I have always believed that patience is key when walking with Christ. Having patience means being obedient — staying calm and trusting God even when you have no idea what is going to happen. Expectancy. Expecting God to stand by your side every step of the way. As a consistent studier of my Bible, I have learned that all of the Bible’s major leaders had both of those characteristics: Patience and expectancy.
Sometimes we find ourselves in such horrible messes that it’s hard to imagine waiting one more second. We get impatient. But it is important that we continue to wait on God. Continue to trust Him with a sweet and simple faith. Then, in a way that is so out of this world to us, God acts, swiftly and suddenly.
When people patently and expectantly wait on God in the midst of their struggles and horrible circumstances, God breaks through. Do not give up. Stay full of hope and expectation. His power is limitless.
I was flipping through my Bible, trying to find something to read that started a fire in me and I stumbled upon the Book of Acts. Acts 16 has and always will be a story that has an everlasting affect on me. This account of Paul and Silas is such a great example of remaining patient with God, and not only being patient but putting your uttermost faith, first and foremost in Him. A faith that is so strong, so powerful, so moving, that doubt isn’t even an option. When reading this chapter, Paul and Silas didn’t think God would pull through. They knew He would. In Acts 16, patience and expectancy go hand in hand. Lets take a look down below:
“One day, as we were going to the place of prayer, we met a slave-girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners a great deal of money by fortune-telling. While she followed Paul and us, she would cry out, ‘These men are slaves of the Most High God, who proclaim to you a way of salvation.’ She kept doing this for many days. But Paul, very much annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, ‘I order you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.’ And it came out that very hour. But when her owners saw that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the market place before the authorities.” (Acts 16: 17-20 NRSV)
Now, lets just stop right there. Paul and Silas weren’t afraid to speak for The Lord. At all. They made sure to let people know that the reason they were there was to spread the good news of Jesus Christ. They weren’t afraid of what was going to happen. They were doing it all for the sake of His name. They ended up getting persecuted for it and being sent to the authorities to speak for themselves. Do you express your faith regardless of the negative feedback you may receive? If so, have you ever been persecuted for it? Regardless of the fact that they were being persecuted, they kept their patience, their expectancy levels were high, and their faith was bold. Lets read a bit further:
“Following these instructions, he put them in the innermost cell and fastened their feet in the stocks. About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was an earthquake, so violent that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened.” (Acts 16: 24-26 NRSV)
Paul and Silas knew about waiting, and they waited well. Acts 16 tells the story of how they were attacked by the crowd, beaten and thrown in jail. Verse 24 says the jailer put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks. Paul and Silas didn’t seem to panic. They didn’t seem to mind. They just chose to start singing and began to worship the Lord. They began to wait on God. And what happened? God send an earthquake that opened the prison doors and loosened their chains. He set them free.
Just remember when you are in a difficult situation to be patient. It may seem hard at the moment. You are going to feel like you need to do something about it. You put all of this pressure on yourself to fix the problem yourself and you rush into finding a solution and resolving it yourself, but that does not work. God works it out for you when you are patient with Him and let Him take over. He is the one that puts all the pieces together. Paul and Silas were not sitting in jail stressing about what they needed to do to set themselves free. They left it in God’s hands. And what happened? God set them free. They were patient and expectant.
He is on your side. Next time you are in a tough situation, take a breather, pray, let God know you are on His timing, and know that He will take care of it.
His clock is more accurate than yours. Wait. Rest.
God, no matter how bad my messes get, I choose to praise You in my personal prison. I know that You will set me free and help me in Your perfect timing.
Let it go and let God…