Sermon Synopsis for March 19
To move towards maturity, we must appropriate patience into our lives. The gospel teaches us that God has exhibited infinite long-suffering towards us. The Bible says, “The Lord does not delay His promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). Considering the Lord’s care and compassion, we should be motivated to be patient with our circumstances, and with the people who perplex us.
How can we develop this inward virtue of the soul? Let’s consider four principles that will help us.
PATIENCE IS PROFITABLE FOR LIFE.
First, one must be aware of the beneficial nature of patience. The virtue brings untold blessing into our daily lives. When it resonates from our hearts, it does something to sweeten our relationships, strengthen our efforts, and sustain our souls. Considering the favorable nature of patience, it is commonsensical to pursue it.
PATIENCE IS AN INWARD THING.
Patience is an inwrought virtue of the soul. It cannot be produced by outward, physical efforts. It can only come to life through inward reflection and devotion. It is a matter of being, not doing. Patience grows when we regularly ingest Bible preaching, teaching, and reading. It also thrives through a soul-diet which shuns things which sully the soul. When our inner-man is steadily fed worldly values which don’t build spiritual endurance, we are unlikely to develop the patience that pays off. Gospel truth must reign supreme. Just as it is with the strengthening of physical muscles, hard work is required for such conditioning.
PATIENCE WILL RESULT IN AN OUTWARD CHANGE.
Though patience is an inwrought virtue, it will always result in an outward change of behavior. Visible manifestations of the invisible trait will occur. This is often the sense in which we think of patience. We are shortsighted if we neglect the internal work of the virtue, but we are equally shortsighted if we dismiss its external ramifications. If we are pursuing Christ, we will acquire a quietness of the soul which will help us with all types of people and all types of circumstances. Our outward life will shine bright because of an inward beauty. Patience will produce a marvelous external change.
PATIENCE WILL MAKE YOU HAPPIER.
It may sound self-centeredly pragmatic, but patience is a plain path to personal happiness. Those who monitor and manage their emotions well are generally more contented. Common experience teaches us so much, but biblical revelation does as well (James 5:11). When we cease from selfish striving, when we stop trying to control our circumstances, and when we turn to the Lord in full faith, we open ourselves up to experience His peace, presence, power, and provision. This in turn produces great contentment. Our souls find ease and a sense of holy liberty. Why? Because they are surrendered to the God who designed us. When His life and love invades our hearts, fear dissipates (1 John 4:18). True joy and contentment shines. Give your impatient heart to Christ and you will find great happiness.
Get the full manuscript of the sermon for March 19, 2017 here