Saturday, January 21, 2006

Patience in Light of the Blessed Hope

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience..."
Galatians 5:22a

"...let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfector of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:1b-2

One of the fruits of contemplating the blessed hope of Titus 2:13 is that of patience. If this world is all we will have, then why would we not want it all now? How a materialist lives is very logical if indeed this life is all we have.

But it's not. The blessed hope tells us there is more then just this brief life. There is an eternity to come, an eternity to be spent with God in a fully redeemed creation, or to be spent apart from God alone in ones own bitterness and selfishness. The hope of a redeemed resurrection body and a redeemed creation and a redeemed relationship with God through Jesus Christ and redeemed relationships with one another means we can be patient. We don't have to be in a hurry to get it all now.

Jesus is our example of being patient in light of our blessed hope. It was for the joy set before Him that He endured. The point in Hebrews is that in like manner we are to imitate Him and endure by remembering the joy set before us, ie- our blessed hope.

What does this mean?

- I can be patient with the providence of God. Whatever the momentary trial, better days are coming. Yes, this is just another more polite way of saying I can be patient with God. Remember Job?

- I can be patient in dealing with others, especially fellow Christians. Yes they are not perfect, but neither am I, but one day we both will be, so I can wait until then to see God's plan for that person perfected. This has special implication for family relationships.

- I can be more patient with myself. It's not about me and what I do or don't do. It's about what Jesus Christ has done and will do on my behalf. It's about His grace alone, and one day the desires of my heart as related in the previous post, will be fulfilled.

Praise be to God!

~ The Billy Goat ~

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