Have you reflected lately on God’s promise to be a refuge in times of trouble?
That we can cast all our cares on him no matter what the circumstances?
That we can trust him completely to keep us from being shaken.
Like baking a cake, it’s worth the wait. Let me explain.
When we are tested in the furnace fire of life, God wants us to immediately fast-forward and focus on the end of the trial when his promises prevail. It is a matter of taking our eyes off the problem and looking to God’s ultimate and infinite power…EARLY!
We have to know and believe right from the start that nothing is too hard for the God of creation. If we believe that, we will come back to the day-by-day, step-by-step fight with an entirely different attitude as God gives us patience to carry us through the challenge.
The key is STARTING with God’s end-state promise of victory through Christ. Consider this from the Apostle Paul:
“In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” Romans 8:37
It is much easier to release the trial and wait patiently with the promise established in the beginning that we will prevail as conquerors. But waiting patiently is not something many leaders do very well, myself included. When I first heard the concept of waiting patiently from my pastor Rick Warren at Saddleback Church, I thought, “Easy for you to say, but I can’t do that!”
Waiting patiently is an oxymoron. So many of us are conditioned to believe we can’t wait for anything.
For shepherds and sheep alike, waiting in faith for God’s timing is one of life’s greatest challenges. It seems like there is always a roadblock. But what we think are denials are really just delays, for God works on his own timetable, and while he may not act when we want or expect him to act, he will always be on time from an eternal perspective.
When God rebuilds us after a tragedy, it is brick by brick. What a relief it is to have God in charge to give us all we will ever need to be mature, complete, and not lacking in anything.
I have found that the more I can focus on the opportunity for my growth in the trial, the more patient I can be in waiting for the trial to conclude. For me, waiting is one of the best ways to take myself out of the equation and let God cultivate my character while he works in my life on the end-state promise of victory through Christ. “See, I have refined you,” the Lord says, “though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction” (Isa. 48:10).
Like making and baking a cake, it takes some time, but the finished product is worth the wait.