Friday, 23 December 2011

Patience in the Process

In his recently released book, Forever, Paul Tripp described the early years of his marriage:

“…I wasn’t a mature husband. But God was at work in me, and thankfully I am now a different man. In the meantime, God was calling my wife to patience and grace. He calls each of us to wait in our relationship, because the change that is needed is almost always a process.

Remember, God intends the hardships of the brokenness of the here and now to do something good. As you are waiting for eternity, God is using the difficulties of this fallen world to grow and transform you. His primary goal in our relationships is not so much our personal happiness, but personal transformation. Here are two things we all need to know about transformation: first, everyone needs it, and second, it is usually a process.

Eternity calls us to patience and grace in our relationships. These moments of difficulty and disappointment are not a waste. God is progressively transforming us from what we are into what his grace alone can enable us to be. He is rescuing us from ourselves and introducing us to the joys of living for him. He will not waste our suffering, and he will make good use of our disappointment. And in all of this, he is working day by day to prepare us for the eternity that is his gift to all who have placed their trust in him.”

We live in a microwave culture but more often than not God prefers to use a Crockpot. We get upset with ourselves and we get frustrated and disappointed with our spouse. Proverbs 3:5 reminds us that we are to “Trust in the Lord with all our hearts and lean not on our own understanding; in all our ways we are to acknowledge him, and he will make our paths straight.”

Pray for patience and grace. Pray for understanding. Pray to be used as an instrument in your Redeemer’s hand that you might be part of the transforming process that your spouse is experiencing. But also pray “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

May the hours you spend in God’s learning laboratory produce magnificent results

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