Patience, they say, is a virtue. But how do you get it? It is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit.
Many times we find ourselves expecting God to act immediately. When He doesn’t come through with what we are asking we are disappointed. We forget that our timing is not His. He allows certain things to happen or delay because he has a plan. He says in 1 John 1:9 that he makes all things work together for the good of those that love him. Yet many times we end up complicating the issues by going ahead of God and not waiting on Him. Does this sound like you?
God promised Abraham that he would be the father of many nations and that his seed would be numerous as the sands of the sea. I’m sure Abraham was elated to hear that. However, when he was 100 and Sarah 99, they both became impatient and doubted God’s promise. Can you imagine having a baby at 99? But that was God’s promise. Abraham wanted to believe God but he was a realist. Sarah’s childbearing years were over. So he thought God needed a little help. So Abraham and Sarah decided God really meant he would father a large nation through a younger woman – Sarah’s servant. As the story played out, Sarah did have a baby at 99 and the nation born to the servant girl became a thorn in everybody’s flesh.
David in his reflections in Psalms 37 verses 34 to 40, shares the contrast between those who pursue their selfish interest and those who wait on the Lord.
“…Wait on the Lord, keep his ways and he will exalt you… I’ve seen the wicked man flourishing like a green tree in his native soil but soon passed away, it was no more. Though I looked for him, he could not be found.”
Sometimes, waiting on the Lord can be very difficult. When you’re anticipating something you want badly you might find yourself going ahead and trying to make it happen immediately. But you must remember how much trouble you are creating for yourself. You must have faith to believe God doesn’t need your help. You’ll never have to compromise God’s principles to get good to come to you. Abraham committed adultery to help God’s promise come true. He was wrong and we are wrong when we find ourselves lying, cheating, or bending the truth to achieve a more favorable outcome.
I can think of too many applications I have filled out where there might have been a slight omission. These little “white” lies are still lies. We must trust God for the job or whatever it is we are desiring. He knows what we desire and it is His desire to grant us our every wish.
Life is full of ups and downs. I’m sure there are certain situations in your life where you didn’t wait on the Lord. But what was the price for doing so? Deviating from God’s plan comes with a price that is often steep and more difficult to pay than waiting.
Your spouse probably does things that get on your nerves from time to time. You may be tempted to shout at your spouse about their behavior and become supercritical. You may find yourself talking badly about them to someone else. You may even find yourself going behind their back to do something you know they disagree with simply to avoid dealing with them. These are all workarounds that are not pleasing to the Lord. We must trust God and deal directly with our spouse. And, sometimes we have to wait on the Lord to change them.
The Lord is telling you today to wait on Him! Taking matters into your hands by going ahead of the Lord to fix your spouse all by yourself isn’t going to work. It’s only going to bring you more trouble. Rather than becoming the demon in your marriage while trying to get your spouse to change, be the angel and wait patiently for the Lord. You don’t have to bad-mouth your spouse, keep your mouth shut and wait on the Lord.
People who don’t know the Lord indeed seem to be succeeding in their ways. However, here’s what David said about them in verses 35 and 36;
I have seen a wicked and ruthless man flourishing like a luxuriant native tree, but he soon passed away and was no more; though I looked for him, he could not be found.
Their methods work for a little while but then, soon they will be eliminated. It’s prudent to do things God’s way. Be patient, wait on the Lord and consider the blameless, observe the upright; a future awaits those who seek peace (Verse 37). Don’t be the hellraiser in your marriage just because your spouse isn’t getting things right, be the peacemaker!
In conclusion, when your spouse isn’t getting it right, get down on your knees and pray to God. Don’t handle it all by yourself, don’t make rash decisions in your anger. Wait on Lord and trust Him to help you work things out. And to give you patience. Listen to the word of the Lord and wait on Him, let Him fix your marriage, follow His direction and you’ll get through whatever it is that you’re going through.
If you would like to hear more of this and have the opportunity to ask questions and hear other couples share their insights, feel free to join us live on Saturdays by 8am for our weekly couple devotions.