The Heart of Christmas: Week 3

Whether it’s getting through congested traffic, waiting in line, or waiting for a big event to happen, it is hard to be patient. In fact, it’s harder to be patient today because we live in a microwave, instant everything, culture. It’s good to learn to wait and practice delayed gratification.

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. Proverbs 4:23 (NLT)

Our heart, which is not the physical organ pumping blood through our body, but the center of who we are, is so important because it affects every other area of our life.

In the Old Testament, there are well over 300 different prophecies predicting the birth of Jesus, starting nearly 2000 years before he was born. That’s a long time to wait! The last of these prophecies is from Malachi in the very last book of the Old Testament.

“Look! I am sending my messenger, and He will prepare the waybefore me. Then the Lord you are seeking will suddenly come to His Temple. The messenger of the covenant, whom you look for so eagerly, is surely coming,”says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.” Malachi 3:1(NLT)

After this, God’s people went through a 400 year period of silence where there was no prophet and no word from God. They wondered if God had forgotten them. But God was faithful to fulfill His promise to them to send a Savior.

Patience is willingly waiting on God’s will. It comes to us from God.

May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus. Romans 15:5 (NIV)

What Do I Do While I’m Waiting?

When it comes to patience, you have to find the right PACE. God has a pace too. God has perfect timing. He is never early, and He’s never late. It takes a lot of patience, but it’s worth the wait!

We’re all going to have periods of waiting. It could be waiting for a new job or a new relationship. Maybe it’s physical healing from an illness. Maybe waiting for things to “get back to normal.” Maybe it’s waiting on someone to come to Jesus, or come back to Jesus.

4 things you can do while you’re willingly waiting on God’s will.

Pray continually.

One of the reasons we might have to wait on God is because He wants us to pray and go deeper with Him.

Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. Romans 12:12 (NLT)

Act on what I already know.

Do what God has already shown you to do. We may be waiting on what God is going to do next, and we want the next direction from God, but what did He say to you last? Having patience isn’t the same thing as doing nothing. Patience is active, not passive.

Live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. Titus 2:12-13 (NIV)

Keep on living for God while you are waiting.

Choose the right attitude.

Your attitude makes all the difference while you’re waiting.

Positive Attitudes Change Everything. 

Patience isn’t just the ability to wait. Patience is the ability to wait with a good attitude.

A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense. Proverbs 19:11 (NIV)

You can have an attitude of confidence and courage as you’re waiting to bring you something youdon’t have yet, because you know it’s on the way.

If we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently. Romans 8:25 (NLT)

Expect God to do something great.

While you wait, you can expect God is up to something. He’s working behind the scenes for your good and for His glory.

Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.Psalm 5:3 (NLT)

“Attempt great things for God, Expect great things from God.”

William Carey

But when the right time came, God sent His Son, Galatians 4:4 (NLT)

Aren’t you glad God is patient with us? He could have said a long time ago, “I’m done waiting on you to come to me, to grow, and to follow Me.” But He doesn’t work that way.

The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. 2 Peter 3:9 (NLT)

God is patiently waiting on you to turn to Him and you can do that today!