May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. (Colossians 1:11-12, ESV)
, we looked at how God delivers perfect patience to his children even in their sinfulness. He shows mercy and grace to very imperfect people, giving them the perfection of Christ who lived on this earth blameless and spotless. This is the good news we call the gospel of Jesus.
Now I want to encourage you practically with a few reminders that help me secure my patience in the Lord. Everyone deals with suffering, hardships, and pain differently–and probably much better than I do! Still, I hope these ideas build you up.
1. Remind yourself that the Gospel is true for you in that moment. And then do it over and over again. Whether you have won a big golf tournament or shot 140, whether you are perfectly healthy or have an ongoing bout with cancer, if you are a Christ-follower, he’s got you. Are there circumstances that make that hard to believe? Absolutely! But fight to believe that you are a beloved child of God and that he has his loving, merciful, gracious arms around you at all times.
2. Don’t panic–find comfort and joy in resting in the Lord. Many times, when I panic or get overwhelmed, I start running around without a purpose or good mindset. This is when God wants us to step back and rest in him: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
3. Build a community around you where people love you, even on your worst day. Genuine, mask-free community is essential in this sinful, depraved world with sinful, depraved human beings. Leaning on community in times of hardship, trouble, and distress will help in being patient and waiting on the Lord.
4. Learn to give others (and yourself!) grace. This is very tough for me–extremely tough, if I am to be frank. But God gave you 100 percent grace and mercy when he sent his Son to the cross to pay for absolutely all of your sins. With this in mind, this allows you to give yourself grace as well as extend it to others.
All of these ideas have really helped me out in tough times, but remember most of all the first point. We cannot remind ourselves enough (and be reminded by others) how much our God loves us. This doesn’t get old. The idea that he loves me enough to send his one and only Son to earth to atone for my sins cannot be heard enough by my ears.
This leads me to gratitude. This leads me to an attitude of patience when it is so needed. I hope you have been encouraged by this, as I know I have. Now go on, Christian, and live out who God says you are–a beloved son or daughter of the King!