If we want strength, we need to wait on the Lord. If we want to be people who wait on the Lord well, then we need to develop our capacity for patience. That's not possible in our own power.
We know God is sovereign over all, which means we know He intentionally places us in every situation or trial for a very specific purpose - even, especially those that try our patience - and we know it's all ultimately for our good. So, we know if our patience is being tried, we know He's trying to transform us and grow us - ultimately to build our capacity for patience and to give us His strength.
So, as I mentioned yesterday, if we want to grow in strength by increasing our ability to wait on the Lord, we need to dig deeper into our hearts in pursuit of the cause of our lack of patience. When we find ourselves struggling with patience, we need to stop and ask ourselves why. What is really going on here? Why am I really upset?
When I dive deeper into different situations where I lack patience, I find two issues underneath my lack of patience: control and fear. When I am impatient in situations like trying to get out the door and something is holding me up, or things seem to be going wrong in my day, and I really ask myself what is going on in my heart, it's a control issue. The bottom line is I'm not getting what I want. I have an agenda for the day, and it's not going the way I want it to go. The focus in on me. I want what I want when I want it. I want to be in control of my day.
Even deeper, why do I want control? For me, there are often two reasons at the root: either I don’t want people to think poorly of me, or I’m holding my own comforts at a value higher than anything else in the moment. Both of these roots take God from His rightful place in my heart, and place myself at the center. Both are sins I need to confess if I ever hope to grow in patience.
In contrast, when I am struggling with a lack of patience in a bigger trial, like waiting on the Lord to heal and save my son, I do find control issues as well, but when I dig deep beneath the control, I find fear. I am fearful that my son will never heal, will never change, will never be saved. Fear is a lack of trust in the sovereignty of God. When we fear, we don't trust God will work things out the way we want them to work out. Fear is forgetful. It forgets the fact that in His sovereignty, God is working all things out for good. Fear means we want to be God because we don't trust God to be God, we don't trust that He can or He will.
Both control and fear are sin - they are self-focused and they call into question the sovereignty of our God. As we see these sin issues, we must fall to our knees and confess and repent of those sins, and we need to do it specifically for the moments we lack patience - far too often we ask forgiveness for losing our patience, but that's just scratching the surface and will never bring about true change. Allow Him to see your sin for what it is, and confess the underlying cause of your impatience. That's when you'll see a change, and that's when you'll feel His rush of strength upon you.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗