VN520474 10-16-16 Doyle Patience With God
We serve a great God. We’re going to go to the Book of Lamentations. Lamentations. If you’re looking it’s over in the prophets. It’s Isaiah, Jeremiah, there’s a little book called Lamentations, about 5 pages, and then you’ve got Ezekiel. So, if you get to Ezekiel you need to go toward the front. If you get to Jeremiah you need to go toward the back. Lamentations 3:19-25. Lamentations 3:19-25. “Remember my affliction and my wandering, the wormwood and bitterness. Surely my soul remembers and is bowed down within me. This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. The Lord’s loving kindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘Therefore I have hope in Him.’ The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him.” Notice how it starts off. He’s talking about how bad his soul is. He says it is just bowed down inside of me. I just got so much stuff weighing me down there’s no reason to look up, but then he points this out. I will recall. I will recall.
That’s something that we are supposed to do. That is the effort we are to put into this. Our part is when we’re bowed down, things seem to be slopping over us, things seem to be knocking us down and we don’t think we can put another foot in front of the other, we need to stop right there and recall. What did he recall? The goodness of the Lord, that the Lord is there. The Lord gives hope and because of that he recognized the Lord’s presence and the Lord’s goodness. He said I have hope. Remember, hope isn’t that cross my fingers, oh, I hope it happens stuff. Hope is that confident thing that we know is going to happen. We know for a fact something is going to happen in the future and that fact that’s coming our way is our hope and he’s saying because our God is so great and because He is my portion, some of your Bibles will say He is your inheritance, because He is my portion, He is my inheritance, He belongs to me. Most of the time we always think about us belonging to God but it’s a two-way street. He is my God. He is mine. He is mine, and since He is mine I have something that I’m assured of. He is consistent in everything that He does. He is right there with us.
The writer of Hebrews 6:12 says do not be sluggish. Don’t be sluggish. It means don’t sit around and twiddle your thumbs, but I want you to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. Those who through faith and patience have inherited the promises. The Young’s version puts it this way. I don’t want you to be sitting around twiddling your thumbs. I don’t want you to be sluggish. I don’t want you to be slack. I want you to be like those people who through faith and patience are inheriting the promises. We hear a lot about faith. Got to believe, got to believe, got to believe, got to believe. Just believe, believe, believe, believe, believe, and there’s a lot of Christians who fold after awhile because they haven’t been told that part of faith is patience. Part of faith is patience. Patience is an aspect of faith and he said the people who have faith and patience are inheriting. So, the King James, the New American Standard, the verb tense they translate it in is I want you to imitate those people who have inherited promises, but Young’s Literal Translation trying to get it as most accurate as he can, he says I want you to imitate those people with faith and patience.
Those people who have faith and patience. Why? Because they are right now inheriting. This isn’t something that always happened in the past. It’s not something that’s always going to happen in the future. He is saying I want you to imitate because there are people right now that you know, people who are Christians, who have faith and they are patiently waiting and they are inheriting the promises that God made. It’s not I hope. They’re absolutely assured that their hope is coming their way. Why? God promised me this; therefore, I know it’s going to happen and I have this absolute assurance. Now, Webster’s, and I’m not good at patience folks, but Webster’s dictionary describes patience this way. Patience is waiting something out. To endure something that is tedious, and this is the hard part, without getting riled up. I can just sit there and fume, just mmmm, rrrrrrr. That’s not patience. I don’t have it. He’s saying folks, the writer is saying in Jeremiah and Lamentations, that you’ve got hope. It looks like you’re bowed down and things are overwhelming you, but the writer of Hebrews says you’ve got hope and I want you to imitate those people who have faith and that part of faith called patience where they’re sitting there without getting riled up, without twiddling their thumbs, without being sluggish, but are continuing to live their life with the absolute assurance that God is going to answer His promises.
And why is that? Because God is ours. He belongs to us just as much as we belong to Him. He is our portion. He is that chunk of inheritance that belongs to us, and what’s God like? He is large and full. He is rich. He is great. He delivers and He supplies. God does all of this kind of stuff and He’s mine. He is large, He is full, He is rich, He is great, He delivers, and He supplies. He gives us grace which is favor. He favors His kids. He favors His kids. If you’re not a kid of His you need to give it some serious thought because while God loves everybody He favors His children. He favors His children and He says I will supply all your needs according to My riches in glory. That is a promise. Even if we lose absolutely everything in this world we can still stand there and say I’ve still got a portion you can’t get enemy. I’ve got a portion, world, that you can’t take away from me. You can burn my house down, you can tax and take everything out of my bank account, but I’ve got something that’s mine and you can’t get it, and that something is God Almighty. He is on my side and He offsets, absolutely offsets all the troubles that we have.
He is there for us and He will make up for all the loss, but we can only have this experience when we know this to be true, faith, and we’re patient. Say it’s going to happen. It’s going to happen. One of the favorite phrases that’s been going around for a few years is wait for it, wait for it, wait for it. God’s promises say that He is going to come through and He wants us to demonstrate to the world that we trust our God. Everything is not just instantaneous. It’s not like mashed potatoes where you just have to add water, whip it up and eat those things. Eww. I don’t like instant mashed potatoes so why would I like everything in the world that God does as instant? It would be convenient, but a lot of times things are better if it takes awhile, and I appreciate the things that I have to wait upon to get, and then I say that is so great. It’s mine, it’s mine, and God came through it. Just like the children’s sermon this morning. When God calls us to do something, when God says I want you to do something and I promise you are going to accomplish this, I don’t know how, I don’t know the way it’s going to happen, even though it looks impossible, even though it sounds crazy I will wait on God and He will figure the way out and when the time comes He will say put the plate on it and turn it upside down. Yes, you’ve done it, and it will be so cool when that happens.
God always shows us how to accomplish what He wants done. Sometimes it’s just as simple as just turning on a light switch, and other times it’s that miraculous level like splitting the sea, or like healing somebody, or raising somebody up from the dead. We do not know how He is going to do it, but we can always trust Him to do it. Even though our spirits, our emotions, are bowed down and we’re just bummed out to the max God still says. That’s our thought. We need to stop and reflect on I have a portion and that portion is mine, and that portion is God Almighty who is large and full and generous, and I’m his kid, and He likes me, and He is going to bless me. One of the best illustrations I heard on the radio, and I can’t tell you who it is because I honestly don’t know, but they came up with this. In Genesis 1:2-3, that’s the very first Book, the very first page, and the 2nd and 3rd verses. “The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light.”
In the same way it works with us. We’re living in a world sometimes that is mixed up, it’s chaotic, it’s dark, it’s void, and it’s not shallow, it’s deep. Notice it says in the King James He moved over the deep. These are deep problems, not shallow problems, but the Spirit of God, and I like the Hebrew better, it says that He was hovering right there over those problems. So, when we have problems in our life that aren’t just little bitty shallow things, you know, like why did that person not go through that green light? Why did they stop and wait for it to turn red? I’m in a hurry. I’m going to be late for my hair appointment. Yes. Not something shallow, but sometimes we have really big deep problems and it’s not something we can handle ourselves, and it’s void and the word would be chaotic. It’s dark everywhere and things are just falling to pieces and nothing is working right. Right there at that point we need to go back to Genesis and reflect upon that. When everything was formless, was void, it was just (rolling) around, swirling darkness, deep problems, the Spirit of God was there hovering and God said light. Boom, and there was.
When we’re in that same position where everything seems to be going wrong and it’s a time of darkness in our soul, the dark tea-time of the soul some people say, we need to stop and say okay, everything is chaotic, everything is in darkness, everything is just rolling around, but the Spirit of God is here. How do you know that? Because when you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior He came into your heart. He said He would never, ever, ever leave you nor would He ever, ever, ever forsake you. So, right then when everything is dark boy, and (rolling) around and totally messed up and you’re totally bummed out you need to stop and reflect I have a portion of God and He dwells within me. He is here right now hovering and He is going to say let there be light, and then God Himself, and this time I will be with Him and I will look upon the mess that He just straightened out that was in my life. I will look on that mess and I will say wow, God, it wasn’t just pieces falling apart, it was also pieces falling together and now that You have turned that light on I can see how this puzzle works out, and it’s a picture puzzle, and I see the glory of God, and I see His love for me, and I see the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
It all fell into place when He said let there be light, and He said it is good and we will be able at the end time when the light comes on, we will see what God has accomplished and we will say yes, it is good. Have faith in the promises of God. Be encouraged. He is there with you each and every day all the way. He will take you all the way. He will walk beside you, He will lead you, He will guide you, He will tell you to rest, He will tell you when to stand up and keep moving. He is there for you. Trust in Him. Reflect upon the fact that He is your portion. Then wait for it, wait for it. It might take awhile. With Abraham it took several decades but he finally got that promised child. Wait for it. David was anointed king when he was just a boy, wait for it, but he became the king of Israel and to this day they still call him the greatest king of Israel that has ever existed. Wait for it. God has given you promises also and by faith you have to say they’re true. Wait for it, wait for it, wait for it. The answer is coming. Wait for it, wait for it. Don’t just say I’m going to sit down and do nothing.
Wait for it but stay active. Wait for it. I’ve got things to do, but God is going to accomplish. Wait for it, and the light will go on and boom, there it will be and you’ll be able to come to Glenwood Church and say God has answered my prayer. It took awhile but God has answered my prayer and I want to stand up and testify, and we will all be glad to hear what God has done for you because God does things on His own timetable and we have to wait for it to show up sometimes, but that is part of faith. Shall we pray? Father, in the name of Jesus all glory and honor to You. I’m not asking for patience because I know what it takes to work patience, Father, but when it does come my way remind me that patience is not getting riled up. It’s enduring and not getting riled up, and I can do that because You do not lie, and even though I have to wait awhile You will still come through and I will see Your answer while I’m alive in this world. I don’t have to wait all the way to eternity to see the goodness of God. David said I will see it in my lifetime and, God, I ask that we would experience Your grace and Your goodness in our lifetime so we can testify to Your greatness to the people who are around us. All glory and honor to You. We thank You for Glenwood Church and we thank You for all the (pulpits). They’re speaking forth the Word of God. Father, we ask that people be encouraged. We ask that You would bless us, keep us, and lead and guide us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.