Are you impatient?

It’s easy to be impatient.  Especially in today’s society where we are encouraged to have what we want, when we want, and think about the consequences later.  Need a new car?  Go and get one – pay later.  Want a new TV?  Put it on the credit card.  The media rarely encourages us to wait for what we want and save up for what we can’t afford straight away.

This thinking can permeate into the rest of our lives.  Many people do not have a “job for life” these days, working their way up from the bottom of the company to the top.  Instead its quite acceptable to have a CV showing you’ve moved jobs every few years in order to pursue new opportunities.

Modern life is also designed to test our patience, as anyone who’s spent time sitting in a traffic jam or waiting for public transport will tell you.  Life moves at such a pace that we plan every minute.  Children are shuttled round from activity to activity, older people who may be slower moving become a frustration to busy people in the shop or on the street, and we have non stop communication at our fingertips with the internet, smartphones, facebook and 24 hour news channels.

So, the question is: are you impatient for the coming of the Lord Jesus?  Are you fed up of waiting for him?  Do you want him to come back and sort the earth out so desparately that impatience can turn into frustration?

Do you ever wonder if God has forgotten us and what happened to his promise?  Do other people think you are crazy for expecting the return of Jesus Christ?  Do not worry – the apostle Peter tells us that this is a sign that Jesus will soon be here:

Most importantly, I want to remind you that in the last days scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires. They will say, “What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again? From before the times of our ancestors, everything has remained the same since the world was first created.” – 2 Peter 3:3-4

It can be hard to remember that everything happens in God’s own good time.  God is not held by the constraints of time that we are.  Peter tells us later in that chapter:

But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. 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 3:8-9

So God is waiting until everyone he has called has turned to him and repented.  Meanwhile, we just have to wait patiently – easier said than done!

However, we are not the first people who ever had to wait patiently – think about these examples:

  • King David – anointed by Samuel and received the Holy Spirit but didn’t become king until many years later following much persecution from King Saul.
  • Abraham – waited many years following the promise of a son to his elderly wife.  He tried to the manipulate the situation himself by having a child with his wife’s handmaid, but events backfired on him, and later his true son was born.
  • Peter and the disciples – wanted Jesus to be king immediately and overthrow the Romans and found it difficult to accept he had to die, but learnt ultimately that Jesus’ way was a better way.

So what are we to learn?

Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act. – Psalm 37:7

Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy.  May your Kingdom come soon. – Matthew 6:9-10


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