April 23, 2020

When Will This End?

 

Patience is not a commodity that people have stockpiled away like paper products during the corona-virus pandemic. When someone says they have lost their temper it is an oxymoron; they have found it and are generously using what they found! Tempers are abundantly available, and patience is in short supply.

Patience is connected to purpose. But the connection is not to our purpose but to God’s purpose. We can become impatient when we do not see things going our way, not meeting our purpose. But when we fit our lives into the purpose of God, things change; we change too!

The Apostle Paul is a prisoner being transported to Rome. Paul has warned the Roman centurion in charge of the prisoners that they should not try to sail to Rome because of a possible storm. The ship’s captain says they should sail. What does a Jewish preacher know about winds and oceans? They sail. The storm strikes. For two weeks the ship struggles against the hurricane force winds.

Dr. Luke records the events and the emotions.

“Since neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small storm was assailing us, from then on all hope of our being saved was gradually abandoned.”                      Acts 27:20 (NASB) 

All hope of OUR being saved was gradually abandoned. You can hear it in Luke’s words but even more you can feel his emotion of abandonment. Gradually abandoned could be interpreted, we prayed, and we prayed, and we prayed, and nothing changed. The storm raged on! All hope is gone. We will die!

Even in a storm God’s purpose was on track.

Paul stands before the centurion, the ship’s captain and the crew and says,

“For this very night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood before me, 24saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar; and behold, God has granted you all those who are sailing with you.’”                                                       Acts 27:23-24 (NASB)

After two weeks of fighting the storm the angel tells Paul he will make it to Rome for God’s purpose is, “you must stand before Caesar…” The storm will not conquer you Paul because God’s purpose is greater than any storm! Because of you, Paul, all will be rescued!

Our patience is directly connected to God’s purpose. When we surrender to accomplishing God’s purpose our lives will be filled with a peaceful patience! Our storm may be the fear of COVID-19, loss of income, separation from family, confined at home, deteriorating health, addictions, etc. We all have a storm that challenges our hope. God’s purpose for you is greater than any storm that rages against you.

May our prayer be, “God, I want my life to be lived according to your purpose. May others see Jesus in me.”

When I am in God’s purpose, God’s patience is in me!

Tassie and I love you and we are praying for you!

Pastor Tom


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