Two Kinds of Patience

Two Kinds of Patience

There are two basic kinds of patience, active and inactive patience. Inactive patience simply waits on things to happen. Inactive patience thinks, “Well I hope it all works out.” It is like a prisoner waiting out time in a jail cell. “I’m not going to try to escape. I’m not going to try to redeem myself. I’m not going to try to talk to an attorney, even though I may have been put in here unjustly, I’m just going to wait it out.”

Active patience is like a soldier whose focus is victory. He is systematically working toward victory. This person endures all the difficulties that are required to capture the situation. Whatever it takes to accomplish the task, active patience will pursue. This active patience gets the job done.

Have you ever heard this statement: “Well I’m just waiting on the Lord.” That phrase can be used with either kind of patience. It can be an inactive patience, “I’m just going to sit on my front porch and do nothing, slowly. I will wait, hoping something happens.” But you see waiting on God is not inactivity. Waiting on God is pursuing the last thing He told you to do and doing it with all your heart and soul until you receive a new direction from Him. In Jesus’ brief ministry on earth, He did not sit around and wonder what to do next. Jesus actively pursued the will of God as the Father let Him know what to do. His waiting on God was not like sitting and waiting out a term in prison. It was rather like a soldier who is actively pursuing the orders of his commander. Jesus was not going to go in any new direction until God gave Him a new direction.”

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.

Hebrews 12:1

That is not inactivity. It is actively pursuing the last instruction God gave you.

…looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12:2

Jesus completed His mission. He fulfilled it completely. He pursued us with the power of patience. It kept Him focused and on task. This focus of Christ would lead Him to the cross and He would not turn back from it. It took patience to go through it. He had to live with twelve men who did not completely understand Him. He had to suffer. He had to go through the pain. But impatience did not take Him there. Patience took Him there.

Does the patience of Christ rule your heart?

**Adapted from the book, The Christian Life: A Human Impossibility. Copyright 2013.

What Is My Problem?

What Is My Problem?

“What is my problem? Why can’t I change to be better? I need help! If I could just find out what the issue is, then I would know what to do to get better!” Ever had these questions and thoughts? All of us need a refresher on this subject. In fact, this article is essential reading for anyone who is serious about overcoming anxiety, stress, and frustration. Let’s first set the context by considering this passage from Proverbs:

Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones. (Proverbs 3:7-8)

One of our responsibilities as Christians is to be witnesses to weary travelers who are trying to use human resources to deal with sin. The collapse of family life and the escalation of dishonesty, stealing, violence, crime, physical and sexual abuse speaks for itself. Our world needs a good dose of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Who Can I Turn Too?

Many in our day wonder whether their problem can be solved by spending time in the solitude of some peaceful place or whether they must see their doctor for medical help. Christian’s minds are confused by the constant magazine articles, newspaper clippings, and news reports that claim a cure to the monotony of life. They wonder whether their problem is physical, emotional, or spiritual. Where do they turn when everyone is claiming to have the answer?

Am I depressed? Am I A.D.D.? Do I have a chemical imbalance? Why am I so dissatisfied with life? Can somebody help me? These are the questions that I hear every week as people consult me looking for peace.

Can the biblical counselor be so bold as to claim that the Scriptures have all the answers they are looking for? Maybe a person they counsel started with a sin problem but now has a physical problem too. Now what?

Counselors trained in methods that do not use biblical guidance seem to think God is not the answer. Family members are tired of going to secular and Christian counselors and churches looking for help but coming up empty. Who really has the answer?

Is Jesus Really The Answer?

Jesus has the answer but many are so disoriented to a relationship with Him that they can’t seem to find Him. For every born-again believer, He is available twenty-four hours a day yet many cannot sense His presence. How do they get back in tune with Him? IF they do, will Jesus solve their problem? Can Jesus deal with physical issues or is He just interested in your spiritual condition? If your problem is physical, what do you do next?[Continue Reading]

A Gentle Spirit

A Gentle Spirit

A gentile spirit is not often observed in our day. Many have harsh spirits displayed openly to all. Do you have a long or a short fuse? It is rare that a person remains gentle every hour of every day. When a believer is harsh and disgruntled it is not because the fruit of the Spirit is not available–it is because he/she is walking in the flesh. You can either walk in the Spirit or walk in the flesh, but you cannot do both at the same time.

Have you ever been to Disney World? It is proclaimed as the happiest place on earth! My wife and I were visiting there and observed many families. They were supposed to be happy in this happiest place on earth. While watching those families we discovered that not everyone was happy. Many of them had short fuses. Their wonderful environment did not seem to have a positive effect on their negative spirit.

Obvious problems in the visiting families of the happiest place on earth needed to be addressed. Yet, to address a problem does not mean it is a painless experience. Suppose I have a splinter in my hand and I ask you to remove the splinter. The use of a needle to help extract the splinter would be helpful. A needle is not gentle, but I hope that in the process of using the needle you will be gentle. You cannot ignore a splinter. The pain continually reminds you of its presence. Hopefully you can find someone with a gentle hand to help you. Some things in our personal lives are also not pleasant to deal with, but need help.

Have you noticed how people can sound gentle with part of their statement and then slam you with the rest of their statement? Many famous people have made humorous quotes that illustrate this backhanded gentleness. Notice these examples:

• Abraham Lincoln said, of a man he didn’t care for, “He can press the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know.” He may have said it gentle but the message was not very gentle.

• Winston Churchill remarked, “That man has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.”

• William Faulkner said, about Ernest Hemingway, “He’s never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.”

• Oscar Wilde stated, “He has no enemies but is intensely disliked by his friends.”

• Steven Bishop said this, “I feel so miserable without you it’s almost like having you here.”

• Groucho Marx said, “You’ve got the brain of a four-year-old boy and I bet he was glad to get rid of it.”

Sometimes our intention is to be gentle, but we say the wrong things. Gentleness reveals a long fuse. Endurance of a difficult situation with a gentle spirit helps calm a situation. A gentle spirit produced by God’s Spirit has no harshness, even in the intent of the spoken word or in the atmosphere left in a room. Ask God to help you improve your consistency of walking in His Spirit so that gentleness increases.

But the fruit of the Spirit is…gentleness…

Galatians 5:23

*Adapted from The Christian Life: A Human Impossibility by Kerry L. Skinner 

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