Patience in Affliction
Happy New Year everyone!!! I am excited about January's theme: Pursuing Purpose. I believe that it is going to encourage and inspire you to begin to do just that in 2018. I am looking forward to a 2018 filled with divine favor, doors, connections, and blessings. I believe the same for you as well. The first topic to go along with this theme for January is Patience in Affliction.
Patience- An ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay
Affliction- a state of pain, distress, or grief; misery
Although, we look forward to an amazing 2018, I am not ignorant to the fact that there are some difficulties from 2017 that are still present as you begin this journey of 2018. Some of the problems that you faced in 2017 have not necessarily been resolved just yet. This is reality. However, the difference in 2018 (a goal that you must aspire to ascertain) must be the way in which you handle your afflictions (those unresolved problems). They key is to be patient. Based on the definition above evaluate whether or not you have truly been patient during your times of devastatingly difficult circumstances.
When we are patient in affliction that means we are not letting our emotions get the best of us: anger, depression, pride, bitterness, revenge, and the like. Emotions get the best of you when the delay (the timing) has been two long by your standards. However, I read in a devotion the other day that in your delay, "you can become the person He wants you to be, do the work He desires you, bear the fruit He enables you to bear, and receive all the blessings He's prepared for you." Therefore, when you are pursing your purpose, you have to operate in patience. This is a sign that you just have to trust God even during the hard times.
Reasons we can be Patient in Affliction:
1. God remembers His covenant promises to us
Psalms 106: 44-45:
44 Yet he took note of their distress when he heard their cry; 45 for their sake he remembered his covenant and out of his great love he relented.
You have to believe that what God has for you will come to pass. The promises in His word, what he has shared with you in prayer, the visions and dreams you have seen, and the words that have been spoken over your life shall come to pass. He is a faithful God.
2. God delivers His people
19 The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all;
God never leaves us helpless. He is always there to bring us out of the various circumstance that we find ourselves in due to mistakes we have made in the past, issues beyond our control, or the effects of being connected to others. God loves you too much to leave you. He sees your pain, your concerns, and everything else. Be Patient.
3. When tested in the fire, you come out as pure gold
10 See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.
The fire of the trials that we encounter seem too difficult to manage. However, with God, the fire is making something beautiful in you. Your challenges are making you better. Your challenges are making you stronger. Your challenges are developing your testimony. Your challenges are beautifying your character.
4. God is preparing you for ministry (your own way; job, family, etc.)
II Timothy 4:5:
5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.
You always have to keep in mind that as a child of God, despite every hardship, God is with you. This road is not always an easy road, but it is the best road. Do what God has called you to do even though it is hard because your rewards are far greater than whatever you are facing. Your rewards while on Earth and the ultimate reward of Heaven will be yours when you endure the testing.
To summarize, in 2018, be Patient in Affliction as you Pursue your Purpose. God is with you. He has not forgotten the challenges that you are experiencing. Also, when challenges arise, don't give up. Continue to trust His will and plan for your life. He is building something beautiful inside of you that is needed in your place of purpose. Be Encouraged!