Victoria Osteen - Patient Endurance Brings Forth God's Promises
Thank you, Lord. Oh, we love you and honor you in this place, amen. I think about when my daughter sent out her applications for college. She was going to go to a university, and so it was the end of her senior year, she began to send out applications to see where she would go to school. I remember they said it was gonna take a few months to get those applications back and see which school she was accepted in. But you know, those months just seemed to take even longer. It seemed like it was taking forever to get a response back from the school. And she was anticipating what school she would go to. All of her friends were going through this same process. They were waiting for their answers. And it's kinda funny because as they were waiting, it was as if they had more questions their heart and mind. They were like, "Well, what if I get accepted to this school? Who will I live with? Well, if I get accepted to that school, where will I live"?
You see, they were anticipating all this, and it just formulating more doubt and more questions in their mind about the situation. You see, they were waiting, and it was making them weary. Have you ever waited and been frustrated? Kinda like my daughter. She couldn't make plans until she got this answer. You see, it happens to all of us. We all go through this waiting process. It's no fun. It can be difficult. It can be challenging. And it can be hard. But can I tell you, God is not making us wait to make it hard on us? He's causing us to develop in our character and in our strength. You see, we all have patience we need to acquire. Patience is a strength. Patience is what brings forth God's promises, the word says. It's through patient endurance that we bring forth the promises of God.
You see, my daughter was accepted to a college. She was really happy about it. But then she started waiting to see what sorority she would get in. She was waiting to see what kind of friends she would meet. She's gonna be waiting to graduate. She'll be waiting to see what job she gets, who she marries, waiting to have a baby. You see, life is a process of waiting. She's 18 years old. She's got a lot of waiting to do. So the earlier that we learn this process, the happier we're going to be. You see, I wonder sometimes if those girls even enjoyed the last semester of high school because they were so concerned, worried, and frustrated about what was gonna happen in the future. You know, it's interesting. God always puts us at the right place, even if it's not the place we think we should be. God always works it out for us.
You see, we're gonna be waiting most of the time, so we need to learn to wait well. Isaiah 40:31 says: "Wait on the Lord and he will renew your strength". See, we're never gonna wait well unless we wait in the strength of God. Sometimes we make the mistake of thinking waiting is passive. We're standin' in the corner with our hands folded, just waiting for the right thing to happen, waiting for us to get this great break, waiting for our career to start. But see, God doesn't think that we should sit around and wait. We should be actively waiting. We should be pursuing God, not just waiting to see what happens but preparing ourselves in the wait.
You know, I've heard it said like this, that patience is a muscle that can only be developed in the wait. You see, we've got to wait well to develop patience. We all want patience. We all wanna be strengthened. The writer of James says it like this: "See the farmer, how he waits patiently for his crops to come up"? Then it goes on to tell us how he waits. It says "He waits with cheerful endurance, with expectation". He's waiting, lookin' for the signs, the rain. He's out there watching his soil, believing it's rich. You see, he doesn't go out there and say, "I know I planted seed in the ground. I wonder if it's still there". Have you ever thought, like, "Well, let me dig it up and make sure it's still down there. I don't see anything happenin' yet".
You see, that's easy. We all feel like that. But he stayed excited about his crop, even when he didn't see anything happening. Because he knew it was just a matter of time that the earth would bring forth his harvest if he kept his endurance and his strength and his patience. See, we should all wait with that atitude, shouldn't we? We would enjoy life more. You know, we don't need to feel the struggle when we wait. We need to develop our patience, knowing that at the right time, God is gonna get us to where we need to be. We need to start enjoyin' our life right now, not looking so far into the future that we forget what's happening right now.
I was in the elevator with my daughter not long ago, and we were goin' up to, like, the 25th floor in this high rise building. And the elevator stopped, doors opened, and a man walks in. And we're just standing there, and he looks at me, and I smiled at him. And he looks me, and I said, "Hi". He was gonna say somethin' to me, and he stopped for a second and I could see him thinking. And he said, "I can't believe you're standin' in this elevator. I can't believe I'm seeing you right now". He said, "I was talkin' to a friend of mine the other day". And then he said, "I was talking about how I've been waiting for something for a long time and I need God to help me. I need him to increase my patience so I can bring forth what I feel like he's called me to do". And he said, "You know, I love the ministry. I get encouragement from the ministry". And he said, "Because I see you today", he said, "I believe it's a sign that God is telling me, 'it's gonna happen. Hang on. Don't give up. It's just a matter of time'".
You know what that man was doing? He was doin' the same thing that the farmer does. He was looking for a sign. He was lookin' for the rain. He was sayin', "I need this cheerful, hopeful endurance. God, give me a sign. Give me the next thing to get me to my next place. Strengthen me. I'm waiting on you so that you'll renew my strength". You see, when we're strong, we can endure. God says, "I want you to run and not get weary. I don't want you to faint. I want you to be strong with this virtue called patience". See, we don't need to birth anything before its time. We've gotta be ready for what God has in store for us. And if we're gonna bring forth the promises of God, we're gonna have to develop patience. Patience isn't a bad thing. Patience is a strength. It's a good thing.
Jesus told 500 disciples, "Wait here in Jerusalem, because the Holy Spirit is gonna come upon you". He said, "Don't leave. Wait right here". Do you know that only 150 disciples out of the 500 didn't get impatient and leave? The rest left. There was only 120 out of the 500 that stuck around. You see, sometimes I think when it takes a long time, we get bored. We lose our enthusiasm. We forget what we were waiting for. We quit expecting. You see, that day, the ones who stayed got renewed, recharged, reenergized by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit came in and suddenly did exactly what Jesus said the Holy Spirit was going to do.
Habakkuk the prophet said, "God, I have this vision. You told me to write it down. You told me to hold it close. But it's takin' a long time". And you know what God said to him? He said, "Though it tarry, wait for it". "Well, God, tell me when". "Wait for it". Man, sometimes, you know, have you ever thought of that word "Wait" and all you can see is long lines, lots of traffic? You're sittin' in the doctor's office with everybody, sitting there waiting. But why do you stay in that chair? Because you know the nurse is gonna come out and she's gonna call your name. She's gonna call your name. That's what keeps you in that chair. Let me tell you somethin'. God is gonna call your name. It's for an appointed time. Wait for it. Don't get ahead of time.
See, you know what our job is? Our job is to get ready for the appointed time because we don't wanna birth anything before its time. We don't wanna take it into our own hands. I think about Moses and how he led the Israelites. They were well equipped when they came out of Egypt, strong, headed to the Promised Land. Listen, he opened the Red Sea. They saw amazing miracles, they walked through on dry ground. So incredible. Even though they may have been fearful, they looked back and they watched the sea swallow up their enemies. You see, God did amazing things. He said, "I'm takin' you to that place called the Promised Land. Stick with me. Keep the promise, and don't give up".
Well, as they were in the desert, Moses said, "Hey, I'll be back. I'm going to see God. I'm gonna get our instructions for the next half of our journey". So he went up to mount Sinai and spoke with God. But you know what the Israelites did in the camp? They lost sight of the promise of God. They lost sight of where they were going and what God was capable of doing. You know what they said? They said, "We don't know if Moses is even gonna come back. He's takin' so long". They were so impatient. You know what they did? They took the gold that God had given them, that he had supplied for them, and they threw it in the fire and they said, "We're gonna make our own God. We're gonna celebrate and worship that God". They thought that God was gonna make 'em happy. It didn't. It didn't make 'em happy at all. In fact, you know what they did? They fell short of the best plan God had for their life.
We need to be prepared. There's a appointed time. What are you doing to get to that appointed time? You see, it's how we wait that's important to God. How we wait can oftentimes lead to how long we wait. See, the waiting is what God is interested in. He's interested in what we're gonna develop within us as we wait. In fact, I believe he's more interested in our development than what we're waiting on. Because see, God's got amazing thing in your future. Hey, if he's brought you this far, he's gonna take you all the way. He's parted Red Seas for you. You've seen him do miracles. You're well fed and well clothed. You've got everything you need. Don't jump ahead of God. No, if he's brought you this far, he's gonna take you all the way. Enjoy where ya are right now. Begin to learn to wait well, knowing that this patient endurance that you're birthing is going to bring forward every promise he is giving you. Amen.