Posts Tagged 'God’s Love'



We Patiently Long For Him

O Lord, be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress. – Isaiah 33:2

In the verse before this one there is a warning to the destroyer; you must keep destroying or be destroyed. Then, in the verse following Isaiah writes of locusts that destroys the harvest. Sandwiched between these two warnings of calamity is the cry of the people, “O Lord, be gracious to us; we long for you.”

There are many stresses in a day that strain our emotional resources and it is sometimes difficult to keep our focus on the Lord. Throughout the day, incident by incident, our strength is drained until finally when the day is done we lay on our bed and cry, “O Lord, be gracious to us; we long for you.”

How many are the nights that we have lain on the bed, trying to find sleep after a day of watching the destroyer devour the good that others do. The deceiver, who seeks to wreck havoc on the people of God, goes about releasing his destructive forces upon the good that we would do. Exhausted and emotionally drained we lay on our bed and cry, “O Lord, be gracious to us; we long for you.”

Alas, the morning does come when we have been refreshed by the Holy Spirit and his rest is upon us. In the morning we realize that he is our strength and our salvation in time of distress. He is our strength every morning and our salvation.

What is it that gives us the patience to endure the day and cry out with hope in the night? We wait on him because he has proven that when we endure he will always come through. If we can hold on through the day and cry out in hope at night, we will awaken renewed. He is our strength every morning and our salvation.

No enemy can destroy the one who longs for the Lord and who has learned that the Lord is their strength. He is our strength every morning and our salvation.

Prayer: Lord, I long for you. When I am distressed over the circumstances that surround me I cry out for your strength and your salvation, In Jesus name, amen.

Principle: We wait on him because he has proven that when we endure he will always come through.

Affirmation: In the midst of daily activities and the stresses of life I wait patiently as I cry out, ” O Lord, be gracious to me; I long for you. Be my strength every morning, my salvation in time of distress.”

Reflection: Read the first five verses of Isaiah 33 and reflect on them paying particular attention to the verses 2-3. Even in times of distress we must wait patiently for him.

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He’s Coming… Wait Patiently

O Lord, be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress. – Isaiah 33:2

In the verse before this one there is a warning to the destroyer; you must keep destroying or be destroyed. Then, in the verse following Isaiah writes of locusts that destroys the harvest. Sandwiched between these two warnings of calamity is the cry of the people, “O Lord, be gracious to us; we long for you.”
There are many stresses in a day that strain our emotional resources and it is sometimes difficult to keep our focus on the Lord. Throughout the day, incident by incident, our strength is drained until finally when the day is done we lay on our bed and cry, “O Lord, be gracious to us; we long for you.”
How many are the nights that we have lain on the bed, trying to find sleep after a day of watching the destroyer devour the good that others do. The deceiver, who seeks to wreck havoc on the people of God, goes about releasing his destructive forces upon the good that we would do. Exhausted and emotionally drained we lay on our bed and cry, “O Lord, be gracious to us; we long for you.”
Alas, the morning does come when we have been refreshed by the Holy Spirit and his rest is upon us. In the morning we realize that he is our strength and our salvation in time of distress. He is our strength every morning and our salvation.
What is it that gives us the patience to endure the day and cry out with hope in the night? We wait on him because he has proven that when we endure he will always come through. If we can hold on through the day and cry out in hope at night, we will awaken renewed. He is our strength every morning and our salvation.
No enemy can destroy the one who longs for the Lord and who has learned that the Lord is their strength. He is our strength every morning and our salvation.

Prayer: Lord, I long for you. When I am distressed over the circumstances that surround me I cry out for your strength and your salvation, In Jesus name, amen.

We Patiently Long For Him

Principle: We wait on him because he has proven that when we endure he will always come through.

Affirmation: In the midst of daily activities and the stresses of life I wait patiently as I cry out, ” O Lord, be gracious to me; I long for you. Be my strength every morning, my salvation in time of distress.”

Reflection: Read the first five verses of Isaiah 33 and reflect on them paying particular attention to the verses 2-3. Even in times of distress we must wait patiently for him.

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He’s Coming… Wait Patiently

Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. – James 5:7-8

My dad always had a garden. It was not a small backyard garden, it was big. It was so big that when the vegetables ripened he put a sign out on the road inviting passersby to drop in and buy some vegetables.

When I was about five years old I decided to plant my own garden. Mom had a flower bed in front of our porch. I took a few beans from the kitchen out to mom’s flower garden. I pushed my finger into the soft dirt to make a hole for each of the beans, placed the beans in the holes and covered them up. Then I waited.

Being a young gardener, I was impatient. Every few minutes I would look to see if the beans were coming up yet. Finally, after an eternity of about five days, little sprouts began to stick up out of the dirt. Then day by day I watched as the sprouts became full sized plants. After an eternity of weeks the plants produced little flowers that grew into bean pods.

It was a long spring of waiting, but the reward was in the satisfaction of knowing I had raised a crop. Of course there was the reward at the dinner table too when mom served the fresh picked beans for dinner.

James is telling us that we must learn the lesson of the patient farmer. We must stand firm and wait patiently for our Lord to return. We must stand firm in the Christian faith, and we must stand firm in our personal faith.

When we come to Christ we are like the child who plants his first garden. We expect the harvest any day and anxiously await signs that the harvest is ready. Then, as the days go by and we become interested in other things, we can’t forget that the harvest is coming. He is coming, wait patiently and with expectancy.

Prayer: Lord, I’m still a little like that five year old gardener. I need patience and perseverance to endure until you return. Grant it in Jesus name, amen.

Principle: We must learn the lesson of the patient farmer standing firm as we wait patiently for our Lord to return.

Affirmation: As the one who has planted seed in the ground waits for the time of harvest, so I, who have placed my faith in Christ, wait patiently for his return.

Reflection: James tells us that we should wait patiently for the return of the Lord just as a farmer waits patiently for harvest time. How should we be waiting for the Lord’s return?

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Patient People Don’t Fret Over Evil People

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret – it leads only to evil. – Psalm 37:7-8

We’ve all been there. You’ve worked hard, your accomplishments are exemplary; then the most conniving, manipulating, and certainly undeserving person, gets the promotion. Didn’t that just make you want to do something to that person? If it didn’t you are probably more spiritual than the rest of us.

The message David is conveying in this Psalm is to trust the justice of God and not resort to the same schemes and manipulation that evil people do. It is easy to feel justified returning evil for evil, but that’s not God’s way.

The Message Bible says it well:
“Quiet down before God; be prayerful before him. Don’t bother with those who climb the ladder, who elbow their way to the top. Bridle your anger, trash your wrath, cool your pipes – it only makes things worse. Before long the crooks will be bankrupt; God-investors will soon own the store.”

It isn’t always easy, in fact it rarely is, to wait for God’s justice. We want justice to be swift and sure. We want vengeance, now! But God says, “Wait on me. Trust me. I have the situation well in hand.”

God’s goal is much different than ours. Our goal is vindication and justice that in effect punishes the guilty. God’s goal is to bring the violator to repentance. God has already administered justice, even death, for the guilty. He did that on the Cross when Christ died for the sins of all who would live in every age.Speaking of the judgment that is to fall upon the unrepentant Peter writes, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” God patiently waited on us to repent, shouldn’t we wait patiently?

Prayer: OK God, I confess that all too often I want vengeance and punishment for wrongdoers. Grant me your heart that my desire will for their repentance. Amen.

Principle: Trust the justice of God and not resort to the same schemes and manipulation that evil people do.

Affirmation: When others, who are less worthy, receive recognition I give them honor because I trust the justice of God and I do not resort to the same schemes and manipulation the evil people do.

Reflection: How do you feel when others receive the honor or promotion you felt that you deserved? Be honest! How should we feel toward them?

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Waiting Patiently For The Promised Blessing

God made his promise to Abraham… “I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.” And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised. – Hebrews 6:13-15

Abraham was 75 years old when God promised him a son. It isn’t that unusual for a man of that age to father children. What is unusual is that his wife was near the same age. Abraham had already been walking with God many years and he had developed great faith in the word of the Lord, but this was a stretch even for him. Yet he believed and waited for the promise to be fulfilled.

It is sometimes easier to believe than it is to wait for the promise. Abraham and Sarah waited many years for this promise to come to pass, and all the while Sarah’s biological clock ticked way past the time when women could bear children. Yet they waited. God’s promises are fulfilled in his time, not ours.

God called me to preach when I was in High School. At that time I had a vision of preaching before a crowd of people and I appeared to be in Africa. A few years ago I was ministering in a crusade in Liberia, West Africa. I looked across the crowd of people assembled there and all at once I realized that it was the crowd I had seen in the vision over 40 years before.

Has God given you a vision, or a promise that has yet to be fulfilled? Perhaps someone was guided by the Holy Spirit to recognize a particular calling in your life and spoke that to you, but you have not yet seen the fruit of that promise. Maybe God spoke a promise to you about finances, or relationships, and you are still waiting for the fulfillment of that promise.

Put yourself in Abraham’s place. See yourself waiting, patiently all those years before the promise was fulfilled. Then see yourself today waiting for God’s promise to you to be fulfilled. Every time you get impatient with God concerning his promises to you remember Abraham. God knows the best time – wait for his time.

Prayer: Lord, you have given so many promises and I am trying to wait patiently for their fulfillment, but it’s hard to wait. Grant me the wisdom and the patience wait for your timing. In Jesus name, amen.

Principle: When you get impatient with God concerning his promises to you remember Abraham. God knows the best time – wait for his time.

Affirmation: I am committed to waiting patiently on the Lord until He speaks revelation to me and then to wait until He says it is time to implement the revelation.

Reflection: Waiting for the right timing is always critical and it requires a commitment to the outcome. Patience is required to wait for the right time to act. What are your thoughts on being patient?

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Waiting Patiently For The Promised Blessing

God made his promise to Abraham… “I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.” And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised. – Hebrews 6:13-15

Abraham was 75 years old when God promised him a son. It isn’t that unusual for a man of that age to father children. What is unusual is that his wife was near the same age. Abraham had already been walking with God many years and he had developed great faith in the word of the Lord, but this was a stretch even for him. Yet he believed and waited for the promise to be fulfilled.

It is sometimes easier to believe than it is to wait for the promise. Abraham and Sarah waited many years for this promise to come to pass, and all the while Sarah’s biological clock ticked way past the time when women could bear children. Yet they waited. God’s promises are fulfilled in his time, not ours.

God called me to preach when I was in High School. At that time I had a vision of preaching before a crowd of people and I appeared to be in Africa. A few years ago I was ministering in a crusade in Liberia, West Africa. I looked across the crowd of people assembled there and all at once I realized that it was the crowd I had seen in the vision over 40 years before.
Has God given you a vision, or a promise that has yet to be fulfilled? Perhaps someone was guided by the Holy Spirit to recognize a particular calling in your life and spoke that to you, but you have not yet seen the fruit of that promise. Maybe God spoke a promise to you about finances, or relationships, and you are still waiting for the fulfillment of that promise.

Put yourself in Abraham’s place. See yourself waiting, patiently all those years before the promise was fulfilled. Then see yourself today waiting for God’s promise to you to be fulfilled. Every time you get impatient with God concerning his promises to you remember Abraham. God knows the best time – wait for his time.

Prayer: Lord, you have given so many promises and I am trying to wait patiently for their fulfillment, but it’s hard to wait. Grant me the wisdom and the patience wait for your timing. In Jesus name, amen.

Principle: When you get impatient with God concerning his promises to you remember Abraham. God knows the best time – wait for his time.

Affirmation: I am committed to waiting patiently on the Lord until He speaks revelation to me and then to wait until He says it is time to implement the revelation.

Reflection: Waiting for the right timing is always critical and it requires a commitment to the outcome. Patience is required to wait for the right time to act. What are your thoughts on being patient?

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Is Patience Optional As Fruit Of The Spirit?

I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. – John 15:1-2

Have you ever looked at the list of spiritual fruit in Galatians five and thought, “Well, I’m not doing too bad, I have about two-thirds of those?” Most of us think, “I’ve got most of them, that’s pretty good, after all, I’m only human.”

There is something that should be pointed out here. There is just one fruit, and that fruit is manifested in the characteristics that are listed. Jesus uses the example of a vine, presumably a grape vine to demonstrate this point. The fruit of a grape vine is a cluster of grapes. There are many parts to each grape in the cluster. There is the stem, the skin of the grape, the meat and seeds. If one of those components is missing it is not a complete grape.

It is the same with fruit of the Spirit; when one characteristic, or virtue, is absent then the fruit is not complete. When we are living submitted to the Holy Spirit then all of the fruit mentioned will be manifest in us. In fact, a measure of whether we are truly submitted to the work of the Holy Spirit in us is the degree to which the fruit of the Spirit is manifest.

In this passage Jesus is dealing with vines that do not produce healthy fruit. First he lets us know that non-producing branches will be cut off from the vine. That seems pretty severe, but that is what he said. Then he says those branches that are producing will be pruned so that they will produce more and better fruit.

I have found myself in that latter category all too often. The Holy Spirit has frequently gotten my attention by revealing that I am not doing a good job of manifesting his fruit. Then the Father begins to prune my branch. I have found that submitting to the Father’s pruning makes me a productive branch.

Prayer: Lord, I’ve had the attitude that I wasn’t doing too bad if I had most of the Spirit’s fruit, but now I know that there is just one fruit. Grant me the grace to live submitted to the Holy Spirit so that his fruit is fully manifest. In Jesus name, amen.

Principle: When one characteristic, or virtue, is absent then the fruit of the Spirit is not complete.

Affirmation: I consciously seek to submit my flesh so that the fruit I manifest is fruit of the Spirit, not of the flesh.

Reflection: There is but one fruit of the Spirit with nine manifestations. In the passage today the Father is pruning the vine. Does that mean if we do not have all of the fruit manifestations that we are not productive branches? What are your thoughts on that?
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Steadfast Patience Fills Us With Joy

You have need of steadfast patience and endurance, so that you may perform and fully accomplish the will of God, and thus receive and carry away [and enjoy to the full] what is promised. – Hebrews 10:36

This passage in The Amplified Bible brings out an interesting perspective on patience. It is saying that the fruit of patient labor is having the promise fulfilled in us and it also adds the dimension of being able to enjoy the promise to the full.

The point seems to be that we have been given a promise of future joy, but we must endure whatever comes to us as we are on the path in order to receive the promise. If we will hold steadfast and patiently endure, we will receive the overwhelming joy of having the promise fulfilled.

What is the promise that this passage is referring to? He is speaking of the eternal hope that we share in Christ. In the verses before this one he speaks of persecution and loss of this world’s possessions and contrasts those things lost with “better and lasting possessions” (v34).

He speaks to those who will patiently endure saying, “Do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded” (v35). There is no one going to say that it is easy to go through persecution, particularly the kind of persecution the early church endured, but we are promised that if we patiently endure and wait for the promised deliverance, we will be vindicated and we will have great joy.

A key to having steadfast patience is to be committed to a cause. The purpose given in this passage for patient endurance is, “So that you may perform and fully accomplish the will of God.” A common mistake people make is that they want patience because they know they should have it, but they are not really committed to a cause.

The purpose of patient enduring is not so that we can put another notch on our spiritual belt, but it is so that we can fulfill God’s purposes for our lives.

Prayer: Lord, help me to realize that I must be steadfast in my commitment to your will and patiently endure whatever comes my way so that I can perform and fully accomplish your will. In Jesus name, amen.
Steadfast Patience Fills Us With Joy

Principle: The fruit of patient labor is having the promise fulfilled in us and it also adds the dimension of being able to enjoy the promise to the full.

Affirmation: I labor in the kingdom patiently so that I may perform and fully accomplish the will of God.

Reflection: Patient is a virtue that is developed through being committed to a cause. Patience is a virtue, but it is only achieved when one is committed to a greater cause. What greater cause are you committed to?

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Wait For The Spirit – He Will Guide You

Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit. – Acts 1:4-5

It was a troubling time for those who followed Jesus. First he was crucified, now he is going back to the Father. They were feeling abandoned and anxious about the future. Jesus, knowing how they were feeling told them to go back into the city and wait for God to send his gift.

Every once in a while we find ourselves in a situation where one trying time is placed upon another and we become anxious about our circumstances. We feel inadequate and we feel that we don’t have the appropriate resources to handle things. That is the way the disciples felt as Jesus was ascending to heaven.

That’s why Jesus reminded them of the promise they had received about the comforter being with them. He was also instructing them that if they would just wait upon the Lord he would baptize them with power and every spiritual gift that was necessary to accomplish the task they had been commissioned to do. The whole thing depended upon patiently waiting for the Holy Spirit.

Patience is a fruit of the Spirit. That is why we must learn to wait upon him. It is like planting a garden. One fruit of a garden is patience. You grow in patience as you wait for the plants to grow, produce blooms and eventually produce fruit. That is the way it is with the Holy Spirit. He enters our heart and begins to do a work there. As we learn to give him lordship in our life he begins the work of building fruit in us.

Has waiting on the Holy Spirit given you the fruit of patience? If it hasn’t just wait around and you will get it.

Prayer: Lord, I want to be able to fulfill the call that you have on my life. I cannot do that without the power of the Holy Spirit working in me. Grant me the grace to wait patiently upon you as I seek your guidance. In Jesus name, amen.

Wait For The Spirit – He Will Guide You

Principle: The promises of God are fulfilled in those who patiently do what He has asked them to do.

Affirmation: I patiently fulfill what God has asked me to do because I know He is faithful to his word and his promises are true.

Reflection: Often the promised blessings of God do not come when we expect. How do you feel when God’s promised blessing does not come when you expect it? Is it difficult for you to patiently wait for God to respond?

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Angels Protect Those Who Patiently Trust Him

I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears… The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them. Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him. – Psalm 34:4-8

David is telling the story of a strange event in the writing of this psalm. He was hiding from Saul and on the move when he stumbled into the camp of another enemy. Realizing he was about to be captured and probably killed he quickly began to act like a man who has lost his mind. The enemy thought he was crazy and were afraid to harm him so they drove him away.

When we trust the Lord he will make a way of escape for us in every situation, but we have to trust him to come through, even when he waits to the last second. If David did not have a pattern of trusting the Lord in difficult times he would not have been prepared to respond in this situation.

David displayed a characteristic of patience that we don’t often think of. David displayed the kind of patience that is ready to act, but only when he knows the right thing to do in the situation. That may mean waiting for the right second to act.

Years ago I used to play Racquetball regularly. Racquetball is a very fast moving game and it took me a while to learn that a major key to scoring points is to patiently wait for the ball (a ball that is coming at you at about 60 miles per hour). What I mean by that is if you jump at the ball a split second to soon you will mishit it and you will not have control. The difference is a split second, but to patiently wait that split second makes the difference between getting the point or not getting the point.

That is the kind of patience David displayed in this situation. He already knew that God had dispatched angels to protect him, but he had to wait for the right time to act. We are often in the same position of having to wait for God to give us direction before we act. That requires patience, a fruit of the Spirit.

Prayer: Lord, in pressing times I tend to respond according to my human nature. I know angels are protecting so grant me the grace to wait for you to come through with the answer. In Jesus name, amen.

Principle: When we patiently trust the Lord he will make a way of escape for us in every situation.

Affirmation: When I am surprised by an unexpected circumstance I wait for wisdom to respond in an appropriate manner.

Reflection: Have you been surprised by an unexpected adverse circumstance that demanded an immediate response? How did you respond? Did you appeal to our Father for wisdom and wait his response?

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Paul ”Hope Preacher” Smith

Messages of inspiration for the journey of faith

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