I want to give you a story again Rick Pina shared years ago as he taught this series, so I will share it with you now. Again, this was several years ago, enjoy…
I trust that this series on “Faith and Patience” has been a blessing to you thus far. It has been a tremendous blessing thus far and I expect it to be a blessing throughout. I will let you know, however, that ever since I started this series there have been many opportunities for me to exercise patience in my life. Yesterday we were scheduled to leave very early from my house en route to Atlanta for the conference and to take my mother to the airport (first) for an early flight. The early schedule meant that I had to get up at 2:50am to get Today’s Word out before I could face the day. We got my mother off and arrived at the conference. We had to take a bus to the first session. On the way back from the session the crowd was quite big. I stood in line with my wife, patiently worked my way up to the bus as the people were filing on, and got to the door of the bus, just to be told that it was full. No problem.
My wife and I waited. The next bus came and the same thing happened. A person on staff assured me that I would get on the third. The third arrived and stopped where it was not supposed to, so I missed that one too.
I kept looking at my watch and my flesh really wanted to get upset. The time was now creeping into the second session and my wife and I were missing some of it. We were the first to get on the forth bus, which meant that we had to take the absolute last seats, which also meant that we would be the last ones off. My wife was sweating and I was about to get frustrated when I reminded myself of the Word. I tapped into my joy and told my wife that whatever she got out of the message from her session would be a blessing to her and I believed the same for mine.
She got to her session just as the speaker was opening up and I walked to my session with great expectations. I kept saying, “Lord, whatever the man of God is saying when I get there is for me.” I was excited. I got there late, so they had to sit me where the choir normally would sit, making me just a few feet from the man of God. As soon as I sat down Pastor Johnson (I cannot remember his first name) read (2 Cor 4:8,9), “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.” Wow! That Word was for me. He was teaching us that as Ministers we should not allow circumstances to shake us! I know that was God. I got to the hotel and had several challenges with my room. As I matter of fact, they had to get me another room for free, just so I could send out Today’s Word, because the internet connection in my suite was not working. I stayed up until midnight working with the hotel staff, but I kept reminding myself to “remain the same!”
After I explained to the staff why I needed an internet connection so bad, they went out of their way to get me one. The lady that helped me at midnight told me that her father is also a minister and that she understood. What if I would have fussed and fought with the staff? What kind of witness would that have been? So even if you are tired and even if you are facing some challenges, remember who you are and remember to remain the same! If you can’t overcome little things like these, what will happen when real challenges arise?
Words of Wisdom: Granted, in context, what Paul was going through and what the early church was going through, was way worse than the above story, however, the same principles can be applied to our lives as well.
So, what does this mean to you today? First, do you see the diligence on Rick’s part in in sending out the Word? He wakes up at 2:50am sometimes to do this work for God! Wow! Would the same be said of you if God called you to do something? Do you have that level of commitment and diligence to the things of God? Just saying. If not, it’s time to make some changes! You and me both! But, I have told people over the years, if you want what someone else has, you have to be willing to do what someone else does/did! If you are not willing to pay the price that they paid, you are not qualified to have what they have! What price are you willing to pay for God? If not much, then you won’t receive much, just the facts!
Tim Tebow once said, “Hard work beats talent, when talent refuses to work hard”. Also, Jake Bequette, former DE of the New England Patriots and now Captain in the US Army once said, “Success is not owned but leased, and rent is due every day”. So, from these quotes, I think we can see the importance of working hard, because if we don’t, there is no guarantee we will receive anything.
It also means that you don’t have a right to be mean to people just because things don’t go your way. As believers we must remain kind, patient, loving, etc.; because we are examples of God’s righteousness in the earth, (2 Cor 5:21). It might be easier said than done, but we need to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to change us, so we can be more like Christ in this world and do this. Otherwise, how can the world see Jesus in us if we act just like them?
Closing Prayer: Lord God. I let patience have her perfect work in my life. I face every challenge with love, joy, and peace. I will not allow my outward circumstances to change my inward condition. I am Your child, and I will act like it every day and at all times. I enter this day with a smile on face, a Word in my Spirit, a song in my heart. Your joy is my strength. Nothing can shake me; I am a child of the Most High God! In Jesus’ name. Amen!