Loving Patience

You’ll be delighted to see what God will do according to His glorious power.

Scripture: Colossians 1:11, Psalm 37


Alright thank you very much, and hello again radio friends. How in the world are you? Doing Alright? Well, I trust everything’s Alright at your house. I know that some days are not quite as good as other days, and maybe somebody listening to me today has struck a rough one and you say to yourself, “Boy, it surely didn’t pay to get up today. I should’ve stayed in bed’.

Well, I don’t know if that would’ve helped any, but I can tell you what will help. If you struck a rough one today look up and say, “Lord Jesus see me through this one. I don’t like it but I know You’re with me and I’m going through it with you for Your glory. Trust in your blessed Lord. Turn it over to Him. He can handle it, yes He can.

Turn with me to Colossians chapter 1. Paul was praying for his friends at Colossae. He wants them to know the will of God, he wants them to live a life that’s worthy of the reputation of the God whom they serve. He wants them to be fruitful in everything that they do. He wants them to increase in their knowledge of the Lord, and then he wants them to be, “Strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power unto all patience and long-suffering with joyfulness giving thanks to the Father”. That’s where we were the last time we got together, Colossians 1:11.

I told you that there are number of words in your New Testament that are all translated with the English word power. There’s one that has the concept of dynamic or dynamite. There’s one that has the idea of authority and there’s another word that has the idea brute strength that just chews up the mountains. You put them all together and you have some idea of the power that God wants to pour into your life and mine, through the blessed, indwelling Holy Spirit of God. “He’s able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think according to the power that worketh in us”.

Do you wonder why some Christians seem to succeed better than other Christians? It doesn’t seem quite fair, does it, that some people tried very hard and don’t get too far in life, and other people don’t seem to try very hard at all and then they seem to succeed. Have you ever wondered about that? Well, if you take into account of course the variations in human nature itself, the differences in IQ level, and the differences in background and training and education, all of these things I suppose are factors that one ought to have in mind, but after you’ve taken account of all of that, it does seem that some people have a way of tapping, let us say, a reserve of power that other people lack. What is that?

Well, in many cases beloved, it is simply the power of the Holy Spirit of God, and what effort and trying and hard work couldn’t do, the power of the Holy Spirit of God does accomplish when an individual surrenders to the working of that blessed Spirit, who dwells within the believer.

Have you thought about that in connection with the difficulties you face? Might it be that if you yield to the blessed Spirit of God and start obeying your Lord in matters having to do with your own personal set up, that God could work greatly in your own circumstances? You’ve tried so hard, some of you, to succeed. You’ve tried so hard to make your family situation improved, for example. You’ve tried so hard to make your job situation improve, to give another example, and oh things just don’t seem to work out and you’re discouraged and you’re weary. Why not turn it all over to your blessed Lord and start depending on Him, moment by moment, to do His blessed will? Good idea?

Think about it, will you, and pray about it. That is, in relationship with the things that bug and bother you. You’ll find the blessed Spirit of God can do far more through you than you ever could do for Him. “Strengthened with all might according”, now what’s the measurement of how much God can do” It says, “According to His glorious power” You see friend, the index of success is not how much I can do or how long I can hold out or how hard I can work or how smart I am. The index of success is what God can do.

Stewart Hamblin, early in his Christian life, wrote the song, “It is no secret what God can do, what He’s done for others, He’ll do for you. With arms wide open He’ll welcome you. It is no secret with God can do”. Well, that’s right. You see, the difference between trying and trusting, is trying involves my best, but trusting involves God’s best.

I wonder if you want to try that in your own life before another day goes by. Would you like to do that? Take this, take the situation that you simply can’t handle, take the feeling that you simply can’t manage, take the temptation that you simply cannot surmount, take the situation which has grown so painful that you think you’ll die if you have to live in it any longer. Human nature has to face all of these things.

I know that. I’ve lived a while, and so you’re up against some of these problems- now bring that to your blessed Lord and say, “Lord I’m going to let you handle this. From here on out, it’s going to be your problem and I’ll just obey You. Oh, I think you’ll be delighted to see what God will do according to His glorious power.

Now, when God pours His power into your life and into mine, how is it evidenced? What is the evidence that God has poured His power into your life and into mine? Interestingly enough, there is no fireworks display indicated in this verse at all, rather it’s a quiet outworking of something that we really wouldn’t seek as at least not as a first evidence of God’s power. “Strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power unto all patience and long suffering with joyfulness, giving thanks to the Father”.

Does it take power to be patient? Oh my yes, of course it does. That word patient in your Greek New Testament is an interesting word. It’s a compound word. Has a prefix, the prefix hupo, and then it has the main body the word mone, hupomone, stay down, stay under, stay down.

When we first got our present household four-footed, loudmouthed, flea-bearing, man’s best friend, Rusty, as a little puppy he would jump all over, you know, and very frequently we would have to say to him, stay down! Well I think God has to do that to us, many a time, stay down, stay down. That’s the reason the Bible says, “Wait on the Lord. Be of good courage, He shall strengthen thine heart. Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him”, we read in Psalm 37.

God wants us to us just to let Him work. It’s hard though. Remember the little boy who prayed, “I want patience and I want it right now”. Yes, “Strengthened unto all patience”. It takes strength to turn a situation over to God and wait on Him, but that’s exactly what He wants to do with you. It’s exactly what He wants to do with you, and no amount of self-discipline or training will quite suffice.

I remember hearing the story of the man who was out wheeling a little baby in a baby carriage. The baby was crying up a storm and this man was heard to say, ‘Now quiet Albert, be quiet Albert, be quiet Albert, be calm Albert”, and a lady walked up to him and said, “Sir, I think it’s so wonderful that you are so patient and kind as you talk to the baby”. He said, “No”, he said, “My name is Albert”. No, it doesn’t do much good to say to yourself, “Now, be calm, be quiet, keep a stiff upper lip, now, don’t give, don’t cave-in, don’t blowup, just don’t, don’t lose your cool”. That’s not going to help because the problem is we get tired of trying after a while. Every steel girder has its point of collapse, that’s the way they test them in the factory. They’ll subject them to torsional stress and twist them and put weights upon them until finally they collapse. You and I, try as we may, do have our own individual point of collapse under stress, and that’s why we need the power of God to stay patient. Yes, we do, “Unto all patience”.

Then he goes a step farther uses the word long-suffering, that’s the Greek word makrothumia, which means large heartedness, room for, room enough for other people with their faults, not as you wish they were, but as they are. Long-suffering.

How long are you willing to put up with people who are full of human faults and human foibles, human shortcomings? You know, you tend to say to junior, “I’ve told you a thousand times to wipe your feet”, well maybe you have. How long do you have to put up with people? Peter asked that question one time, he said, “How often shall I forgive my brother? Until seven times?”, and our Master answered, “Until seventy times seven”. That was each day, it was seven times a day you were to forgive.

So He said, “No, seventy times seven”. If you don’t forgive, neither will your Heavenly Father forgive you when you’re praying, so how long should I put up with the weaknesses of other people? As long as God does. That’s the answer.

Long-suffering has to do with largeness of heart and spirit, so there is room in your heart for people with their faults. How does that apply to you and to me beloved?

Now, I can’t tell you about you, but I certainly know about me. I know that instinctively I tend to get to the end of my patience with some folk, don’t you? At that point we need to remember that God hasn’t given up on them, nor indeed on us. “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed”, Jeremiah said, “because His compassions fail not, great is Thy faithfulness”.

God keeps on caring about you. God keeps on hurting when you hurt and crying when you cry and rejoicing when you’re happy. “His compassions fail not, it is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, great is Thy faithfulness.” God doesn’t give up on you.

Why then should you and I give up on people? Well, this is more than a human nature can sustain. I can just hear people say, “Well, Brother Cook, that’s too big an order for me. I just, I can’t take it”. I know you can’t dear friend, but God is Almighty and He lives within you by His Holy Spirit to where you can’t take it, bless your heart, He can and He will. The God-given strength to endure pressure, the God-given strength to care beyond human caring, the God-given strength to rejoice when your heart is breaking. These are the proofs beloved, of Divine power in your life.

Dear Father today may the evidence of Thy power be shown in Your love, and patience, and joy, Amen. Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!

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