Ladies, have you ever considered the impact that a faithful and godly life carries? Did you ever consider the power that God has granted you as a Christian woman in your home, within your church, throughout your community? Last week, the Lord reminded me how very important my understanding and level of patience displayed toward others really is... How my own tone/temper and choice of words can greatly affect those I know, and especially how they see Jesus at work in me.
I am certain that how we choose to react to difficult circumstances in our daily walk displays a direct reflection of our heart attitude toward Christ and thus offers the most transparent and truest testimony available to others as to what we really believe about God.
Let's face it, when everything is going our way, patience and kindness toward others is easy to produce. But when things rub us wrong... when we are treated unfairly... when we feel taken advantage of, unheard, disregarded, or worse... then it is most difficult to be kind to others and to maintain a patience that mirrors our Savior's love.
Rather, our natural response is usually about justifying our own actions, rights and boundaries. In such circumstances, our instincts default into impatience... causing us to mistrust and become irritable. Then, some of us respond by attacking others merely for the sake of pointing out how right we surely are. Some of us fall into pity parties and question God's protection and plan for our lives by crying out, "Why Me?" Many of us forget that patience is a fruit of the Holy Spirit that should actively be pursued and prayed for as we seek to live like Jesus. Instead we forget His Holy LOVE altogether and focus on what we feel is FAIR for our SELF. We then fall victim to the snares of the devil and accept our own prison of depression, stress, anger, frustration, and pride... all things that are clearly NOT of our Lord. So, how can we maintain and display patience that is characteristic of Christ? How do we harness this fruit that the Spirit wishes to give us?
Let's look in the Bible at the many examples of those whose patience characterized how close their walk was with God. James points us to the prophets “as an example of patience in the face of suffering” (James 5:10). He also refers to Job, whose perseverance was rewarded by what the “Lord finally brought about” (James 5:11). Also, Abraham waited patiently and “received what was promised” (Hebrews 6:15). But above all... Jesus remains our best role model as He always demonstrated a patient endurance: “Who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2).
It is such a relief to know that with Jesus as our King, we don't have to be under the bondage of impatience because we are new creatures in Christ! (See 2 Corinthians 5:17) Instead, we can depend upon the Lord’s strength and choose to follow His example - responding kindly, obediently and with a loving heart. Patience reveals our faith in God’s timing and sovereignty over our lives. Colossians 1:11 tells us that we are strengthened by Him to “great endurance and patience,” while James 1:3-4 encourages us to know that trials are His way of perfecting our patience... Yes, trials! Because of this, we should look at difficult circumstances as blessings and opportunities to further strengthen our patience by resting in God’s perfect will and timing... even in the face of evil men who “succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes” (Psalm 37:7). In the end, our patience will be rewarded because the Lord's coming is near (James 5:7-8). “The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him, to the one who seeks Him” (Lamentations 3:25).
Ladies, sometimes God allows difficult situations to occur in our lives so that we can be a witness for Him through our actions and temperaments. Other times, He allows trials for the sanctification of our character. Irrespective of God's reason, it is crucial for us to think beyond our own selfish expectations of how things should be and remember God's promise - that all things work together for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. (See Romans 8:28) We must trust that the Creator of the universe has a plan for allowing the most trying of times to occur in our lives. We must give Him our glory no matter what and remember that we are living testimonies of His grace.
DW's, whether you are single or married, working, in school, moms, sisters, aunts, daughters, grandmothers... whatever... each woman represents the "heart" of her family and thus holds a tremendous power and responsibility in this world to set a godly tone of encouragement and love while motivating others to seek and glorify Jesus. Because of this, let's make that daily decision together to live in Christ - loving God and loving others with everything we've got! Let's pray for Him to guide us and give us His spiritual fruit so that no circumstance derails us from living like Jesus. We are His people... His daughters... so, let's remember to seek Him and allow His love to shine through us no matter what comes our way.
Let us respond always in kindness and with patience... trusting our Holy King always and forever.