola
What is God saying to me in today's message?
What was ministered to me in the bible verses that I read today?
What are the changes or adjustments I need to make in my life to align with the word of God?
What is my commitment to the word for today?
What practical steps can I take to benefit from the word I have read today?
Memory Verse: 2 Corinthians 1:20
"For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us." NKJV
Dear Heavenly Father, I pray that You will work in me both to will and to do that which pleases You. Please help me to remain steadfast and resolute
in my faith as I wait on You; precious Holy Spirit, please fill my heart with joy that comes from knowing that God is able to perfect all that
He has promised to do in my life. Amen