Parent Category (Pocket Sized Thoughts [Roger Jacobs])

Pocket Sized Thoughts – Patience – Part 8

Isaiah chapter 40 was written at a time of great upheaval but it also asks us questions in verse 21. It asks, in effect, what are we looking at? Young men are strong, but even they can faint. We can think that we are psychologically, emotionally, mentally, or even spiritually strong. However, our own resources will eventually run out. We need more. Therefore, Isaiah exhorts us to wait upon the Lord. This kind of waiting involves seeking. As we wait and patiently seek, a new strength, the strength of God enters. It is a picture of being filled with the Holy Spirit. He makes us to run and not tire, to walk and not fall. Best of all, He gives us wings as eagles to soar over every contrary air current and gaze at the throne of God and the face of Jesus Christ. What an amazing promise!

PRAYER :- “Lord, help me to seek you and be filled with the wonderful Person of the Holy Spirit.”

Pocket Sized Thoughts – Patience – Part 7

In Revelation 13:9 and 14:12 we twice have the phrase (with slight variation), “Here is the patience and faith of the saints.” When we think of faith, frequently our minds go to miracles, or spectacular deliverances. God can certainly do the miraculous, but that is not the context of these verses. The saints were undergoing extreme trial. Some were imprisoned while others were being killed. This was happening as wicked powers were opposed to the kingdom of God and His righteousness. However, the saints did not faint, or give up. They endured by faith, patience and also by being faithfully obedient to the commands of God. In times of severe trial, the temptation comes to abandon God and His word. These saints did not do so and neither should we. Let their example be our inspiration to remain faithful to our loving God and the truth of His word.

PRAYER :- “Lord, in every trial, help me to remain faithful to you and your word.”

Pocket Sized Thoughts – Patience – Part 6

Returning to Numbers chapter 9, the most difficult thing was the period of waiting. Though the length of stay was not known, one thing was absolutely certain …. God was with them. In all our waiting, God has promised never to leave us alone. The wilderness was far from being the most exciting place on the planet. Those who patiently waited in faith, learned to look to Him. They became thankful for all that God had done in past deliverances and thankful for His present, continual provision. Some were God conscious, knowing that He would never fail them. Knowing that God was present was far greater than getting up and going without His presence. Are we drawing nearer to Him during times of waiting? He is worth waiting for. Really knowing Him and His loving kindness is better than anything else.

PRAYER :- “Lord, thank you that you never leave me alone. Teach me to learn more about you in times of waiting.”

Pocket Sized Thoughts – Patience – Part 5

It is not knowing how long a trial will last that brings the greatest temptations. It reminds me of my first trip to Africa, many years ago. I had to pass through Lagos, Nigeria (a daunting prospect for a 21 year old on his own). I met a group of Egyptians at the airport who were waiting for their flight back to Cairo. Flight delays were common. I asked them how long they had been waiting. “17” was the answer. “Hours?” “No”, they replied, “17 days!” They had been sitting on the floor in a corner of the airport all that time and were at the mercy of airline they were using. We do not wait on the whims of circumstance, or any inefficiency, neither are we the subjects of random chance. We are in the hands of a good and loving God. If He delays, there is a very, very good reason for it. This gives us hope. Therefore, as the psalmist says in Psalm 40:1, let us wait patiently for Him, or as the margin says, “in waiting, I waited.” Because God was in it, he waited in purpose.

PRAYER :- “Lord, there is no shame in waiting for you; teach me and help me to do it.”

Pocket Sized Thoughts – Patience – Part 4

When the children of Israel were passing through the wilderness, they were guided with a cloud by day and by fire at night. When the cloud stopped moving, the people set up camp. Numbers 9:22 tells us that this period of camping could be two days, a month, or even a whole year. At the beginning of every setting up of camp, they were never told how long it was going to be. If they knew ahead of time, then they could plan. The test was not knowing. Then, the temptation would be to do something. No doubt rumours would have abounded as to how long they would have to wait while some would have made predictions that come tomorrow, all would change. What do we listen to and what guides us? Patience bears things and waits, even in times of great uncertainty. Patience can wait because it knows that there is great God that is worth waiting for.

PRAYER :- “Lord, help me to listen to you in every period of uncertainty in my life.”

Pocket Sized Thoughts – Patience – Part 3

There are two Greek words for our English word ‘patience’. The first is ‘Macrothumia’ The ‘thumia’ part refers to temper, that is keeping it and not losing it. ‘Macro’ means great, or large, as opposed to ‘micro’ which is very small. The thought is that we should be large, or even tempered. This is why ‘macrothumia’ is often translated ‘long-suffering.’ Examples include Galatians 5:22, Ephesians 4:2 and Colossians 1:11. The other Greek word for patience is ‘hupomone’ literally meaning ‘under-abiding’. The thought of abiding, or living is not just existing but living normally under some abnormal circumstance and not succumbing to it. It does not mean gritting your teeth, grinning and bearing it. Patience means we go on in perfect certainty of God’s absolute goodness with no vacillations, doubts, or fears in whatever we pass through.

PRAYER :- “Lord, thank you for your unchanging goodness and love, the thought of which keeps me through every circumstance I have.”

Pocket Sized Thoughts – Patience – Part 2

James seemed to know quite a lot about patience. He’d seen farmers at work, sowing their seed, then waiting (James 5:7). The farmer does not dig up the seed to check on its progress! James exhorts us to be patient. God has done His great work of salvation in Christ. If we have believed this wonderful truth, then the fact of Christ’s death and resurrection is like a seed sown into our hearts. We don’t have to dig it up and inspect it every five minutes! We are not holding onto some unrealistic hope. It is an eternal truth and we are to believe it and rest upon it. In this way our hearts will become settled and our lives established upon all that God has done through His Son; all this is in the light of the fact that His coming is drawing nearer. This kind of patience is the best preparation for His second coming.

PRAYER :- “Lord, thank you that the seed of your word will bear fruit in my life in spite of all that is contrary to it.”

Pocket Sized Thoughts – Patience – Part 1

God is not just a God of power and love, etc., but also a God of patience (Romans 15:5) and He wants to communicate that patience to us. One way this happens is by the testing of our faith. The test itself does not produce patience, but our attitude and reactions under that test certainly do. That is why James 1:4 says let patience have its perfect, complete and entire work. If we get frustrated half way through the test, impatience rather than patience will be the result. We will fail and will probably have to ‘re-sit’ the test. Therefore, allow patience to have its perfect work. Don’t resist, fight back or kick against the test (you will only hurt your feet!). Allow the test to do its work of patience in you and you will be complete, lacking nothing. By this, you will possess your souls (Luke 21:19) and not lose your crown (James 1:12).

PRAYER :- “Lord, help me to see what you are doing.”