“Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;”
Romans 12:10-12 KJV
These are characteristics that should always be on display if you are a Christian. However, what is speaking to my spirit quite loud this morning is “patient in tribulation.” Man that becomes a true task in this flesh. Flesh wants its way because it is attached to our emotions. That’s why people always tell you not to make any decisions when you are in any emotional state. That goes for emotional states that are good or bad.
Let’s say you are angry at a family member and you say something out of anger, usually to hurt the other person, you can’t take back those words. You can apologize for them and ask for forgiveness from God but the collateral damage is done. Let’s say you are dating someone, but you know they aren’t good for you. Unfortunately a lot of times we just ride these toxic relationships out until we have damaged each other beyond the point of recognition. But that one time we are having a date night and things are actually good. There is no argument and things are going smooth. Then your partner pulls out a ring and asks you to marry him. You are so excited about the ring or the fact they asked, we quickly forget how toxic our relationship is and that marriage is only going to make it worse. As you can see, being in an emotional state if it’s good or bad does not yield logical actions. Emotions can not replace logic.
Now let’s talk about how that emotional state affects us even more in tribulation. Tribulation adds another layer on because flesh does not like pain and will do everything in its power to stop the pain. Pain has a way of highlighting our weakness and people HATE showing any sign of weakness. But weakness is necessary. It’s God reminding you, you aren’t Him. Weakness is the best time to pull on God’s strength. You can actually be your strongest when you are weak (of course only in God). Again, since the flesh doesn’t like pain, it will cause your mind to go to into a sense of urgency trying to figure out ways to “get out” of a situation because the pain is uncomfortable. See being uncomfortable is a perfect opportunity to initiate change. You don’t change when you are comfortable, only when you are uncomfortable. I know that’s so much easier said than done but with God it can be done.
The past few days I have been uploading my files for my book. I am finished and ready to present my book, which was truly hard work, to the world. Of course when I woke up this morning I have all kinds of alerts that there were errors and issues with the upload. I immediately went into frustration and sulk mode. God you know I worked so hard on all of this, I don’t want this messing up my release date, etc., etc.,etc.
I get up and start blasting off emails to my editing and typesetting crew. I started texting Foster complete frustrated. I get up and immediately start trying to figure out a way to fix it because God knows I can’t possibly change my release date. It will mess up everything. (Complete and total exaggeration 🙄). After I brushed my teeth and looked in the mirror, I stopped right in my tracks. Remember that patience you are always praying and asking for especially in tribulation? Here’s your chance.
The reality of it, is life is ALWAYS going to happen. Sometimes it’s going to happen small and sometimes it’s going to happen big, but God remains the same. He’s there to guide and lead us but only when we are willing to yield to Him. He’s not going to make us stop being impulsive, stop losing our temper and stop being emotional because he has given us free will. It is up to us to recognize when we are in an emotional state and control our actions.
I remember being told to be careful when you pray for patience because God will put you in a position where you will need incredible patience. People often talk about it as it’s a negative thing.The more situations God allows us to be in that require patience, the more opportunities we have to exercise patience.
If you are praying for patience, how else would you get it but to be in a position where you have to be patient?