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The Rewards of Patience

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
April 25, 2024 12:00 am

The Rewards of Patience

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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April 25, 2024 12:00 am

Every act of faithfulness is rewarded, though we might not realize it at the time.

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Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Thursday, April 25th. God's way is always best, even when it seems like it takes too long. Today we continue the series on the power of patience by highlighting the benefits you can expect when you choose to wait for God's timing. Aren't you glad that God does not wait until the judgment to give us all the rewards and all the benefits of our life?

He's a good God, a God of mercy and love and kindness and thoughtfulness and encouragement. And so what he does oftentimes in our life is he grants us petitions. He answers every does all kinds of things because he wants to reward us now. And sometimes we think about rewards.

We think they're only going to come out yonder somewhere one of these days in the judgment. Well, there will be rewards then, but also there are rewards now. Little things that we do oftentimes we never think about and he rewards us. And when he rewards us, we don't even think about the fact that we are being blessed or rewarded or benefited as a result of something we've done or something we've thought. For example, one of the attitudes that God certainly rewards here and now in this life, we don't have to wait for it. It's here and now is that when you and I exercise patience, patience in circumstances, patience with each other, even patience with God.

So here's what I'd like to do. I want to give you a list of the benefits of the rewards of what happens when you and I are willing to wait, willing to be patient in whatever circumstance it may be, remembering that God is faithful and that He is not going to overlook our patience or expressions of our patience. He's faithful, He sees, He rewards.

So let's think about some of these. And the first one is this, that when you and I are patient, we see God at work in our life. When we're patient, we don't jump ahead of God and we do exactly what He says, what happens is we begin to see how He works things out. Then what we do, we compare how we were going to work it out versus how God works it out. And here's what you'll conclude. You'll conclude every time God's way is the best way.

He always has a better way. So one of the first things that happens is we see God at work in our life. A second one is this, the strong testimony we have of God's faithfulness to other people. When you and I are patient in very difficult circumstances, and I could give you some, lots of good examples of this, very patient in difficult circumstances, people watch. They watch how you respond. They watch about what you say.

They watch how you not only respond but the way you act toward other people, if you blame God, if you get bitter, if you get resentful, if you get hostile, if you talk about what should have been, what could be, or do you faithfully, patiently wait for God to correct the situation or whatever it might be in your life. But we have an awesome opportunity to have a strong testimony. A third thing that I would get you to notice as far as benefits is this, that we're able to achieve our objective. And I'll give you a personal example of one thing that's helped me learn patience. Photography has really helped me to learn patience.

Now I've learned about making mistakes. And I think about how many times I have set up my tripod and camera to take a particular scene, waiting for the light to be right, and that's what photography's all about. It's all about light. And so either the clouds are blocking the sun or it's blocking something else, and so what happens? You wait and wait and wait, and you keep looking, and sometimes you pray, Lord, just blow those clouds away, just move them away, will you? And what happens is sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn't. So it doesn't happen, so you just take it all down, put your equipment up, and get in the car and drive the next expressway, look in the rear-view mirror, and you think, my goodness, if I'd have just waited five more minutes.

What an awesome scene. Because you're impatient, and because I was impatient. And you just think about this. When you and I walk away before God's timing, most of the time, we don't know what we missed. If we knew what we were going to miss, we'd probably stay there longer.

But we say, we don't know what we missed. And getting ahead of God never works. Then, for example, another benefit is that you and I make wise, timely, profitable decisions. When we wait upon Him and trust Him, we make wise, timely, profitable decisions. Because oftentimes, listen, oftentimes it's just the moment. Not ours, but sometimes the moment. And I can think of times when I've started to walk away and said, no, I'm going to wait this out.

And a few moments, it just all, just break out in the most beautiful scene. Timely, wise decisions when you and I are willing to wait. Then I think about another illustration I want to give you here. I think about oftentimes asking God for clear direction. And what we do is we start asking for clear direction.

We don't get it now. What happens is we just go and do our thing. I remember when I was in seminary and I felt like the Lord had asked me and my wife to, to spend the summer in some mission church somewhere, preaching and singing, and just spending the summer wisely and vesting our time for the kingdom of God. Well, we had it all worked out. So, one Saturday morning I got up and I just started praying that morning and somehow I felt this awesome burden. And I just couldn't quit praying. And so I told her, I said, you know, I just need to spend some time just talking to the Lord. I prayed all day long. I felt a burden so heavy, but I didn't know what it was. And surely I'm certain I must have been tempted to quit two or three times, but somehow I couldn't. I just kept praying and asking God to show me.

I did not leave that room until six, about between six and six-thirty that evening. I knew I'd heard from God. It's like the Lord said to me, finally He got through to me. That was your plan. It sounds good. It looks good. It's a great plan. It's not my will. You have to lay that down.

Well, I couldn't quite figure that out. What we were going to do, we were planning to go to Fresno, California, and work in the church there for the summer. If I'd have gone to Fresno, California more than likely, I'd have gone back there somewhere after seminary.

But that wasn't God's plan. Then what did we do? Well, we did something that we thought was sort of selfish. We went to North Carolina, spent the summer in the lake house up there and just enjoyed ourselves for three months.

Well, the last, almost, I guess about two weeks before the summer was over, we were out fishing. This man came down the steps and he said, called out to us, he said, Are you Charles Stanley? I said, Yes, sir. He said, Do you go to seminary?

I said, Yes, sir. So, he said, I want to talk to you. He said, Well, our pastor's going on vacation for a couple of weeks. Would you come preach for us?

I said, Well, I'd love to. So, I went and preached for him. And to make a long story short, they called me to be the pastor before I'd even finished. I had a whole other year of seminary. And so, I finally went, became the pastor, taught in the Bible Institute there.

And so, so the story goes, and that got me to North Carolina, to Ohio, to Florida, to Atlanta, Georgia. And I think, Lord, suppose I'd have said after about a couple of hours of praying, You know what, I'm going to ask You and ask You and ask You. I don't have no more time to sit here and waste all of Saturday. Just waste my Saturday listening to You. You know what? You wouldn't know me more than likely. I wouldn't know You.

You'd never hear of me. And you know what? God had a different plan. But I think of how much hinged on the patience to wait till you hear His answer. I cannot tell you how important that is.

Waiting till you get direction from Him. Another one of the benefits that I think is so important is this. And that is, we have God's favor. And you remember He says in First Peter chapter two twenty, He speaks of the favor of God. You know what the favor of God is? The favor of God is God's approval. That's God's freedom to be good to us and to be kind to us and to bless us and to favor us in ways that is to do things that are good for us in ways that you and I would not probably do for ourselves.

I wouldn't even think that He's thinking that much about us. Because you see, oftentimes we don't realize how much He loves us and how much He wants to do. And listen, how much He favors us and desires the best for us if you and I are willing to wait for Him.

So He says favoring us is certainly one of those blessings. Another is the strength to endure suffering. A person who is not patient when suffering comes. And we've all probably been there at times and thinking, God, how long does this have to last and how much do I have to hurt? And all the things that we say, sometimes a person, if they cannot be patient, they'll grow bitter, resentful, hostile, angry to God, blame God, look for somebody else to blame, tell God how unfair it is, tell God they don't deserve this, or patiently wait for God to bring the healing or the deliverance. And so patience is, listen, the benefit is that you and I can be able to and will be able to endure suffering and hardship, otherwise we could not do it. Then of course, it builds strong relationships. And we've mentioned a lot of these things in these four messages before, but I want to put them all together to help you to see how wise it is to be patient.

And that is we can build strong, loving, lasting relationships. Because the truth is, without patience you cannot. If you don't have any patience, you should never get married. If you don't have any patience, you should never have children.

If you don't have any patience, you should never invest in the stock market. I could just go on and on and on of things you should never do if you don't have any patience until you're willing to let God deal with you because you're going to drive away people in that relationship, you're going to make wrong decisions with your finances, and you know, you're going to drive people away. They could be a great asset in your life. Patience is a valuable, strong asset in someone's life, the power of patience. Then I think about how people are saved oftentimes as a result of somebody's personal witness.

And more than likely, all of us were talked to more than once, several times, and sometimes people have been witnessed to over and over and over again. Sometimes there's a friend that you really want to see saved, and I know of someone who just shared with me not long ago, twenty long years, twenty long years they waited and prayed and asked God to save this person, and He did. When you and I learn to be patient, here's what happens. They can say, I don't want to hear it, it doesn't bother us.

Don't tell me anything else about it, they can't keep us from praying for them. And what happens is in our patience, God uses that to be an awesome blessing to bring people to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. Then I think about how we encourage people to grow in the Lord.

Helping them to grow in their relationship to Him, to mature in their relationship to Him. And that's really what we do week after week, is help people mature in their relationship to Him. And sometimes you'll hear people sort of browbeating other people because they haven't done this and they don't read their Bible as much as they do and don't pray as much as they do.

You can't operate that way. Jesus didn't, neither did the apostle Paul. And so, listen, we're able to help people grow in their relationship to Christ only when we're patient and we're understanding. And then, of course, the whole issue of answered prayer. How many times have you and I started praying vigorously about somebody, about some situation? I mean, we were just calling out to God and crying out to God.

And two weeks later, if somebody mentioned to us, we'd say, oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. What happens is because He doesn't answer our prayer quickly, we're prone to give up. But patience says, listen, if God burdens your heart with something or He burdens your heart to pray for somebody, just because you don't see, watch this, just because you don't see change in them right now doesn't mean that God isn't answering your prayer. Because remember, God doesn't begin His change on the outside.

He begins His change deep inside of a person's heart. Then, of course, the whole issue of spiritual maturity. When you and I grow in our patience, we're growing in our spiritual maturity. We're able to withstand the pressure of what people want us to do. We don't jump because they say jump.

We don't make a quick decision. We don't criticize and we don't force people to fit into our mold. We don't shove them along and expect them to be something they can't be at that moment. What happens is we mature, our understanding of God, our faithlessness. We understand the faithfulness of God. We have to wait and wait and wait and then watch Him do the most awesome work in our life. And then we see Him do it in the most awesome way. We would never have thought about it that way.

We would have never done it that way. It's totally beyond us. What does that do? That matures us. The steadfastness that God builds into our life as a result of patience. One of the benefits, one of the many benefits. And then, of course, it contributes to our calm, healthy lifestyle. For example, a person who learns to be patient has an inner sense of calmness and quietness and steadfastness and coolness about them, as you and I would say, that otherwise is not there. And what happens to a person who's impatient? They're tense and full of stress. This is what oftentimes gives them heart attacks. It's stress and tension on the inside. And sometimes people say, well, it's weight. It's not always weight.

What is it? It's the weight of what they're dealing with on the inside of them. Their tension, their stress, their anger, their animosity, their impatience.

And impatience causes all of those things to happen in their life. And what happens? It works in your heart, works in your physiological body, and you don't feel good. You get tired. You've got to have pills.

You've got to go to the doctor. What on earth is wrong with you? The problem is you're just impatient.

It's just that simple because you've never learned to trust God for the simple things in life, but things that are so very, very important in life. And then, of course, one of the benefits is it contributes, listen, to our trustworthiness by the people. You see, you and I can trust a person who is patient far more than we can somebody who is very impatient because we think, now wait a minute. They come into a quick decision.

This is one of those knee-jerk reactions. And so, I don't know that I want to trust that kind of advice or someone who always has a quick answer for everything. We don't make snap decisions. Sometimes we are forced to make quick decisions. But those quick decisions are based on our faith in God, our trust in God, our listening to Him, our being wise. And sometimes, listen, you and I have to wait, but we don't have to wait long.

Sometimes the decision confronts you and you don't have but maybe moments to answer, moments to wait. And sometimes somebody will ask me a question. So, the question I've been wanting to ask you a long time, I always pray, God, give me wisdom, help me to understand exactly what they're asking for.

Are they saying what they mean or something else? So, I can pray a whole lot in about ten seconds while they're still telling me what it's all about. But the simple reason, I want to be wise. And I want to give them wise counsel. I don't want to give them something quick.

Now, I may have to give them something that's quick from their perspective, but not quick from my thinking, because I want to draw from God's Word and from experience, lest I give them some off-the-cuff answer, which most of the time isn't worth anything. And then, of course, contentment, joy, and thanksgiving. In other words, impatience and joy, no. Impatience and contentment, no.

Impatience and thanksgiving, no, because I didn't get it fast enough. And so, all of these are the benefits of learning to do what? Learning to be willing to wait. The most important thing I'm going to say all through this message, I'm about ready to say, you listening? Say, amen.

Amen. Is the most important thing. Because all of our life, we're going to find ourselves being impatient. We're going to face situations and circumstances in which we're going to find ourselves tempted to be impatient. Here's what I want you to remember. The determining factor of how patient I'm going to be in whatever circumstance, the determining factor is the value I place on the object of my patience.

Now, watch this. If I have a relationship with you and that relationship is in trouble, the value I place on you as a person and as my friend will determine how patient I'm going to be. The value I place on you as my friend of that relationship will determine how patient I'm going to be. For example, let's say that I'm seeking God's will for no matter. I want to know what God wants. Listen, the value I place on knowing the will of God, the value I place on my relationship with God will determine how patient I am, how long I will wait, how much I will pray, how much I'm willing to surrender, what I'm willing to sacrifice.

As you think about something that you need or you want in life, the value you place on that, listen, will determine how patient you will be to wait, to save, or whatever till you get it. And look, think about you in your own life, for example, what value do you place on that something that may be a point of irritation in your life at this point? What kind of value do you place on your husband or your wife? You're going to walk away and leave them. What value do you place upon your son or your daughter? You're just going to turn your back on them and say, well, you know, if that's the way you are, forget it.

Don't even claim to be my son or my daughter. You have a friend who's struggling deeply. They don't even understand all that they're going through. The value you place on them will determine how patient you are. If you just think, well, you know what, you've settled your own issue.

Everybody's got, I don't have time for that because I've got my own problems. What you're saying is, I don't value you. And if you can remember that above everything else, the value you place on the object of your patience will determine how patient you are.

And you know what else it says? My patience reveals how valuable you are. My patience reveals the value I place on my relationship to Him if I'm willing to wait and willing to trust Him. Well, you may not be a Christian and you may be saying, well, how does all this work in my life? It won't work. Because you see, until, listen carefully, until you accept, until you accept God's Son, who is the Lord of life, is the Lord of your life, willing to surrender yourself to Him, asking Him to forgive you of your sins, and believing that His death at the cross paid your sin debt in full, not partially, but in full. And now you're willing to ask Him to forgive you of your sins and to trust Him as your personal Savior.

It won't work. Once you do that, God will show you how to work it in your life. And that's my prayer for you. Thank you for listening to The Rewards of Patience. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or In Touch Ministries, stop by InTouch.org. This podcast is a presentation of In Touch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-04-25 05:24:40 / 2024-04-25 05:33:30 / 9

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