The number one way to prove we are exercising His faith, rather than ours, is during difficult times. Our first weapon would be prayer, our second is pause and our third and final weapon is . . . Patience!
Act; React; Act; React!
It seems to be the story of my life. Either I am IN Christ and I am acting and reacting properly or I am In me and acting and reacting improperly. It true for me, I’m either In or I’ve Sinned!
But I can always tell (usually AFTER my mistakes) why I am acting or reacting improperly. It is a lack of His faith. We know that James taught us that faith on trial through various temptations will produce patience. Thus, it is understandable to a loving and patience Father that we will often lack patience. But it is safe to assume if it takes successful trials to develop patience that we will not have an acceptable level of patience until we have learned to yield to His acceptable measure of faith for any given situation.
I seem to lose my cool every day. Sometimes this heated moment remains within and few, if any, realize it. Some think that’s not so bad. But to be honest, that attitude produces pride. “As long as no one knows I “got hot” under the collar, they assume I have great patience”. No, great patience is formed from successful trials and trials are ONLY successful when IN MY HEART I have yielded to His faith in my difficulties not mine own faith, my own doubt, or heaven forbid, mine own unbelief!
If I exercise mine own faith, it is me that is doing the work. I may be able to keep my temper composed, but it will not exercise His faith, so He won’t be glorified. He is never glorified by my self righteous acts of the soul. I will look good, but He will not be lifted up.
If I exercise my own doubt, then not only will He not look good, but neither will I. Though my self righteous faith will keep my temper in, unrighteous doubt will always let it out! I won’t be able to maintain my composer for long if I doubt the TRUTH which say’s everything “going wrong” is actually “going right”. For if all things work together for good . . . then I should never struggle with doubt. My “bouts with doubt” will make their way out. When they get out then my reputation is criticized and Christ’s is minimalized.
Finally, if I respond in my own unbelief, I will be of all men, most miserable. There will be no patience, for there will be no peace. The Spirit knows what I need when He leads me into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. If I reject those divine circumstances and deem them “unnecessary”, my rejection will produce a reflection of my circumstances. A “reflection of rejection” manifests itself in negative, pessimistic, critical thinking. It is at this stage my unrighteous acts of unbelief will cause me to look bad and literally hinder the work of the Lord.
Patience is Waiting on Him
My only recourse is to refuse to Act; React! Rather, I must Rest/Relax! I must rest in the fact that Christ will manifest Himself to me if I would but relax in my stressful situations and wait for Him. That is what patience is. It is not as much enduring as it is waiting. We must endure as we wait, but how hard is it to endure when we have faith the endurance is bringing about things that work together for good? That’s not hard at all. If I understand through His faith that I must endure these situations that seem bad but work together for good, then I will find the necessary calm to rest IN Him as I relax and wait ON Him.
That willingness to relax and wait on the Lord is the patience He is looking for in tumultuous times. For it is that patience that is produced by trials of temptation. It is those trials of temptation that prove we are yielding to His faith and it is yielding to His faith that glorifies God and lifts up Christ that others might be drawn unto Him.
I guess we need to get serious about all this stuff and just lighten up! Sound like an oxymoron? No, rather, it’s much simpler than that. He is my proxy or I am mine own moron!
Have a wonderful day IN the Lord!