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Faith

When God says ‘wait’

November 15, 2014

You know what I really love? Being made to wait.

– Said no one, ever.

Yet, one thing is certain. In this life, you will wait. You will wait for the bus. You will wait for that pay cheque. You will wait for that career move. You will wait for what you want. Sometimes days, sometimes months, sometimes even years. And at some point it will frustrate you. But eventually, you will get tired of being frustrated. And you will seek to understand why it is necessary to wait. In this moment you may even cease from idly watching the clock and grasp how to find peace in the waiting season. Maybe, just maybe that moment could begin now.

“Just wait” – the unofficial swearword, (along with “not now”, “later” and “we need to talk”). There’s just something about waiting that riles up our flesh and stirs our emotions. But with the knowledge that waiting is one of the inevitable features of life and won’t be going away anytime-ever, we might aswell sit tight and enjoy the ride, right?

So as Christians why do we wait and what can we learn whilst sitting in the waiting room?

1. Waiting teaches us patience

Think back to something you had to wait a long time for. Maybe it was your licence, a car. That last exam. The day you would finally graduate. Whatever it may have been, when we’re made to wait a long time, there often comes a turning point when you accept that there is a time for everything and thus you have no choice but to learn patience. As we mature, we find that it’s no longer acceptable to throw all our toys out of the pram when things don’t go our way, or as quickly as we would have hoped. That’s what childhood was there for; to get all those hissy fits and melodramatic monologues out of your system.

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. – 1 Corinthians 13:11

When a hungry baby cries it is not because they are experiencing any physical pain so to speak, but simply because they lack the patience to understand that food prep takes time. Now that you are an adult, I dare you to try turning on the waterworks because the Nando’s queue is long. I promise you, it won’t be a pretty sight.streaming Life 2017 movie

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces patience. Let patience finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. – James 1:2-4

Sometimes, we are made to wait simply to learn patience and often times, we won’t get past that test until we begin to embrace the refining fire, and exchange our old habits for the fruits of the Spirit.

Better is the end of a thing than its beginning, and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. – Ecclesiastes 7:8

You may feel like God has had you on hold for a minute. It’s not that He is mad at you, on the contrary, God, your Father is lovingly teaching you, refining you and preparing you for what is to come. In doing so, when that thing you have patiently waited for arrives, you will be able to enjoy it all the better with a more mature and wise mind, lacking nothing.

2. We often value more, the things we had to wait for

Let’s imagine for a moment that you are a mother or a father. Maybe you are. If you were to give your child everything they wanted, exactly when they wanted it, what do you think would happen to that child? No matter how “good” of a Christian you may be, give a man or a woman everything they want as they want it and watch as gratitude withers away with every gift. As humans, if we get something easily we often let go just as easily.

To assume that we can get everything we want as and when we ask, would be selling ourselves a dream. Furthermore, you’d only be setting yourself up for continual disappointment. Nobody likes a spoilt brat. God is not a genie. Neither is He your magic lamp. The sooner we begin to understand this, the sooner we can learn how to wait well and consequently value the harvest the more when it comes into fullness. We all know the saying “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. Simply put, nothing great came easy.

So don’t get tired of doing what is good. Don’t get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time. – Galatians 6:9Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

It’s the principle of delayed gratification. Seed time and harvest. Seed t-i-m-e (the waiting season) and harvest. I believe Joyce Meyer put it wonderfully in an article titled “When God’s Timing Is Taking Too Long”:

“Between seedtime and harvest comes a time of waiting. After a seed is planted, the heat, moisture and pressure of the ground finally cause the outer hull to crack open. Then roots shoot down, digging their way through the ground. It takes time for this to happen, and it takes place underground. Above the ground, you can’t tell anything is happening. That’s the way our lives are. After we plant seeds of obedience, we feel like nothing is happening, but all kinds of things are happening inside where we can’t see. And like the seed that finally bursts through the ground with a beautiful green shoot, our seeds of obedience finally break forth into a beautiful manifestation of God in our lives.”

It may be painful waiting, but if it means that much to you, the reward will always be worth the wait.

3. Waiting reveals the true nature of your heart

You want to see the reality of someone’s character? Make them wait – long, for something they really want.

How do you behave when you are made to wait? How does what you say change? Go from 0-100 real quick?

Next to pressure, plenty and lack, I’m convinced that waiting has to be one of the most powerful revealers of character.

As Christians, many of us will wake up, bless the Lord for a new day, read our Bible, meditate, play 1-2 worship songs and then get caught in traffic and turn into the spawn of the devil on the morning commute.

Such trials show the proven character of your faith, which is much more valuable than gold–gold that is tested by fire, even though it is passing away–and will bring praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. – 1 Peter 1:7

Whilst you’re in that waiting season, take a good look at your heart. Don’t grumble like the Israelites did whilst they were being directed to their blessing. Vow to become better in the midst of your waiting. Pass the test. Repent and ask God to renew your heart and mind. It is possible to wait and have peace.

You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You. – Isaiah 26:3

4. Waiting reminds us that God’s timing is sovereignly perfect

If you ever feel like you’re the only person on earth being made to wait, consider this;

  • God promised Abraham that he would be the father of many nations. He was 75 at the time. It wasn’t until Abraham was aged 100 that Isaac was born.
  • At 17 Joseph was sold into slavery. For two years he was imprisoned. At 30 he was promoted by Pharaoh.
  • Job’s servants were slaughtered. He lost all his possessions, his children and his livelihood. It wasn’t until the last chapter in the book that God restored Job two-fold.

After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before. – Job 42:10

Once we journey through the waiting season, we find God in all the details and the bigger picture. The more we journey with God, the more deeply we discover that He knew what He was doing all along and that His timing is always perfect.  Not a moment too soon, nor a moment too late.

5. It is through waiting that we learn contentment

Sometime last year, I cried out to God about a strong desire of my heart which I had dreamt of for years. Probably one of the biggest things I have had to wait on God for. I recall growing weary and fighting bitterness as I witnessed my friends live out the same opportunity, one by one. Honestly, in-between fighting to genuinely celebrate others and consoling myself, I began to consider that maybe I would never see this answered prayer. For a moment, I felt forgotten. Now frustrated and fidgety, I had longed for the opportunity for so long that I didn’t consider the idea that maybe I wasn’t yet ready? Maybe the wait was actually necessary and for my own protection. That day in July I hit a brick wall during worship. I’ll never forget what happened next. All of a sudden, God spoke and planted a word in me so strong that I fell to my knees crying. As He began to speak I hurriedly jotted everything down in my journal. The heart of the message can be summarised with this one scripture:

“I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.” – Phillipians 4:11-12

Looking back, I wasn’t ready for what I was praying for. I was miserable, ungrateful for what I did have and incredibly discontent with my present. It wasn’t the right term for that specific harvest. Yes, I would have been happy but with the bad “give-me-everything-now” attitude I had developed, it would only have been momentary. Furthermore, I needed to first be rooted in the love of Christ lest my love for that opportunity turn into an idol.

For so long I had subconciously put a pause on my happiness saying to myself “I will be happy when so and so is in place…” and we often do this. Why not start being happy now?

You don’t have to have a rough plane ride on the way to your dream destination. Journey well. Ask God to show you how to be content in your current phase of life. That way, when the blessing comes, your contentment will be firmly grounded in Christ.

6. Waiting develops your dependency on God

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. – Isaiah 40:31

We learn to trust God when we pass through seasons that require our waiting. As God continues to prove His faithfulness, we begin to let go of any confidence we had placed in ourselves, and gradually we place our trust in Him, almost by instinct. Looking at it like this, it is easy to see how timing plays an important part in learning to trust God. If He did everything we asked for immediately, we would never grow up as Christians.

With experience comes wisdom and a positively renewed reaction to difficult seasons;

 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. – Phillipians 4:6-7

Recently, following the tragic death of Dr. Myles and Ruth Monroe, their son, Chairo said something exceptionally poignant and profound which I believe is relevant here;

“God may not explain Himself but He will reveal Himself.”

Time often reveals truth. Time enables us to come to understand what is His good and perfect will. Time shows us the character of God whilst encouraging us to examine our own. So don’t rush the perfecting. It hurts, but don’t fight the pruning. It’s been a long road, but don’t abort the journey.

If you can just hold on a little longer, see Jesus a little clearer, it would amaze you what’s on the other side of your waiting.

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. – Romans 8:18

Faith

Learning how to swim with the current

October 16, 2014

Can I be real with y’all? Like really real.

The other day I had an epiphany.

If heartbreak can make you a better lover, then it was never in vain.

So here’s the scene.

One night I had been thrown off by a comment made towards me by someone close to me. It’s not that what was said was offensive but rather the manner in which it was said. Ultimately, I knew deep down inside that the person’s intentions behind saying it were purely good, because I have full confidence that said person cares about me.

However, moments later I find myself still thinking about what was said and wondering why I feel “some typa’ way”. So after attempts to psyche myself out of being upset, talking to myself and praying, I came to understand something significant.

A large portion of my upset had been caused by triggers. The manner in which the person had spoke, had for a brief moment reminded me of how someone I once considered close would speak to me. This person had a way of belittling, depreciating and making me feel small, which would often lead to a massive argument, or silence. Sometimes for days.

But that was then.

Here I am, today at a far better season in life only to discover that I am upset not at this person before me, but at the memory of how this used to go down. In a way, my reaction was purely habitual. And in that moment I understood why I had felt “some typa’ way” and more importantly what I needed to do in order to be better.

I decided it best to communicate clearly that I was previously upset and to explain why. After all, if you can’t be open with loved ones, who can you be open with?

To cut a long story short, we conversed. I spoke, and the person listened. I then also listened as the person spoke. I was given the space to speak my feelings. They were valid, even if not justified. I was allowed to be vulnerable and to express how I had arrived at the place of being upset. So, we talked it out. Apologies were said and it was resolved in such a calm manner that I couldn’t help but recall how this scene would have played out in the previous year.

Debra of 2013 was in a very different headspace. In many ways she was manipulative, at times too sensitive, immature and far too easily tossed by her emotions. An offence could often lead to a very intentional silence and eventually blow up into something far bigger than necessary.

So what changed? I let go, analysed the good and the bad from that season and grew up. I am growing up. I’m choosing to react differently. By His grace, I’m becoming more intentional about making the right decision at the right time. And that’s the beautiful thing about trusting the process. We always have a choice.Free Fire 2017 movie

I heard a message the other day via the Elevation Church podcast on making wise decisions and one line in particular stood out to me.

“Our lives are a series of decisions. Your decisions dictate your directions”.

Look back over the past year and you will see living evidence of your decisions.

After coming through a difficult season, do your decisions change for the better? Do you apply the lessons learnt? Whatever happened, you can choose to be bitter or you can choose to be better. Ultimately, both options require a certain level of willpower so you might as well choose the right one. The choice is yours.

You don’t have to be held back by past mistakes, past offences, past sorrys-you-never-got. Let it go. When we become intentional about learning from a season or instance of pain, what was once a stumbling block can now be repositioned to propel you into a far better decision and direction for yourself and those closest to you.

The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone – Psalm 118:22

Past offence doesn’t have to equal a life spent offending others. Contrary to popular opinion, hurt people don’t have to hurt people.

Allow the season to teach you. Take as much time as you need in the classroom. Let the lesson mould you, with more compassion and grace.

Maybe you were once devalued? It doesn’t have to become your identity. Part of making pain work for you, is to vow to never allow yourself to settle for a love that is not kind. Love even harder, so that no one else may feel what you once felt.

Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing –  1 Peter 3:9

Ultimately, when there is a lesson to be learnt, God will continue to send trials as your teacher. Think back to Matthew 14:22-33 when Jesus calls out to Peter in the midst of a storm, inviting him to walk on water. Note that

Jesus never calmed the storm, He simply reminded Peter that in the midst of the storm, He is.

So stop fighting the process and trust that He is working all things together for better. The waves are only there for a season to teach you, so you might as well swim with the current and trust the direction in which it leads you.

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing – James 1:2-4

Faith

On going through – life’s lessons in faith & hope

May 29, 2014

They often say that starting something [whether it be writing a book, the first day of school or a new job] is the hardest part. Granted, simply beginning rarely comes without feelings of anticipation, fear and ultimately the unknown. But what happens when you’ve already began but “staying” and learning how to remain in that environment or maintain peace of mind becomes life’s greatest challenge?

What happens when the Process, becomes painful and a once perfectly planned out route, unfolds into a maze of twists and unrelenting turns? Where does your confidence lie, if any left? And how do you regain your steps?

On Going Through is an account of just that. How in the last year or so, life has taught and continues to teach me that all of this is so much bigger than you and I. How each season presents a fresh reminder that we may plan our way but it is truly the Lord who orders our steps.War for the Planet of the Apes live streaming film

My hope in you reading this series is that in the midst of our inevitable differences, you may find solace and relation through my own experiences, knowing that you are never alone in life’s ups and downs and that at the end of it, you are encouraged, more hopeful and maybe for the first time, intentional about trusting the process.

Lesson number one will begin by asking “what do you do when going through, in order to make it out?”

Faith

For your good

May 22, 2014

Often, for a little while struggle comes before the birth of something great.Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

Often that pain births in you compassion and against the odds, that compassion enables you to love more wholly and more forgiving. Sometimes, a period of solitude comes to remind you that God is the only one capable of forever staying close. And sometimes, you are brought to the end of your understanding, plans, and strength, because that’s where you find the beginnings of faith, surrender and hope. More often than not, brokenness comes before beauty, so take heart. You are not forgotten. All of this is working for your good. God sees your tomorrow and it is beautiful.

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But let patience have it’s perfect work. That you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. – James 1:2-4