For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
Living Faith Baptist Church is a fundamental Baptist Church since 1979 to present. Was founded on October 1979.
Founded by their Senior Pastor Dr. Elpidio Abellar.
Conducted their own church activities just like; their annual Mindanao-Wide Baptist Summer Youth Camp, Winter Camp, Christmas Fellowship, Youth Revival and many more.
By the grace of God they accomplished the activities with the presence of the Lord. Transforming youths from the deep abyss of darkness to the light of God.
"For by GRACE are ye saved through Faith; and that not of yourselves, it is a Gift from GOD."
Guest speaker Mark Mendez shared thoughts and verses about patience last Sunday at our youth event. For those who want to revisit the topic, here are the PowerPoint slides and the script used
"The Essence Of Waitng"
I will share what has helped me wait before, so instead of explaining the details of one chapter, my goal is to be kind of repetitive, in order to give as many of you as possible something you can make your personal reminder to encourage yourself and others. When I was being impatient for something, I discovered that my problem was a weak faith—specifically, I had faith, but didn’t use it—so I will be focusing mostly on things you can remind yourself to help confront some of your problems with faith, especially confronting impatience. My solution was to bring the faith I had closer to myself. When your crush is close to you, then church seems so far away, doesn’t it? When your problems are right in front of you, the future seems so far away. If you want a metaphor for this message, it’s learning to raise the shield of faith you have on your arm, applying faith to your everyday life. I will share two thoughts that helped me most: First, that if your earthly circumstances are bad, they will change drastically when earth ends and is remade. Second, that if your earthly circumstances are bad, so were God’s.
Earth You vs. Heaven You
I think you can learn how to wait for anything if you learn how to wait for heaven like Jesus did. I think all of us know that when you’re in front of God, you’re not going to care about all the same things you care about now. Right? How jealous are we going to be? Or what are we going to worry about then? What are you even capable of wanting when God is right there in your face and eternity is right before your eyes? You have assurance that you will see God’s judgment, and when that happens, I predict you will change your priorities if you haven’t already.
(read 1 Cor 13:10-12) “But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”
Before puberty, you were a child, and you cared so much about things you totally ignore today. In the same way, when the unseen becomes seen, we will all change. We will immediately care more about pleasing God and less about pleasing our crushes, or even our teachers, or even our parents, and least of all ourselves. In the passage, Paul tells us that he has already started making the change into spiritual maturity, so we know it is possible to have the kind of faith that will make you act and think differently.
The hard part is holding fast the profession of your faith and not wavering. Holding fast means holding tightly, which is a metaphor for always acting from faith—from your spiritual desires, and not from your desires for earthly things. So remind yourself often—and others, please—of the future, and of course you’ll start acting in faith more. “For the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation” (Jesus in John 5). Imagine it.
You Are a Soul
(read Eph 2:6-7) “And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”
One of the Bible’s repeated lessons is that a believer should think of himself as being already in heaven. Many or all of those past-tense verses about salvation really are past-tense in the original language. In John 14, Thomas asked Jesus how to follow him into heaven: And Jesus replied, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life”—in other words, Jesus said, “I AM heaven.” Thomas was looking for a path he could walk to find heaven, but Jesus says, “You can’t take yourself to heaven; my teaching is your directions, so if you have the Son, you have life already.” Every Christian fights the temptation to get tired of faith—to be the double-minded Christian who says, “I believe I will be resurrected and judged by God—in the future, so future me can handle that.” It’s like he plans to believe God’s word later, but he rejects its reality now, because he can’t see it? Because salvation doesn’t come instantly—and it hasn’t for any of us because we’re still here—and he finds himself still on earth saying, “Okay, look, God, I know You said not to do this, but I have this need and I got to take care of myself just while I’m here. When I’m in church, I’m ready for salvation, and when I’m out in my real-life stuff, I have to prepare for tomorrow, just in case that rapture you mentioned doesn’t happen tomorrow and I still have things to get and things to do.” Students are busy, that’s fine. But fight the good fight of faith by keeping your unseen life as your real-life stuff—think of the famous C.S. Lewis quote: “Stop saying you have a soul. You are a soul who has a body”—because your body is the temporary part. Getting this view of yourself and your life is the challenge of growing spiritually, but the Bible gives us some of God’s mind, and there’s a good example in John 11 of Jesus’ faith being demonstrated. When Jesus went to resurrect Lazarus from the dead, Lazarus’ sister talked to him: “Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live (John 11:23-25).”
Jesus did this miracle probably for a number of reasons, most of which was to demonstrate that he has the power to give life, because that was his main mission on earth. However, one detail stands out to me: he did this for people who were already Christians and one even mentioned the resurrection directly, so something else I get from this miracle is the contrast between Martha’s faith, saying, “I know it will happen later”—like us saying: “I know things will be different for me later”—and Jesus’ faith, saying, “he shall never die, because even though he die, yet shall he live.” Jesus is the author and perfecter of our faith, so that’s the kind of faith we all want, right? If you have strong faith, you might start reacting differently to your circumstances. This isn’t to say earthly things can’t hurt, because Jesus wept over Lazarus, even knowing beforehand that he would raise him from the dead. However, spiritual people do not mourn as the world mourns, because we know that God will restore all believers to life. So that was the first of my two big secrets to learning to be patient: I just started as much as possible to think about the changes that will happen in our future. The second was, when I wanted to compare my worldly prosperity to someone else’s, I would compare to Jesus and say, “Okay, I have no business having more than God.”
Seeing a Different Future
It’s easier to work hard if you know you can rest afterwards. Like when you have a raid boss in EverWing with 5% HP left, you will let your dinner wait even if you’re hungry, because you have all of those treasure chests waiting for you. Or, it’s the same thing when you work harder at the end of a big school project, because you know that you are close to being done. You have a good reason to use that feeling your whole life, any time you are tired, because a lot of examples of encouragement in the Bible are trying to make us think about our lives in terms of present sacrifices and later rewards: Just laban for a little while, and the reward you get will be worth the extra effort—of course, since Christians have to laban for their whole lives, it’s not a little while, but everyone who gets to either heaven or hell will say, “Those troubles feel so light and momentary now that I’m seeing this.”
(Read 1 Corinthians 7:29-30) “But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none; And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not.”
The present order of things is passing away. Many who are first will be last and many who are last will be first. Valleys will be raised up and mountains will be brought low. Even if you have a lifelong problem, you can still attend upon the Lord without distraction (v. 36). Paul’s advice to help you is to imagine the time that is coming when things will be totally different.
(Read 1 Peter 1:17) “And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear.”
Everyone who comes to earth will eventually leave, so we can call ourselves sojourners, which means visitors. The same idea is repeated later in chapter 2: “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.” James is saying you are a soul who is a stranger in the flesh, because if you actually see yourself that way, why would you feed your flesh which will die anyways and become a waste of your food and your effort, and choose not to feed your soul, which will forever keep the satisfaction of being fed?
By the way, why visit earth in “fear?” It’s like in James 4:3-10, which I’ll just read because it’s long: “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” James doesn’t mean all laughter and joy should stop—read Psalms—but only when a Christian is being lighthearted about sin. It’s like he’s saying: How can you sin and laugh at the same time? If you believe the Bible, then you should be fearful when you sin. Double-mindedness and adultery are just two different ways he describes people who say they believe in God and accept Jesus’ teaching, but live as though God doesn’t matter to them. Someone who pledges loyalty to God and then betrays Him by sinning and then goes on to ignore His jealousy is the opposite of who we want to be, so our goal is to achieve an alert, sober mind and humility that should be natural reactions to knowing you will fall into the hands of a jealous God, who cares a lot about how you think and act. I brought this up because if you are waiting for something important, you will be tempted to sin—either to take it for yourself in a way God does not allow, or just to sin in your heart. But in your anger, do not sin; and in your pain, remember that believers will always exist, but their pain will not. James 1:9-10 says: “Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted: But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away.”
How to See a Different Future
Paul understood this, so let’s hear it in his words.
(Read 2 Corinthians 4:17-18) “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal [temporary]; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
What were the light and momentary troubles he mentions? Later in chapter 11, he upholds his reputation to a church who was listening to false apostles, saying, “Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths [modern translations say “near death”] oft.” What motivated this guy? He can’t even count how many times he’s been whipped, and he’s calling this light and momentary, because, as the previous verse says, he looks not at temporary things, but at eternal unseen things.
(Read Hebrews 11:24-27) “By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.”
Another example of the same thing. The strength to endure any worldly circumstances comes by having faith that is as strong as sight, or, “as seeing him who is invisible.”
(Read Hebrews 11:35-37) “Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented”
You get the idea. Hard stuff, like your situation, was so thoroughly defeated by faith that some people have actually refused to be saved from their pain, because they so valued their faith that they were only considering the spiritual effects of their physical pain. Wow, faith that overcomes the world. How do they do that? Continuing to the first verse of the next chapter, we see how this long list of crazy examples can not just impress us, but help us: “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.”
Look unto Jesus, who looked unto his future reward.
(Read Psalm 16:8) “I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.”
This is just another verse to go with what we just read: to “look unto Jesus” and “consider him that endured.” Put God into your field of vision. What kinds of things do you really think about most of the time? If you’re like I was, you’re thinking about the earthly things you don’t have. However, if you set God before you, if you take him from the back of your mind and put him in front, you will make the move to seeing faith as real life. How do you set God before you? Just deciding might be really effective. Bible verses. Maybe spend more time with your Christian friends, or listen to Christian music. Probably the best thing you can do is when you are feeling impatient because your problem is before you, don’t push God out of your mind. Instead, prepare yourself to bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. For me, this meant I had to plan my next reaction to the question “why don’t I have this yet?” so I could give myself a spiritual answer: Why didn’t Jesus care about this for himself? Because he was looking forward to heaven.
Jesus is always our example
(Read Heb 4:15) “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”
We have a high priest who can sympathize with us. My favorite thing to always remind myself in waiting—and I feel like this is the most practical thing I can recommend you remind yourself constantly, so pay attention now—is that Jesus chose his life. He came on purpose not to be served but to serve and give his life.
John chapter 13 describes Jesus washing his disciples’ feet, and then afterwards, he taught them.
(Read John 13:13-15). “Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.”
The Lord, who made everything, is serving people who are not worthy to serve him! Even someone whom Jesus calls the greatest prophet of God said he is unworthy to untie Jesus’ sandals, so of course we are not worthy even to be called His servants. Yet, Jesus serves us to show us how much more we ought to serve one another. So anyone can say: if a life of patient service and humility and obedience in all things and self denial is good enough for Jesus, my Lord and God, it’s good enough for me. And besides thinking of our God’s command to be like Him, I would ask: if God chose that kind of lifestyle while He lived on earth as a human, then why wouldn’t I also want to choose to live that way? How much treasure did Jesus have on earth? Jesus knew where He came from and where He was going, and by Him were all things made—including the thing you are waiting for—so He knows earth better than we do; he knows heaven better than we do. Jesus teaches us the best way to live, which is to make your life a sacrifice to serve others.
(Read Matthew 4:1) “Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.”
Jesus did not have to come to earth and save us at all, but not only did He choose to do that, His same Holy Spirit, before leading Jesus out of the grave, before that, led him into the desert to have a good time…right, to meet a beautiful girl and get married…to find a fortune after maybe fasting for one day…no, to have a miserable time starving for 40 days. Why, if he was obedient? One obvious result was to prove that God has sympathy for our hard situations and even for the punishment He assigned us. 40 days in the desert is an obvious parallel to Numbers, where Israel wanders in the desert for 40 years, because when they arrive at the promised land they don’t believe that God will fulfill His covenant by giving it to them. A few of you could say you’d rather fast for 40 days and die on a cross than be in your current situation. However, consider that in God’s justice, we deserve hell, which is worse, and Jesus deserved heaven but volunteered for his pain. So the next time you are very hungry, or you have any kind of appetite that is going unfulfilled, meaning there’s something you want but can’t have, remind yourself of Jesus, who was so patient even when he was very hungry. Jesus was well able to turn stones into bread and feed himself, or to call down more than 12 legions of angels to serve him. But Jesus cared about pleasing the Father more than pleasing himself, so he accepted his hard situations and endured them patiently, praising God even in the hardest of times. Remember that even while he knew his crucifixion was near, his prayer was not “Father, save me from this hour,” but rather “Father, glorify Your name.”
What Do You Want?
If it’s possible, I know it would be helpful to appreciate what you have more and appreciate what you’re waiting for less. And what valuable thing do we all have that we’re under-appreciating? Faith, which is more valuable than anything an unbeliever has. There are days when you envy the people who have the thing you’re waiting for, but keep in mind that there will be more days when so many people will envy the life you have, if you hold onto your faith and are saved. How ashamed will we all feel if we envy something someone has, and then we see him begging for just a drop of water to cool his tongue, which he doesn’t receive, while we have the river of the water of life flowing from the throne of God? So let’s take a moment to appreciate the true value of faith by seeing how the Bible talks about it.
(Read John 6:26-27). “Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.”
Jesus often had a crowd following him because of the miracles he did. In this passage, Jesus offers some good advice to people who had been following him for the wrong reasons. They were eagerly following him for the physical food he gave them by a miracle, but the whole time they were with him, he had also been offering them something that they were just ignoring. They saw him offer them physical bread, but he was trying to offer them the bread of life. They were interested in the physical bread, but they totally ignored the miracle that produced it, which could give them faith to be kept safe from death forever! They walked by sight and not by faith, seeking physical things and not spiritual things. The correct response to Jesus’ offer is recorded earlier in John chapter 4 when Jesus meets a Samaritan woman who was getting water from a well, and he asks her the same thing: Do you want physical water, or the water of life? He shows her a miracle, and she responds by leaving her water jar to tell people to come to Jesus. If you are really hungry or thirsty, it can be really hard to keep laboring for invisible meat, even if it lasts forever—and the stronger your hunger, the more you start feeling the need to focus your efforts on getting that thing. But be careful that you never let go of your most valuable possession for the sake of any temporary thing.
(Read Matthew 13:22) “He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.”
The cares of this world can choke your faith like thorns. Hardship can tempt you to argue with God, or, at the worst, to leave the narrow path and pursue an unspiritual desire. But what we never think about is that hardship offers us a spiritual option as well: We can either react from flesh by complaining that our flesh has less than we wish, or we can react spiritually by rejoicing that our spirit is gaining something—meaning, if you hold onto your faith when you undergo hardship, your faith will be refined and become stronger. It can seem stupid, even to ourselves, to react in a way inconsistent with most people. But that’s what it means to live by faith and not by sight—people who live by faith are often doing crazy things in the eyes of the world. Like Noah building a giant boat during a drought. Like a professional farmer taking on the strongest soldier in an aggressive army. Like Jesus letting himself be unjustly shamed and killed, even while he had followers ready to fight for him. And like anything else mentioned in Hebrews 11. Spiritually-minded people can rejoice when their flesh is disappointed, because they know that when more is taken from their flesh, they have more chances to send a distraction with it. If you are waiting for something that the Bible says you don’t need and you are disappointed because it’s taking a long time, God is giving you the same chance to give up on hoping for happiness in the flesh and instead hope much more strongly for happiness and prosperity in the spirit, which is to be with God. You have the chance to join spiritually-minded people who rejoice when their faith is refined, even if by fire—because they know that their faith is worth more than gold.
(Read Mat 13:44) Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.”
This parable means: if you had the chance to choose either everything in the world that you could ever want, or to choose the kingdom of heaven, heaven would be more valuable to you. The treasure represents the gospel, and the man in the parable represents you, because it’s someone who has found the treasure of the gospel, meaning you have heard the gospel. His decision to sell everything he had represents the decision we all have to make—to believe for the rest of our lives that faith is worth more than anything else we have, so if anything we have gets in the way of us getting the kingdom of heaven, we get rid of it. Keep in mind what the author of our faith teaches us with this parable: that just entering salvation is worth more than anything you could have on earth. And he taught the same thing in a clearly worded rebuke to that crowd in John 6 that was focused on physical food. He said, “What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before [meaning, you see that Jesus is not only the son of man, but was the son of God first]? It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” And since faith is worth so much and is really our only eternal possession, we would do well to focus on improving that instead of neglecting it because we are focused on temporary things we lack temporarily.
(Read 1 Tim 4:8) “For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.”
So consider your faith to be valuable.
Before you feel so much pressure to sacrifice a hope you have for happiness, I should acknowledge the specific advice of the Bible regarding the most common thing people wait for, which is marriage. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 7 that if you want to get married, there is no reason to delay—get married so you don’t have that desire constantly distracting you from serving God, although he advises to stay single if you can, actually for the same ultimate goal I just explained: that the main goal of either being single or married is to remove distractions to your faith so you can go back to serving God with your whole life, and being single is just better for that. I guess it’s like the tithing guidelines: that giving is better than not giving, but God wants your generosity more than He wants your money, so if you can’t give cheerfully, don’t give. I think it’s the same advice for marriage: serve God as much as you can. If you’re too distracted to serve God cheerfully while single, then it’s a good thing to keep hoping and praying to get married. But still, in the meantime, while it’s hard to wait for marriage, your faith will get the chance to be refined.
How is faith refined by hardship? Remember the verse “tribulation worketh patience and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed…” I’ve been saying so, but why does tribulation develop hope? I actually got to see this happen. For me, it was when I remembered to correct myself, so I stopped saying, “I’m disappointed because I don’t have this thing,” and started saying, “I’m disappointed because Earth is not supposed to be satisfying, and I’m not in heaven, and also because I want more on earth than Jesus wanted and care less about heavenly things than he did.” And the result was I started more to set my affection on things above because I just kept wishing I was in heaven. Every time I thought about something I didn’t like, I would practice answering in faith, which made my faith stronger.
Besides my modern example, there are the early Christians who did the same thing. Paul writes of hard times his own group lived through: “We had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead” (2 Cor 1:9). Their suffering was teaching them to rely on God, and also made them able to teach others who were going through the same pain.
(read 2 Corinthians 5:15-17) “And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
To learn how to regard people and events according to the spirit and not according to the flesh feels like a second worldview change, but remember that it’s possible to do, like Paul mentioned in the earlier verse about becoming spiritually mature and putting away childish things. To me, regarding people according to the spirit feels like this: I can’t envy as much, because everyone is either choosing a deceptive pleasure that leads to eternal death—can’t envy that—or is a brother or sister in Christ. Would you be sad if you had a really attractive husband or wife? Or, would you be jealous if your husband or wife is really rich? Of course, since they would be your spouse, you would be happy if they had good things. And all believers are one in Christ, so you have just as much reason to rejoice with those who rejoice, since they are part of your body, which is the body of Christ. So regard your fellow believers according to the spirit, and regard unbelievers according to the spirit.
You’re Not Alone
Do you remember from earlier that if you are suffering in the world, you have what God himself had? In the same way that you are not alone in your suffering, know that you are not alone even specifically in waiting for something important—God is waiting patiently, and all the rest of God’s creation is waiting patiently with you.
(Read Rom 8:19-23) “For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.”
This is the true picture of our situation. But there is also a false perspective that we should all try hard to notice and avoid.
(Read 2 Pet 3:3-4) “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.”
Right now, there are scoffers who think they will never be judged. Besides them, there are also slaves who think they will never be free. Poor people who think they will never be rich, and lonely people who think they will never have someone appreciate them every day. If you have forgotten that suffering believers will belong to the kingdom of heaven, inherit the earth, be comforted, be filled, obtain mercy, see God and have a great reward from Him as His children—if you find it hard to picture this, maybe it will be easier to picture the people around you who are not saved. They are the reason you have to wait for a perfect life or to be a perfect person; this is the reason God is just keeping things as they are in these “last days” after Jesus atoned for sin. If you keep reading the chapter, you will find verse 9.
(Read 2 Pet 3:9) “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
If a Christian is only considering himself, then it’s easy for him to be impatient, because it’s easy to be impatient for something good like heaven. But considering those who aren’t saved, we are grateful that God is slow in coming! Because it’s very easy to be patient for something as bad as the consequence of sin.
So, you can get patience by thinking of others who aren’t saved, thinking of Jesus, and patience can even come from thinking of how much God has given you—because even if a believer feels poor while on earth, he has more treasure than any rich, attractive, or smart person who doesn’t have any treasure in heaven. As Proverbs 23 says, “Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the Lord all the day long. For surely there is an end; and thine expectation shall not be cut off.”
A believer shall in no wise lose his reward. If we want to, we can use the same words as those used by the prophet Habakkuk: “For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry (Hab 2:3).”
Before we end, let’s just do something that’s common in American church. It is easy when you’re in church to listen and agree but then church ends so suddenly and you’re back in your own thoughts that aren’t being guided by another person’s voice and words, and you can lose your focus. So to prepare you for your own lives, I want to give you some time to translate into your own words. Close your eyes and get what you might have learned or decided in the back of your mind, and turn that idea or feeling into something you can actually start thinking from now on, or doing from now on. My example again is I had to plan my next reaction to the question “why don’t I have this yet?” so I could give myself a spiritual answer: “Why didn’t Jesus care about this for himself?” Remind yourself of your priority. *prayer: “Remove far from us vanity and lies: give us neither poverty nor riches; feed us with food convenient for us: Lest we be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the Lord? or lest we be poor, and steal, and take the name of our God in vain.”*
Extra- unused notes
What’s more, we are not in the position to protest when we suffer, because we are just desperately escaping the wages of our sin—wages, meaning something you earn. It’s worth taking a moment to consider that idea. The Bible says we earn our death by choosing to disobey God, who is where all life comes from. It makes sense doesn’t it? That if we live not on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God, and we refuse to agree with the words of life, and we direct ourselves into something that is not approved by God, who is our life, how can we expect anything but death? (Colossians 3 says overtly to make the point that Christ is our life, and Jesus many times said things like: “He who hath not the Son hath not life.”) So, every single time we choose to disobey God—and ignoring God counts as disobeying Him, because remember the greatest commandment is to love God with all your heart—when we choose to disobey God, we are choosing death.
Extra- unused notes
Better is one day in Your courts (ps 84:10). Better a little with righteousness (prov 16:8).
By the way, in the verse from 1 Pet 2, why does flesh “war against the soul?”
I said earlier that I had faith and didn’t use it. The Bible calls this being double-minded, and that just means that while I had a spiritual motivation to deny myself and obey God, I kept around some motivation to be happy in this life—like, it’s when you believe that it is more blessed to give than to receive, because Jesus says that…but you still want to receive something. So, double-mindedness as I see it is just being separated from your own faith by some margin. Gal 5:16-etc. I’m not saying your situation doesn’t deserve your lamentation; but beware double-mindedness, which will make you believe the lie that salvation does not deserve being celebrated, or that being separated from God does not deserve your lamentation just as much.
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