Month: October 2014

Perfect Patience

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” – James 1:2 KJV

Oh, Patience. You are a high commodity these days. One of the most popular prayers requests, but one of the least practiced. Impatience can manifest in many situations…especially everyday occurrences, such as traffic, long lines, or inconveniences.

Another word for patience is Long-suffering: having or showing patience in spite of troubles, especially those caused by other people.

Oh…other people. You mean other people wear your patience?

Yes…especially.

It doesn’t matter who it is…family, spouse, friend, coworker…even strangers work our nerves and test us.

When I reflect on how Jesus handled these types of situations in the Bible, I have to say, it motivates me. An enemy was in his close circle of friends for 3 years. Judas, the one who would sell him out and seal it with a kiss. Jesus knew this. But He displayed patience with him, and loved him knowing what would happen.

If we want to live out patience, we must mirror ourselves after Jesus. We must pattern ourselves after His character and behavior towards others. Even our enemies.

How do we live it out?

Remember that God is patient with you. Judas wasn’t the only one who would betray Jesus. Peter wasn’t the only one who would deny Him. We all have turned away at one point. According to Hebrews 6:6, when we fall away, we are crucifying Him all over again. He still shows mercy. He still chose to die for us, foreseeing all of this. So we must see others through His eyes and show mercy and love. “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8

Grow thicker skin.  Jesus goes so far as to say allow a person to slap you 77 times and turn the other cheek. This is a tough one to swallow for many. It takes maturity and self control to refrain from retaliating. We don’t want to ruin our opportunity to shine the light of Jesus in a person’s life because our feelings remain hurt. “A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.” – Proverbs 19:11

Don’t give up. God has placed within us a certain measure of faith. Bearing with one another means not throwing up our hands and giving up on someone. Change takes time and we must learn not to become frustrated and walk away. We may miss seeing change come to fruition in someone’s life. God has perfect timing, but we don’t always know when it will happen. “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” – Galatians 6:9

As always, stay close to Jesus. Learn from His meekness. He is the Lamb of God and was the perfect example of patience throughout His life, even His persecution.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” – Matthew 5:43

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The Peacemakers

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” – Matthew 5:9

When I first read the Beatitudes, I always wondered which category I would fall into…if any. It felt like some high calling, something to reach for and hopefully be able to attain. I thought to myself, “I sure hope He’s talking about me.”

A question kept echoing in my head as I read the verse above:

Would I be associated with this group or would be the opposite? Would I be considered a troublemaker instead of a peacemaker?

It never said, “Blessed are the troublemakers.”

If I’m being honest…I would be lying if I said that I was a peacemaker. In fact, it’s laughable. How would I describe myself, you ask? Fiesty, protective, sarcastic…and cynical. (And that’s on a good day…don’t even ask about my bad ones)

I highly doubt that Jesus had any of those characteristics. But He made me knowing full well that I would. He also has come to make me new.

The definition of peacemaker:
“A person who brings about peace, especially by reconciling adversaries.”

How does a peacemaker walk through this world with out throwing a hissy fit or causing a riot? Surely they lose their cool in traffic, or snap sometimes! To be honest, it’s a conscious choice they make. We all have the free will to be peaceful everyday, but sometimes our flesh takes over and peace is not our strongest suit. Now, there are some people who are passive and mellow by nature. For these people, it may be easier. But true peace, just as true joy, comes from Jesus.

Throughout the day, we are faced with situations and circumstances to practice peace. Usually it will be in our responses that it will be evident if we are walking in peace. How can we start developing peace?

– Resist the urge to argue
– Refuse to participate in anything that could lead to conflict…gossip, etc
– Refuse to retaliate and love instead
– Accept that there will be trials and suffering but God provides and sustains us…He is always good.

“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” – James 3:17

“Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. For

“Whoever desires to love life
and see good days,
let him keep his tongue from evil
and his lips from speaking deceit;
let him turn away from evil and do good;
let him seek peace and pursue it.” – 1 Peter 3:8

Root of Peace

In order to know how to bear the Fruit of Peace, we must know the Root of peace.

“And again Isaiah says,

“The Root of Jesse will come,
even He who arises to rule the Gentiles;
in him will the Gentiles hope.”

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” – Romans 15:12

Isaiah 9 foretells of our Savior, Jesus…the Prince of Peace Himself. His legacy proceeded Him. Word of mouth revealed His glory and a promise that wouldn’t be forgotten. God knew that we needed peace. The status quo was no longer cutting it. He had to save us from ourselves.

God’s promise of peace is detailed in Jeremiah 33…and the fine print is enticing.

  • Health & Healing
  • Abundance of Prosperity & Security
  • Restoration of Fortunes
  • Rebuilding
  • Cleansing from Guilt
  • Forgiveness of Sins
  • New name of joy, a praise and a glory before all nations

I couldn’t have worded it better if I tried.

Sometimes we have our own idea of peace. Usually its assumed as a quiet, drama free life. But Jesus’ idea of peace is a far cry from ours. He’s a God of over and above, and He will always have something better than what we have in mind. He even lets us in on the plan to stir our hearts. He could just say, “It will get better”. But He breaks it down, step by step. Jeremiah 33:16 sums it up:

“In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will dwell securely.”

We can have peace in knowing that He reigns. even in the midst of chaos, His words remind us that we can maintain peace because He lives in us. He reminds us of what’s to come and sustains us in the now.

 ”Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security. I will bring Judah and Israel back from captivity and will rebuild them as they were before. I will cleanse them from all the sin they have committed against me and will forgive all their sins of rebellion against me. Then this city will bring me renown, joy, praise and honor before all nations on earth that hear of all the good things I do for it; and they will be in awe and will tremble at the abundant prosperity and peace I provide for it.” – Jeremiah 33:6