Patience in a Difficult Situation
As I am writing this we are amid the biggest pandemic in modern history. The Covid-19 virus is changing our lives in so many ways. We are quarantined in our homes. Many people are working from home and some were even laid off due to non essential business closing. Worship services are being conducted online and people all over the world are asking why? And when will this end? If nothing else, this pandemic is teaching us patience.
As Christians, we know that when we pray for patience, God doesn’t just give it to us, he puts us in situations that allow for us to grow in patience. So the real question is, how do we come out on the other side closer to God? How do we endure those difficult situations while still staying faithful to God?
There are many verses to meditate on during these times but I wanted to pull out one passage that very familiar, which is Philippians 4:6- 8 “6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”
In verse 6 of Philipians chapter 4, Paul inspired by the Holy spirit tells us to be anxious for nothing. I do not know about you but for me reading that sometimes feels like telling a baby not to cry. It is hard! But, by worrying I was not fully trusting God. In my head I was thinking about all the bad things that could possibly happen while I should have been meditating on the fact that God will ALWAYS supply me with whatever I need even when bad things happen in my life. Worrying will not do anything but trusting in God will do everything (Matthew 6:25-24).
Verse 6 of Philipians chapter 4 also tells us to use our super power. My husband and I are really into marvel movies. We try to go on opening weekend whenever they come out. We realize how unrealistic and cheesy they can be but it is so fun to watch these superheroes beats the bad guys every time. What we as Christians need to realize is that we actually have a super power, it's called prayer. We have an almighty God who hears our prayers and all we have to do is go to Him with thanksgiving in our hearts. (1 John 5:14-15). When we are in difficult situations, sometimes we do not even have the words to say but thanks be to God that the Holy spirit is there to interpret for us (Romans 8:26).
Verse 7 of Philipians chapter 4 tells us that prayer helps us have peace. Prayer should be therapeutic. I once heard a preacher call it the “peace that don't make no sense.” That may not be grammatically correct but I love to think of it that way. To most people it doesn't make sense to be in a painful or scary situation and still have joy. It does not make sense to struggle with unemployment, sickness, poverty or even death and still find it in yourself to love others and be kind to strangers. But, the love and peace of God surpasses understanding and allows us to delight in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:10).
Finally in verse 8 of Philipians chapter 4 we are given some things to meditate on. We are to meditate on the good things in this life. Things that are just, lovely, and of good report. We are to meditate on things that are praiseworthy. It can be hard to see the sunshine in the midst of the storm but if we focus on the SON we will be able to see that there is a beautiful rainbow waiting for us.
Let us remember what we read in Colossians 2:14-15: Jesus already has the victory. 14having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.
We know that difficult situations will come so we have to be prepared. Here are a few tips to help:
Pray. our prayer life should be steady no matter the situation. 1 Thessalonians 5:17
Meditate on the word. Everyone has their verses that they go to hard times. Meditate on those and remember the goodness of Jesus Christ Philipians 4:8
Seek spiritual support. Being a part of the body of Christ is a wonderful thing. We have brothers and sisters who can help us through very hard times. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
Help someone else. Love is a foundational principle of being a child of God who is the very definition of love. We need to show our love for others even when we are going through a hard time. Loving others will help you take your mind off of the bad things and give you a new perspective. John 13:35
These are just a few practical application things that have helped but the main thing that we must always do is trust in God no matter the situation.