Each year I select a word to be my focus and help me to grow in my faith. Along with that word I search the scriptures to find a verse that speaks to my heart about the growth I sense God wants for me. This year, I felt God was directing me to a word that most people are leery of asking for – patience. To paraphrase an old saying: If you pray for patience, God will present you with trials to give you an opportunity to develop patience. And this year He has done just that.
As I searched the scriptures for the right verses to memorize and focus on, God lead me to Psalm 37, where He lays out a “formula” if you will with four steps to develop a heart and mind of patience.
Step 1: Trust God: “Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.” v.3 Our first step is to trust in God and seek to do His will – to be good and faithful in the place that He has us, knowing He will never leave or forsake us. So we ask ourselves – Am I willing to truly trust that God has my best interest?
Step 2: Delight in God: “Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” v.4 When we know the Lord and delight in having fellowship with Him – reading His Word and being in a mindset of prayer – His heart’s desires become ours and we can rejoice in knowing and walking with our Lord. Question – What or whom do I delight in?
Step 3: Commit to God’s Ways: “Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.” v.5-6 God’s ways – His commands – are good and trustworthy. He takes action and directs our paths to make all things new and good for those that love Him and are committed to Him. Question - Am I committed to God’s plan and not my own?
Step 4: Be Still: “Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him.” v.7a When we trust, delight and commit to the Lord, we can find rest and enjoy God’s goodness. When we truly do this, we can be patient and wait for God’s plan, in His perfect timing and for His glory, to be fulfilled. Question – Am I willing to be still before God?
Prayer: Lord, I love you and want to be completely in your will with whatever situation you bring into my life. My desire is to trust you more. To truly delight in what you are doing in my life. To be fully committed to your ways. Thank you Lord for your desire to continually shape me more into your image; to be more Christ-like. May my heart, mind and soul be still before you as I wait patiently for your plan to unfold. In Jesus’ name. Amen.