Ep014 Godly Patience in Uncertain Times

We Christians are Pretty Bad About Patience

Let’s face it, if there is one thing Christians are pretty terrible with, it’s patience. We are so like the Israelites in the Wilderness, sometimes we even resemble Saul rushing to act and sacrifice before Samuel arrives.

Human weakness or not, God does not give us a pass on our impatience. Over and over in the Scriptures we are commanded to “wait on the Lord”.

As I record this, COVID-19 has literally stopped the world, and we don’t yet know for how long. The “experts” crunch their data, hoping it is reliable to begin with, create their models, and offer their best guesses. Meanwhile, like a freight train whose emergency brake has been pulled, we’ve lived through life as we know it screaming and grinding to a halt.

We Christians need to model our faith in God to our neighbors. We can do that by modeling at least three characteristics: Patience, Persistence, and trust in God’s Providence.

Over the next three episodes we’ll talk about each of these, starting today with Patience.

  • What do we do with our impatience?
  • What resources does God give us to be patient?
  • Can we be patient and eager at the same time?

We’ll answer these questions together, today, on Grace and Peace Radio.

No Free Pass on Being Impatient

I admit, as I write this my patience has waned over the last few days. I’m recording this episode as much for me as for you. I’ll spare the details, but they’re probably some of the same reasons and feelings you have–wanting life to return to normal…or at least its usual level of so-called normal.

And therein lies the problem. Impatience is a fundamental discontentment and grumbling against the timing and providences of God. In very plain terms, impatience is a temper trantrum we throw against God’s will for our lives in the moment. At the heart of impatience are two little words: I WANT… We want something and we want it now. We are tired of waiting for it.

If this is your first time listening to Grace and Peace Radio, first off, WELCOME!

A central theme of the show is taking some issue and discovering together how we ought to think biblically about it. How should we conform our minds in accordance with God’s Word about something?

As we begin to think biblically about patience and its opposite, the first question, then, before us is:

What Do We Do With Our Impatience?

It should be obvious by now that impatience is a sin. Like all sins, at its heart is rebellion, rebellion against the Lord and his good and wise decrees in our lives. And so, as a sin, we must go to the Lord and repent of it. We must go our Father and confess that we’re grumbling at how we are feeling ourselves inconvenienced by his will for our lives at this moment, which means in our hearts there is a part of us saying we know what’s best.

As believers, this should shame us, but only so far as it causes us to confess and repent. Having done that, we can be thankful that even this sin, like all our others, is mercifully and lovingly covered under the atoning blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. “If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all righteousness” (1 John 1:9).

Forgiven, we can ask the Lord to kindly re-invigorate our hearts to be fully submitted to his decrees once more, trusting once again that he is good and sovereign.

And, of course, this likely will not be a one-time event. We may find ourselves needing fresh mercies daily, if not hourly! Mercifully, as often as we need it, the Lord will provide it, which brings us to answering the second question:

What Resources Does God Give Us to Be Patient?

First, he gives us himself. As Christians, we have the Holy Spirit with us. The Lord himself is in us and working and urging us towards Christlikeness and away from our sinful nature. Trying to grit our teeth and “do better” is useless without the power of the Holy Spirit.

Remember too that one fruit of the Holy Spirit is Patience. The Lord delights to give us patience, so ASK and ask often!

He gives us His Word. Ask him to show you something new from your daily Bible reading to help you be patient. Memorize a verse. Praying that verse as a prayer to the Lord is another way of “renewing your mind” with God’s Word.

Confess to another brother or sister your feeling impatient and how the Lord is working with you about it, and ask them to be praying for (be sure to ask what you can be praying for them for).

These are just a few examples.

Listen to Hebrews 12:1-4,

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.

Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin”

That is a call to patient endurance in our faith, with Jesus as our inspiration, our role model!

You know, it’s funny, a few weeks ago I was thinking about Hebrews 12:1,

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us

When I was younger I focused on the first part, the great cloud of witness, laying aside every weight and the sin which so easily besets us….” Now that I’m older, that word “run with PATIENCE” is what jumps out at me more. This Christian life is such a marathon!

One last thought…

Can We Be Patient and Eager at the Same Time?

Is it possible to eager for something, yet not be in sin about it? Is there a difference between sinful impatience and eagerness? Depending on what it is, yes. Impatience is always sinful. Eagerness, on the other hand, is a sort of “sanctified impatience” if you will. Let me explain:

We’ve all been there…waiting to hear if we get the job interview…or waiting to hear if we get the job offer from the job interview. Will that girl or that guy be at church again next Sunday? Will I get accepted to the college I applied to? Will I get that scholarship? When we are engaged we say, “I can’t wait til we’re married!” …On and on the examples can go.

Looking forward with hope or with anticipation in a good way, that eagerness, is a good thing. We’re trusting the Lord’s timing and providence (even if we’re on the edge our seat about it!), but again, in a good way.

  • The Bereans in Acts 17:11 “received the word with all eagerness”
  • Paul in Romans 1:15 was “eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome”
  • In Romans 8 Paul says that even the whole of creation “waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.” While “we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies”

These are just a few examples of where we see a sanctified sort of impatience in the Scriptures.

Think also about our longing for the Lord’s return. We say Maranatha or “Come, our Lord!” We eagerly await Jesus’ return, when all that is wrong in this world will be gloriously right!

I want to leave you with four quick examples of patience to keep in mind in the days and weeks ahead (and Lord willing, not “months”, but even if it comes to that…)

First, think of the patience of John Bunyan, in Bedminster jail for preaching the gospel initially for what was supposed to be three months, but which turned into 12 years. There is some patience! And after he was released he was later jailed again for another six months before finally be permanently free.

Second, I have to remind myself often to think of Adoniram and Ann Judson. As was common in their days, it took them 4 months to cross the ocean to India, with Ann being seasick most of the way. Their missionary partner, Luther Rice, took a slower ship across…his voyage took an extra two months to meet up with them. Aren’t you glad you’re not stuck on some ship with animals and filth and not much to do but look at the horizon!

And one last example: When Hudson Taylor headed for China, en route the sailing ship he was on encountered a problem—no wind! There was barely a breeze for some 17 weeks. Meanwhile they did nothing but barely move forward. Imagine languishing without so much as a breeze, captive on the open seas, while your life was on hold!

God has blessed us with examples from his Word and heroes of the faith for so many lessons we need to learn!

I hope that helps you recalibrate your patience-o-meter! It certainly has mine!

Next time, we’ll be looking at Persistence. How can we look to the Lord and be persistent Christians in this unusual time?

If you would like the show notes for today’s program, just go to www.GraceAndPeaceRadio.com/14.

Thanks for listening!

Grace and Peace,
Anthony & Amy

Get the Book! JesusChangedEverythingbook.com 
Web: GraceandPeaceRadio.com
Facebook: @GraceandPeaceRadio
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Ep013 Faith in the Face of Danger

Believe or not, I’m actually recording this outside. I thought it would be something good, something different. You know, right now around the country around the world, there’s so many people that have a stay at home order. And I thought, I’m gonna go ahead and record this outside!

So hopefully you’re hearing some birds chirping in the background, lawn mower way off in the distance. And I just thought you know what, let’s bring some life and some some outside into the podcast. How about that?

By the way, I’m sure you already noticed the name of the podcast has changed. That’s right, we are moving from Thy Kingdom Comma, to Grace and Peace Radio. So I am super excited about that.

You know, it was something where Thy Kingdom Comma, it was a play on words if you’re writing and I was doing more blogging at the time, but then as the podcast started taking off and going in that direction, I did less writing and more podcasting, well then the whole Thy Kingdom Comma, it didn’t really make sense. And it was one of those things. It was a bit of a logic gap to go from the the pithy of what Thy Kingdom Comma was. And you know, I just wanted supposed to be a playful turn of phrase and it kind of was more confusing. So anyway, I was praying about it. I tried to come up with something and then I look to see and lo and behold, Grace and peace radio was available. So I jumped on it.

So I’m super excited about it. Because really, as I read even this weekend in a biography of Brownlow North, an evangelist who lived in Scotland in the mid 1800s, as he points out, you know, you can’t have peace without the grace. God gives the grace and then you have the peace. And I was thinking about that. And I thought, Man, that’s, that’s so true, of course, Obviously, also all over Paul’s letters in the New Testament. So anyway, that’s the story behind moving from Thy Kingdom Comma to Grace and Peace Radio.

I’m so glad you’re here. And we’re gonna keep moving on. And I’m really excited to see what the Lord does with it. So thanks so much.

Today, I just want to share a quick word of hope and encouragement.

I know these are crazy times. So I really like to try to encourage people And give hope where I can so I want to read something out of what I read this week in my own personal Bible reading and then just share a few thoughts about it.

It’s coming out of Luke 8:22-25 (NIV1984)

One day, Jesus said to His disciples, let’s go over to the other side of the lake. So they got into a boat and set out. As they sailed, he fell asleep. Squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger. The disciples went and woke him saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!” He got up and rebuke to the wind and the raging waters, the storm subsided, and all was calm. “Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples. In fear and amazement, they ask one another, “Who is this? He commands even the winds in the water and they obey Him.”

So of course, they would eventually come to Find out that he is, of course, the Son of God. He is God come down in the form of a man to atone for our sins and to save us from our sin. Well, a couple of things I just want to point out about this real quick, are the fact that it says, and being swamped, they were in great danger. It was real danger. I mean, whatever was going on, it was enough to make even the lifelong fishermen among them, afraid, you know, real danger does come upon us.

But at the same time, you know, we can rest in the fact that the Lord is sovereign. The Lord is in control. Yes, it was real danger. They weren’t overreacting. But even in real danger, there’s no excuse not to have faith. There’s no excuse not to trust the Lord. In fact, what’s really interesting We see after the Lord’s resurrection, when they are now totally different men.

What do we see we see that they two, they had no fear in great danger, right? They were singing in prison. They were joyful and persecutions. In the same way.

Us too, as we face whatever dangers we may face in the world, whether it’s a virus, whether its economic, whether, you know, it impacts our own home, whatever the case is, Jesus’s authority, just as he was sovereign over the wind and the waves that day, Jesus is no less sovereign over the world today, over every single particle. I think it was RC Sproul that said that you don’t have a lot of sovereign over every molecule or every particle.

And that’s true. He is no less sovereign. We can, we can rest in confident faith, because he is in control. And fact, as I was reading in the Psalms this morning, in fact, I was reading in Psalm 71, verse 14, “but as for me, I will always have hope. I will praise you more and more.” We always have hope if we know the Lord.

Now, at the same time, we have to have to be asking, Lord, Why are you bringing this now? What are you doing? What do you want to say to us? And so really, this is a time where we, as Christians, we need to be praying.

We need to get along with God. We need to be asking him Lord, show me my heart. Show me my sin. Show me my complacency. Show me what is. Show me Lord, how to to glorify you in this global pandemic. Lord, help me to use the time well, if I’m stuck at home. Lord, help me not to fret. Help me not to panic if I see empty shelves or anything like that, and just trust that you’re going to provide. And help me not to do things that are going to cause me to fear to panic.

If it means turning off the TV, if it means not visiting certain news websites, or you know, just adjusting your schedule so that you’re not so focused on the news, whatever it is, whatever these things are…Not snacking, not binging on junk food that’s going to bring you down and make you feel full and fat and depressed, and so forth…

It’s those kinds of things that we can do. Our part is making sure that in all of this, we’re still spending time with the Lord, that we are making sure that we are in the Word every day… in the Scriptures… praying. We’re earnestly seeking God’s face.

Let me ask you something: When was the last time you got on your knees before the Lord? When was the last time you got prostrate before him, literally face down and saying, Lord crying out to God asking Him, Lord, show me yourself; make yourself known to me in this time in your word. Speak to me from from your word.

When was the last time you did that?

Because this is really the opportune time to do that. This is [why] God is sending all of this for us, so that we would turn to him. Now, I’m not at all saying that this is a total apocalyptic judgment of God. We don’t honestly know we don’t know what the end result is. This may be the beginning, or this may be over in a month or so. So we don’t know.

But the point is, as Christians, we need to look at this and say, Lord, what would you have me to know from this situation?

Regardless, whatever the case, whatever God shows us, there is hope. Because the Lord is merciful. The Lord is kind, and he forgives, and he restores.

And so we as Christians, when we turn to Him, when we confess in, when we acknowledge where we have failed God, and we come back and we say, Lord, I repent of these things. The Lord is merciful and quick to forgive us because of Jesus. because of what Jesus did for us. We are covered by his blood, and his blood has paid for our sins past, present and future.

I hope that’s an encouragement. I hope it’s an exhortation hope is a challenge to you today–and to me! Let’s look to the Lord. Let us look to the Lord in hope and trust and watch his provision. Watch how he blesses us in this time, and then through this, how can we communicate Christ to those around us who don’t know him?

You know, if you don’t know Christ today, if you’re not born again, if you don’t know Jesus as your Savior and Lord, and you’ve been neglecting him and all of this has you jumbled and worried and afraid and panicked and all that this is God’s, you know, way of getting your attention.

One way anyway, of getting your attention so that you will repent and believe the Good News, frankly, so that a worst thing doesn’t happen to you when you die and you go to hell. I don’t want that. That’s why I’m doing this show.

If you don’t know Jesus, I pray that you would ask the Lord, Lord, why is all this going on? And what is my part in it? Your part, the Bible says, is to repent and believe the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Thank you so much. Thank you so much for joining me today. Thank you for listening to Grace and Peace Radio. I pray that it is a blessing to you. And if you would share this with someone who maybe need some encouragement today or needs to hear this, may God get the glory from it.

So thanks so much. And until next time, I’m Anthony Russo, and Jesus changed my life.

If you like a copy of today’s show notes, transcription just visit https://www.graceandpeaceradio.com/13.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Thanks for listening!

Grace and Peace,
Anthony & Amy

Get the Book! JesusChangedEverythingbook.com 
Web: GraceandPeaceRadio.com
Facebook: @GraceandPeaceRadio
Twitter: @GracePeaceRadio
Store: GraceandPeaceRadio.com/shop
Support: Paypal.me/graceandpeaceradio
Email: show@graceandpeaceradio.com

Grace and Peace Radio is honored to be part of the Society of Reformed Podcasts and the Christian Podcast Community, and SermonAudio.com.

Like what you hear on Grace and Peace Radio? Now you can easily leave a review on your favorite podcast site. Just go to http://www.graceandpeaceradio.com/love!

Ep012 Interview with Christianity Explored’s Alan Avera

Grace and Peace Radio is delighted to have an opportunity to sit down with Alan Avera of Christianity Explored to talk about CE’s mission, method, beginnings, and stories of lives changed through the gospel.

Anthony Russo
Joining me today on Grace and Peace Radio I have a very special guest. This is my first Grace and Peace Radio interviewee. This episode I’m sitting with Mr. Alan Avera.

Anthony Russo
Avera. Okay. All right. Alan is the Executive Director with Christianity Explored US. He and I live here in the Greenville area, so I thought it would be a great opportunity to get together as I’m learning more about Christianity Explored, my church’s looking forward to doing the program, I thought we’d meet and find out more about both the program and also Alan. So Alan, thanks for being with me today. I appreciate it.

Alan Avera
Okay, thank you.

Anthony Russo
So first of all, tell me, what is Christianity explored.

Alan Avera
Christianity Explored is a church equipping ministry in the area of evangelism and discipleship. And we are trying to help local churches be able to equip everyday Christians, that is those that wouldn’t say, “Hey, I’ve got the gift of evangelism, or I’m a church elder, or, or minister or pastor…” but the people who are the everyday Christians, we want to help the church equip those people to be able to love, live, and then tell the gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Continue reading “Ep012 Interview with Christianity Explored’s Alan Avera”