Pastor Jeff Knott of Grace Church in Port Hope, Ontario continues the sermon series on “The Joseph Stories” with “Patience”:
How do we have patience in the journey and patience with each other in the journey?
God’s purposes in a dysfunctional world is to teach us to wait and to wait well.
Even in adversity there’s an opportunity to prosper.
The power of patience to change your outlook – the circumstances may not change, but we can change the way we respond to the circumstances and patience makes all the difference.
Long-suffering in the King James version means to suffer long over something.
Christopher Wright says, “Patience is the ability to endure for a long time whatever opposition and suffering may come our way and to show perseverance without wanting retaliation or revenge.”
The opposite to retaliation is to actively entrust to God who judges justly. If a wrong has been done to you, it will be accounted for.
The more you are convinced of the faithfulness of God and this idea that God will right every wrong and answer every accusation and will fix every problem, the more capacity you will have for patience. You will wait it out.
The more you believe that God is really as good as He says He is, the happier and more fruitful you will be as you wait for His promise to be fulfilled in your life.
All the green lights don’t mean go. Just because the circumstances look like they’re coming together, the Lord would say, “Do not walk by sight, walk by faith.” Wait for that inner witness in your spirit so that you know what to do next. The Lord doesn’t want you disappointed because you moved ahead of Him.
Forbearance in the King James version means to put up with or gracious tolerance for other people’s faults.
The Lord is slow to anger – that’s what it means to have patience with other people.
If we live in a dysfunctional world, we will get lots of opportunity to practice patience.
Joseph spends another two years in prison – why the delay? Why the long, long wait? Remember, God’s ways are higher than our ways, your timeframe is not His timeframe and your clock is not His clock. Yes, you will feel the urgency, but God sees the whole picture and He knows what it’s going to take to set things up so that what He has for you comes about.
Smedes says, “Waiting is the hardest work of hope.”
God’s not changing the circumstances, but if you wait rightly, He will change your heart, He will change you.
God has His own timetable and if we trust His goodness, we also must trust His timetable is best.
Give God enough space and give ourselves enough space in that waiting to allow Him to put everything in place.