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2021 online sermons » Craig Smith » Craig Smith - The Power of Patience

Craig Smith - The Power of Patience


Craig Smith - The Power of Patience
TOPICS: Real Religion, Patience

Well, good morning. Welcome to Mission Hill. So glad you’re here, whether you’re here in the big room, or in the mill, or joining us online, and we’re just glad that you’ve taken this time to connect with God and see what he has to say to you from his word. If you wanna grab a Bible, I’d love to have you go ahead and start joining me. We’re gonna be in the Book of James this morning, and by the way, if you don’t have a Bible, there’s some in the seats in front of you. I’d love for you take one of those, and if you don’t own a Bible, please consider that our gift to you, but we’re going to be in James chapter five starting at verse 7 today, and while you turn there, let me just kind of put the passage in the bigger picture.

Last week, we saw James say some pretty harsh stuff against a group of people we might call, “The Wicked Wealthy.” These are people who use their wealth and their influence to really oppress the Christians that James is writing to. And what we’re going to see this week is that James turns his attention back to the Christians, and what he said last week was intended to encourage them, what he is saying is, “He listen, God sees the oppression, God sees the injustice, and God’s going to make it right.” But now, what he needs to tell us is, what are we supposed to do in the meantime? As we wait for God to make it right, how are we supposed to live, and James chapter 5 verse 7, he jumps right into the instruction. He says, this he says, “Be patient.” That’s it, “Be patient”. Amen. Have a great week.

I mean, it really isn’t a lot more complex than that. He says, “Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming.” Now understand, when he says, “The Lord’s coming”, he probably means that both literally and figuratively. Literally he means, “Be patient until Jesus comes back and makes everything right.” He’ll get rid of all oppression at that time, but I think he also means it figuratively in the sense that, God is always in the business of making things right. God is always in the business of redeeming our circumstances, and so, while everything is not going to be a perfect until Jesus returns, in the meantime, we’re still called to wait for God to move in our circumstances and in the struggles that we face. And God can be trusted on to be working in the midst of those doing good things.

And so, we’re to wait not just for Jesus to return, but we’re to wait for Jesus to move. In the example that he’s going to give us a little bit, of a man who waited patiently is a good example of the fact that God can be trusted to work with us even in the meantime as we wait for Jesus to return. And so, we’re not just waiting for Jesus to return, we’re waiting for God to move. And he says in the midst of doing that, you’re supposed to be patient. And that’s the hard part, right? Patience isn’t an easy thing, and I don’t know about you, but I am not a patient person.

I know this for a fact. I took a survey recently, and it pegged me in the top 10% of most impatient people. Like literally 90% of the population is more patient than I am by nature. And I was like, I told my family that I came home, that I took this survey and it said that I’m really impatient and they were like, “Yeah.” This is not news to us. So, I don’t know about you but, you know, with the Bible says that the word of God is like a double-edged sword, and I think that’s true, but sometimes I feel like it’s a sharp stick. It’s just poking and this is definitely one of those things that pokes me and I realize, yeah, patience is not something that they comes naturally to me, I struggle with it. I’m working on this God’s doing working me, in this. But I think it’s probably true for almost all of us when it comes to patience, isn’t it? Patience is something that we all struggle with, and I think there’s several reasons for that, and it may be helpful to understand something of what makes patience difficult.

One of the things that make patience difficult is just sin, because sin fosters impatience, because sin is inherently selfish, and selfishness fosters impatience. Ever since Adam and Eve sinned our primary orientation has been towards self-centeredness. It’s, “we get what we want” and the thing is, when we want something, when do we want it? We want it now. And so, this is self-oriented selfishness makes us impatient. We want and what we want and we want it now, and so that makes patience hard. I think, another thing particularly for us is the technology makes people impatient. Technology fosters impatience, doesn’t it? I mean just think about it for second, most technology was created in order to make things happen faster. I mean, when the service is over today, I could go get on a plane. I could be in New York in less than four hours. That same trip, took the settlers four months. Everything is happening at a breakneck pace.

Think about information... how many Sidewalk kids we have on? Are you from Sidewalk? I see a bunch of you. Okay, here’s a fun thing to do this afternoon, guys. Talk to your parents about how they found out information when they were your age, because it was very different, right? If somebody said, “Hey, how long was the Titanic?” You know that big boat? They want to know how long is it? Here’s what you had to do. You had to go to a place called a library. It was a big building full of books, and you had to figure out which books you wanted, so you had to go to this big cabinet that had these long drawers full of pieces of paper. And on the piece of paper you’d find one that was say, “Titanic.” It would have the list of the books to that library had and you’d find one that had information, and then you’d have to take those numbers and letters that help you go find that book and then as you were finding the book, you were hoping it was there, because somebody might have already been using it. Somebody might have checked it out, which means the information was just gone. Like, you literally could not get the information for weeks at a time, and now what do we do? Siri, how long is the Titanic? We got it, right? And that’s great. I love that, but the reality is that when we don’t have to wait for things, it gets hard to wait for things. Technology fosters impatience. It’s just the reality we have to accept.

And I think the third thing that...and there’s probably more, but a third thing that I think bears mention this morning is just that mistrust fosters impatience. Mistrust fosters impatient, because here’s the thing, when you believe that there’s somebody in charge, who has your best interest in mind, then you can wait for them to do what you feel like needs to be done, but you have to trust them or you’re not going to be patient. And the problem is we don’t trust anybody. We don’t trust the government. We don’t trust the media. We don’t trust anybody. Now, there’s reasons for that, the simple and sad fact is that most of us have experienced the abuse that comes when we’ve extended trust to people that were in authority that were supposed to have our backs, and they’ve abused that authority. They’ve abused that trust, and there is the media is filled of stories of politicians, and teachers, and coaches, and pastors and the list goes on and on, who’ve abused that trust. And so, we don’t trust anybody, and therefore we are impatient, because we feel like, “I’ve got to deal with it, I have to make it right because nobody else will.” And so we really struggle with this patience business. And yet, James says, “When you’re experiencing injustice, when you find yourself in a situation where things are wrong, and you’re being treated unfairly, and things are difficult, and you’re desperate for it to be made right,” he says, “Be patient, be patient.”

And he doesn’t just leave us there. He recognizes that the patience is not natural for us, and so he begins to dig in a little bit, and to explain a little bit about how it is we can go about developing the kind of patience that he’s calling us to have. He says this, he says, “See how the farmer awaits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and the spring rains.” You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. He says, “I know patience is hard.” So let point you to something that I think will help you understand how it is that you can grab a hold of this patience. He says, “Look at the farmer. And look at how he waits patiently for the field to produce the crop that he’s been waiting for.” And there’s some really powerful things going on in that analogy. I think he’s actually assuming some things that we might miss, because we’re not really an agricultural society.

So, let me kind of tease apart what I think he’s saying here. The first one is just this, he’s saying, “The patience comes from knowing that the first step is already been taken.” Patience comes from knowing that the first step has already been taken, and here’s what I mean by that. See, what James is assuming, what the farmer who is waiting patiently is assuming, is that the seed has already been planted, right? Because here’s the thing, if you’ve got a farmer who is waiting patiently for a field to produce crops, and yet there’s no seed that’s been planted in that field, that’s not a patient man, that’s a stupid man. That guy is insane, right? He has to assume that the seed has already been planted. He has to assume that the first step, the most important step has already been taken, that lays the foundation for that patient waiting.

And James means the same kind of thing for us. He says, “Yeah, as it we’re called to be patient, the Lord is gonna rescue us and redeem our circumstances.” We’re able to do that, because we know that the first step has already been taken. The way he says it is that the Lord’s coming is near, when literally what he says is the Lord’s coming has drawn near. He actually uses the past tense. He’s not saying, the Lord’s coming is getting close or it’s going to be coming close, he says, “No, it has drawn near. It is closed because of something that’s happened in the past.” It hasn’t happened yet, that his arrival has not happened yet, but we know that his arrival is close because in critical and important first step has been taking, the seed has already been planted. And you go, “Okay, what’s the seed planting? What’s the first step?” And the answer is it’s the crucifixion and the resurrection.

James looks back and he says, “I know I can trust God to do good, I know I can wait patiently because the good is absolutely coming, and I know that because the first step has already be taking. God has already sent His Son to die on the cross for my sins, and by faith, just by trusting and what He’s done my sins are wiped out. My debt is paid, and I begin a relationship with God that starts now and goes on forever.” That’s the proof that God can be trusted, but he says really is this, “That a God who was rescued us from our sins can be trusted to rescue us from our sorrows.” Do you hear me? A God who has already rescue us from our sins can be trusted to rescue us from our sorrows, and so when we face these difficult circumstances and we go, “God, I don’t know why you’re not moving faster. God, I don’t know why you’re not making this right.” What James says is look back. And in the same way, the farmer remembers, the seed has been planted so the first step is taken, that makes patience possible. Remember that you serve a God, who has sacrificed His own Son out of love for you. He has taken the critical first step in redeeming not just your soul, but your sorrows. Just as patience comes when we remember that at first step has already been taken.

And then the second thing that this farming thing analogy tells us about patience is just this. That the patience comes from remembering that the payoffs we see are the result of processes that we don’t. The payoffs we see are the result of processes that we don’t. Because the thing about farming is, you stick it in the ground and then you cover it over, and then you wait, right? Which is why I would not be any good at farming, because I’d be like, stick that in there and cover that over, okay. But here’s the thing, there’s a long pause. There’s a long gap between the planting and the payoff, but that doesn’t mean nothing is happening. In fact, that gap between the planting and the payoff is actually a period that’s full of happening, it’s full of activity. We just don’t get to see it.

All kinds of stuff is happening that eventually leads that payoff that we see, and what James says is basically, listen, the analogy, the farmer teaches is a lot about the way that we think about God when we’re in difficult circumstances, because the thing is, we’re focused on the payoff we’re focused on God to making this right. We’re focused on God to fixing this situation. We’re focused on God redeeming my circumstances, rescuing me for my sorrows, and we don’t see it happening as we gets frustrated. He goes, remember the farmer. The payoff that we see is the result of a process that we don’t. We have to trust the process or you’re never going to get the payoff. So just remember that just because you haven’t seen God act, doesn’t mean that God’s not moving. Trust that God is in the business of... He’s setting the stage, He’s doing things that are gonna result in a payoff. They’re going to result in a result. They’re gonna take place in a redemption that you’re longing for, and it’s already in process. Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not happening.

And so what’s interesting to me here is that when James says to be patient, what he really of saying is this, he’s saying, “Wait on the Lord.” He’s not just saying wait. He’s saying wait on the Lord. Wait on Jesus. When James calls us to be patient, what he’s really saying is, “You need to trust that Jesus is already moving, that Jesus is concerned about you, that Jesus is already in the process of doing something that you can’t even fully anticipated, and that you certainly can’t see yet.” So, he doesn’t just say wait, he says wait on Jesus. And in the same way then that we’ve seen throughout the Book of James that real faith... that real trust always plays out in our lives and in ways that we can see. He said, you know, “Real religion can be seen with our eyes, and real religion can be heard with her ears.”

And what he says now is this, he says, that real religion, real trust in Jesus can be perceived in our patience. Real religion can be perceived in our patience. Because patience as James is talking about is not just, “I’m waiting, and I’m hoping, and I don’t know, but I’ll just wait, and wait.” No, no, no. That’s not what he says to do. He says, “Wait on Jesus. Wait on Jesus to move.” So this is all about faith. So he says,”Real religion, real faith can be perceived in our patience.” To the extent that we wait patiently for God to move, we are demonstrating that we truly trust Him. On the other hand there’s lots of ways that we can act that demonstrate we don’t really trust Him, when things get hard.

One of those is talks about in verse nine. He says this, “Just don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The judge is standing at the door.” He says, “When you’re in the midst of difficult circumstances and your and you’re called to wait patiently for God to move, and you have to trust in God is moving, don’t grumble against each other.” Which interestingly enough, is kind of our first…it’s our first instinct isn’t it? It’s our default setting when things are hard. I mean, that’s not just me, right? If you had to experience, you know, that dad has a rough day at work, his frustrated so he comes home and he snaps at his wife, so mom snaps at the kids, so the kids snap at the dog, the dog snaps the cat. Well, the dog’s smart enough to know that you don’t snap at the cat, because the cat will murder you, right? So it breaks down, it’s simple. But you know what I’m talking about is this tendency to cast blame, to shift blame, to transfer it. And what happens is, we take out our frustrations, we take out our impatience on other people, even though they are not responsible for the situation that’s happened. Anybody here ever done that?

Okay, good. I know I do it. And what James says here is, “Don’t do that.” Why? Why should we not do that? And what he saying is this, he’s saying that when we grumble, and when we snap at each other while we wait for the Lord, he says, you’re not really waiting for the Lord. You’ve taking your eyes off him and you’re not really trusting Him. Really, because what happens is that when we lose sight of God what we do is, we put others in our crosshairs, right? When we lose sight of God, we put others in our crosshairs and we go, I’m gonna take it out on you, I don’t blame you. But we stop looking to God for redemption and we start looking to others to get our revenge. I’m frustrated, I’m struggling with this, and I need you to take it out on somebody. But what James is saying is, that very, that the instinct, that the tendency to take it on other people, that’s the evidence that we stopped looking at God, and we’ve stopped trusting in Him.

So he says, “If you’re really trusting in God, if you’re really being patient for His redemption, you’re not going to be grumbling against each other. You’re not going to be snapping at each other, you’re not going to be transferring blame.” Please don’t, don’t do this. Well really what he’s saying is that real patience is demonstrated through peacefulness. Real patience is demonstrated through peacefulness. If you’re really patiently waiting for God and trusting that God is on the move, and that God is gonna rescue you, and redeem your circumstances, you’re going to know that you’re really doing that, because you live peacefully. Whether then grumbling and complaining against to each other and blaming them, when they have no fault in it.

He gives us a great example of somebody who did this really well he says, “Brothers and sisters as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.” As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. And that’s an interesting sentence. We count as blessed, in other words, we know that people received blessing. We say, that person’s been blessed, but we count as blessed those who have persevered. They’ve continue to trust. And so at the end of that road of patient trusting, that the blessing really comes upon them. He says, you’ve heard of Job’s perseverance, and you have seen what the Lord finally brought about. Notice that? Finally brought about, finally brought about.

You gotta be patient to get there. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy, was talking about patience. But he gives us this great example, is that this man named Job and maybe you know the story or maybe you don’t. If you don’t know the story of Job, I’ll give you the highlights. He was a man who experienced tremendous suffering, tremendous frustration, tremendous mistreatment, just a whole host of things that made his circumstances so difficult that honestly most of the circumstances we face don’t even compare. Most of them...and honestly some of you are here today and you’re in circumstances that compare very well. And you look to Job and you see in him somebody who has faced the very same kinds of things you are going through right now. But he endured them patiently, and not just like he just endured them.

He continued to look to God to rescue, and he continued to trust that God would come and He would redeem those circumstances. He would turn them into something better. And he was so patient, in fact, that we have a phrase name in the English language, we talk about the patience of Job. And the reason that we hold up his patience so high, is because he had so much reason not to be patient. We can talk about the severity of his suffering. He lost his health. He lost kids. He lost his possessions. He lost respect. He lost it all, and yet he continued to look to God to redeem his circumstances. We can talk about the severity of his temptation, his wife in the midst of this looked at him and said, “Just curse God and die,” which is not. What God had in mind, in that for better or worse part of the marriage vows. We’re supposed to lift each other up when we’re getting weak in a marriage, and his wife is like, “Yeah, just curse God, dude, and then die.” When the person closest to you says, stop being so patient, that’s tremendous temptation, right? And yet, he continued to trust God to redeem circumstances.

We can talk about the severity of his mistreatment. Most of the book of Job is made up of some speeches by friends of his, who came in to basically say, “Hey this is your fault. You brought this on yourself. You’re sinning in ways that you haven’t even recognized. You have an unrepentant heart, and so you deserve this. All of this has come upon you because you’ve earned it.” And that’s a painful thing to be told, and you know what? My hope is that nobody here has experienced great tragedy and had somebody look at you and say, presumably well-meaning, but still painfully say, “You know why this happened. You brought this on yourself”. That’s painful. That’s unjust. That’s unfair, and yet Job had exactly that, and yet he refused to do anything but look at God, and trust that He would redeem his circumstances. And God did. God finally did. That word finally. That’s a hard word, but it’s an important word.

God finally moved, and when he finally moved, here’s how the book of Job describes it, he says, “The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part.” He didn’t just redeem the circumstances, He made them better than they had been before. He poured a blessing out on James that James couldn’t even begun to imagine, in the midst of that hard stuff. And so, what James says is, “be patient.” Not just waiting, but waiting on the Lord. Just trusting that He is, well he says it this way, he says, “That He is full of compassion and mercy.” And I love the way he says that He’s full of compassion, he doesn’t say He’s compassionate, notice. He says He’s full of compassion. He doesn’t have some compassion, He is compassion itself. He is full up with compassion that it spills out of Him. He cannot help but become his full of compassion. And what Job really is saying by that is he’s saying, understand that He’s good. He’s good.

And here’s the interesting thing. Most of us wouldn’t disagree, certainly not those of us who’ve been in the church a long time, or we’ve followed Jesus for long time. We would never say God is not good, but what we might find ourselves struggling with is the doubt that says, maybe He’s just not good enough. We wouldn’t say He’s not good, but I think in the midst of tragedy and suffering especially when it’s injustice, we find ourselves going maybe He’s just not good enough, because if He was good enough, I wouldn’t still be waiting. If He was good enough, He would have already redeemed these circumstances. If He was good enough, I would have already been rescued. If He was good enough, you wouldn’t be telling me to be patient.

And so, we begin to wonder if He’s good enough, and that’s a very natural thing, and maybe you’ve been there, maybe you’re there right now and I can tell you, I’ve been there and I know what it’s like to wonder about that, but I want to ask you to do something today that’s going to be hard, but I think it’s important for taking hold of what James says. I want you to take that and I want you to flip it upside down. I want you take whatever evidence, especially this business of having to wait and that sometimes that feels like a long time where God hasn’t moved, that we can see. I want you to take all that, and I want you to say that’s not evidence of God’s not good enough. That waiting that God calls us too. It is the evidence that He’s too good to settle for too little.

And I want you to think about that for a moment. When God calls us to wait, that’s not evidence that He’s not good enough, it’s evidence that He’s too good to settle for too little. Most of little theology here, let me start with the basic theological principle, okay? Here it is. Whatever God is, He is to the maximum possible to degree. You know what I mean by that? God isn’t just some knowing, He doesn’t just know some things He knows what? He knows all things. He’s all knowing. He’s not just some powerful, He’s all-powerful. And that’s true of everything that’s true of God. Everything that God is, He is to the maximum possible to degree. Now that means, that God is not just good, He is maximally good. He’s not just some good, He is good to the highest possible degree, you with me? If those two things are true, and they’re very clear in scripture, if those two things are true then this one also has to be true. Whatever God does or allows, He does or allows because it leads the greatest possible good.

You need to understand, God is relentless in His pursuit of the greatest good, not just in general, not just for the world, sort of it in n an abstract sense, but for you as His son or His daughter. God does not want just some good, He wants the greatest good, and the thing is we’re happy with just a little bit. Well especially when the midst of things being difficult, when we’re struggling, and we’re suffering Injustice. We don’t want the greatest good, we just want...we just want God to make it better, right? I just...God, if you just make it better, if you just alleviate it right now, it doesn’t have to be the best, just make it better, and God goes, “I don’t want better for you. I want the best.” Better is not good enough for God. We’re pretty happy with better, but God’s like, “No, I love you way too much to settle for too little.” God is too good to settle for too little. So he says, “I’m not going to make it better, I’m going to make it best.” The problem is, unfortunately, that the route to the greatest good that God longs to pour into our lives is often a little bit longer than you what I would like. We see it all the time.

I mean, I said a couple weeks ago that, you know, it’s interesting to me that horses that, you know, 24 hours after horses are born they can gallop, where as you know, my kids, a year after they were born can hardly stand up, right? But do you know why that is? It’s because human babies have huge heads. Like the size of their heads compared to the size of their body is all kinds of out of whack. But do you know why that is? It’s because there’s a big brain inside those heads and the gift that God has given us in these big brains is amazing, because it’s a brain that allows us to have language. It’s a brain that allows us to create art and architecture and to understand the world that God’s made and it’s an amazing thing, but the problem is to have that brain you gotta big head, and to have a big head it’s going to take you a while before you get a body that can hold that thing up.

But it’s a greater good, it’s the greatest good, but you see what happens is, the route that gets us there takes a while, and we get tired. And we go, I’m tired of walking this road. I’m tired of waiting on a process that I don’t get to see. I just... I want you to make it better and God goes, I know you do, but will you trust? Will you trust? Will you look back at the cross as the evidence that you need, that the first step has already been taken. That this is in process, and would you trust that, I’m not waiting because I don’t care. I’m not waiting, because I don’t love you enough. I’m not waiting because I’m not good enough, I’m waiting because I’m too good because, I love you too much to settle for less than the best for you. So James says, “Be patient.”

And this is above all, above all my brothers and sisters, do not swear. Not by heaven or by earth or by anything else, all you need to say is a simple yes or no, otherwise you will be condemned, or otherwise you’ll be judged. And I know that sounds like an abrupt change, right? He says, above all when I call you to wait patiently, and when you’re facing difficult circumstances, and I say just wait upon the Lord, above all, don’t swear. Our first reaction is like, “Why would I be cussing?” Or, is that he’s talking about? Is he talking about the stuff that I have to be beeping out if I actually said it? No. That’s not the kind of swearing he’s talking about. He’s talking about swearing oaths, and he’s not making this up. This is not just coming directly from God, he’s actually quoting his older brother here. You know, Jesus. Because Jesus said these words, he said, “Don’t swear. Don’t swear oaths by heaven or earth.”

And interesting enough, and you can read about it in Matthew chapter five, and he said this. He said, “Don’t swear oaths.” And then he immediately said, this he said, “If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn the other one to them. If someone demands your cloak, you give them your robe as well.” In other words, this business of swearing oaths is closely connected to taking revenge, or fighting it back against oppression or fighting it back against injustice. And so, what James is saying, what Jesus is saying, when he talks about swearing oaths is this, he’s saying, “Listen, when you’re in the midst of hard things, don’t take matters into your own hands.” He’s talking about oaths that are along the lines of, I swear upon God’s name I am going to fix you. I swear upon heaven and earth that I’m going to make this right, that I’m going to get my revenge, that I’m going to turn this back around. He’s talking about swearing oaths that say I’m going to take matters into my own hands. Does that makes sense?

And you see what James says, and it’s interesting. He begins, he says, “Above all, while you wait patiently for the Lord to do with only the Lord can do, above all,” don’t swear oath to say you’re going to make it right, because here’s the thing, you can’t make it as right as it needs to be. You can’t make it as good as God longs for it to be. All you can do is maybe, maybe make it better, and the chances of pretty good you take matters into your own hands and you’re going to make them worse. You fight back against injustice and oppression that’s been done to you and you’re probably going to make it worse, but at best you’re going to make it better and God’s not okay with better. He’s looking for best.

So what James says in the midst of all this is, “Be patient. Not just wait, but wait upon the Lord who is so good that He’s going to do in your life, more than you could possibly dream.” Especially in the midst of these hard circumstances, he says, basically, listen, “Real religion leads us to wait patiently for God, to do what only He can do. Real religion leads us to wait patiently for the greater good only God can accomplish.” If you really trust Jesus, that’s what you do. If you really trust God, if you have enough faith that is authentic and real, that’s what we do. We don’t wait. We wait on the Lord. We trust that He’s already taken the first step and so He can be trusted. We trust that there are processes in motion that we don’t get to see, and they will lead to a payoff that we’ll see, and it will be a payoff that be greater than we can even anticipate. If we really trust Jesus, that’s what we’ll do.

I’m gonna close today not with a bunch of questions that I ask you to wrestle with, I wanna close today with a prayer. I want to teach you a prayer that God has laid on my heart this week as I’ve struggled through this passage, and it’s a prayer that I’m praying every day, and I’ll be honest, it’s a hard prayer to pray. But I want to share it with you because I think it’s a powerful prayer to pray, and here it is, “It’s God, would you teach me to be so dissatisfied with anything less than your best. That waiting patiently on You is my first instinct. Because that’s the hard part, right? We’re perfectly satisfied with better. Especially when we’re hurting, just make it a little bit better and that’s all I need.” So the prayer is, God would you make me so dissatisfied with better, so dissatisfied with anything less than Your best that waiting on You, it’s my first and my only instinct. If you’re willing, let’s pray that together right now.

God, we trust that You are good. We trust because we see the cross, and we see the resurrection, so we know the first step is already been taken. We trust because we see examples in Your Word, and for many of us, we trust because we’ve seen examples in our lives time and time again that, You are in process. That we trust that You are not just good, you are You are all good, all the time and in every way. Although we confessed that in the midst of struggle, and in suffering, Lord I know that some of my brothers and sisters here, gathered in this place today... they’re in the midst of tremendous suffering, tremendous oppression, tremendous injustice. And they’re crying out to You to make everything better, and some of them are feeling right now like maybe You’re not good enough because You haven’t moved in the way they anticipate.

Lord, would You give each of us a greater faith this morning. A faith that rests in what is true in the past so that we can look with hope towards what will be true in the future, would You trust us that You’re too good to settle for too little. That You love us too much to settle for better, that You’ll only be satisfied when You’ve poured the best into the lives of Your children. And we understand that at road that leads to the best that may take longer, but it is a road that’s worth walking. So Lord, we ask. Would You make us so dissatisfied with anything less than Your best that waiting patiently on You Jesus is our first instinct. Amen.

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