Monday, April 03, 2006
The Lonely, Impatient Christian: Impatience
As I approached this subject, I asked myself how impatience can hurt a Christian and it's ultimate effect on loneliness. I will have to say, that I think, the majority of the problems that American Christians have to deal with is the "Right Now" society of the United States. Our location, the place where we live, is a big influence, as well as a hindrance, to being a Christian. We have drive thrus, microwave popcorn, instant this, instant that...Americans have been raised to want it now. This explains our short attention spans and other societal issues that seem to arise.

As I go through my rant about American culture, you may think that I don't partake in these things. I do, microwave popcorn especially, but when it comes to God; when it comes to faith; there is no room for impatience.

Accepting Christ
Becoming a Christian, by accepting Christ into your heart, is an awesome experience. Feelings can be overwhelming and your heart and mind are filled with a peace that you have never experienced. It comes fast and quick. As a "New Christian," little things that are done daily, continue to propagate the highs experienced during your conversion, making it easier to "feel" God's hand touching you and His word speaking to you. Becoming a Christian fulfills that instant gratification most Americans are looking to achieve, but being a Christian is not just about the highs, but the ordinary as well.

Ordinary is OK
Just as the majority of the Church calendar is ordinary, so are most of the life and times of a Christian. The daily routine of prayer, scripture reading, and just living as Christ has called us to, for anyone, especially an American raised in a "gotta have it now" society, can be boring. It is during this time that we may not "feel" Christ in our lives. We think that His voice is not calling us. These are the times that the lonely, impatient Christian dreads. Only in times of turmoil and joy, when the outcome of prayers can readily be seen, do lonely, impatient Christians, feel less lonely and seem to "know" God is with them. Until a Christian can live beyond their feelings and begin to have faith in all that they have been taught, all that they have read in scripture, and all that goes on around them in their "ordinary" day, can they begin to feel less lonely.

Patience is a Virtue
Patience, while moving through the "ordinary" time, can be difficult for Christians.

James 1:2-4 tells us, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." (NIV)

God calls all Christians to "endure" through ordinary times as well as non-ordinary times, but for most Christians, the patience part comes with time...and for unfortunately never comes. With all the conveniences that we have in America, it is sometimes difficult to "endure" and to have patience. I reference back to my first post on this subject that there are some Christians that I know that can give their struggles to God and never deal with them again. They have control, with God's help, over the flesh. While others have the patience and understanding of what Christ calls us to do, but there are constant struggles. They have faith, but lose the fight of the flesh. (see I Do What I Don't Want to Do)

The problem that arises from the constant struggle with being patient and letting God do God's work. When we can be patient, he promises us that we will receive His blessing.

David, in Psalm 40:1 tells us, "I waited patiently for the LORD; He turned to me and heard my cry." (NIV)

You can read more of God's blessing because of trust and patience in Psalm 40 here.

Lord, as we travel through life, we face struggles that we must overcome. One of the biggest struggles that we face, that challenges our relationship with You, is being patient. You call us to follow You, yet when we do not see the outcome of our prayers and obedience immediately, we become frustrated, anger, and distant, which ultimately leads to our loneliness. Lord grant us patience. Grant us the ability to completely trust Your word and have the faith to understand in the end, all things will work for Your glory and we will be rewarded more than we ever could have imagined. I ask this in Your Glorious Name. AMEN.

  posted at 12:38 PM


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