30 Days in the Bible, Day 27: Revelation 3:7-13
Endurance is not a quality often valued in our fast-paced modern world. We get annoyed if the line at the drive-through is more than two cars long, we think second-day shipping is too slow, and don’t even think about what happens when the wifi connection slows down. We live in a time of instant gratification, and we expect that everything we want can come to us almost instantaneously.
This is even true of some segments of the church. They look for God to provide quick answers to prayers, seek after some simple steps to sanctification, and wonder why evangelistic efforts don’t show immediate results. Now it is true that sometimes God does work rapidly and provide amazing answers to prayer soon after we pray, but more often the Lord works through a process that occurs on His timing rather than ours.
Our church has witnessed remarkable growth over the past few years. To some who have come in recently, it seems like the Lord has blessed us with rapid growth, with many prayers answered in a short time. The process that led to this growth started over a decade ago, when the pastor who was here at the time started the church looking to serve beyond our own doors. We went out into the community with a desire to meet the needs we saw in the name of Jesus. While there was some growth, it didn’t come immediately, and it was accompanied by a lot of prayer and waiting on the Lord.
Over the years, there have been changes in the church, and the Lord certainly has blessed us. But we must never assume that His blessings will always come quickly. He may choose to have us spend an extended time in prayer and ask us to wait for His answer in His time. That requires endurance, and it’s not easy. Yet, just as in the church at Philadelphia, the Lord is honored and pleased when we hold fast to Him and wait to see Him at work.
Persevering is never easy, and our society doesn’t do anything to encourage us in our patience. We can only do this when we focus on the One with the keys to all the doors we knock on. Some He may open for us right away; others may require us to wait to be opened; and some may be doors the Lord closes and wants us to leave closed. It is when we patiently seek His will that we will know which doors are which.
We can expect to be called to wait on the Lord at some time in our lives and in our church’s ministry. When that happens, we will continue to serve the Lord and minister to others as we wait. As we endure, we will honor Jesus and show our trust in Him to our impatient world.