THE WAY OF PATIENCE AND GRACE Jan 25, 2007 16:53:40 GMT -5
Post by tomdurst on Jan 25, 2007 16:53:40 GMT -5
THE WAY OF PATIENCE AND GRACE
By Thomas E. Durst
By Thomas E. Durst
An electronic concordance search in the NKJV of the Bible brought up 25 verses with the word patience and 145 with the word grace. Most of these verses are very relevant but space would not permit quoting them here. I encourage you to look them up and ponder them.
I have observed that many conscientious people who have a very committed spiritual path often overlook the principles of grace and patience and thus become discouraged and wonder what is wrong with them. After all, it would seem that more progress should be seen in their lives. People find themselves perhaps repeating the same mistakes over and over again.
To such spiritual aspirants I would say that we need to take a new and fresh look at patience and grace and how they work together in our spiritual path.
Everything that we have in our lives--including even a desire for God--is because of GRACE. The human mind is so twisted and messed up that were it not for divine grace working in us we would have no desire to serve God. But God's grace reaches out to us in many different ways to draw us to the divine presence. I think a lot of the time we are not aware of how grace is tugging at our heart strings, drawing us to something better.
Grace is absolutely essential at every step of our spiritual walk. We never measure up to what we should be, would be, or could be and so we are never without the need for grace. Our performance always falls far short of our ideals. We are all very defective and weak and the saving and enabling grace of God does what we could never do for ourselves. Should we not give thanks constantly for this wonderful grace which is so freely and abundantly bestowed?
Grace works hand in hand with patence. We have a God of infinite patience who never gives up on us. This is tied in with His grace and mercy which are constant and unchanging. We need to have patience with one another just as God is patient with us. When others fail to live up to what we expect of them we need to exercise patience, never forgetting the struggles that all of us human beings mutually share.
We also need to have patience with ourselves, especially when we stumble and fail to live up to our ideals and achieve our spiritual goals. We need to realize that there is absolutely NOTHING that we can do to hasten spiritual growth. We need patience to daily pursue our spiritual disciplines of study, prayer, Silence, etc. We thus feed our inner being and keep a clear channel open for God's grace to work in us and mold us into the divine image. But it is God who brings forth the harvest of righteousness and love in our lives. We need to recognize that growth is a growth "in grace" and not of our own efforts. Our intention for God is important and taking time for devotional exercises is indispensible and we need to do this. However, having done the very best we can whatever progress we make is because of the grace of God. So we simply need to be as patient with ourselves and others as God is with us.
May the God of all comfort lead us ever into a new and fresh appreciation of the work of His grace in our lives from beginning to end and give us patience to let His perfect will be done in us.
Regarding patience I would like to close with these words of a saint of yesteryear:
"Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections but instantly set about remedying them - every day begin the task anew."
Saint Francis de Sales (1567 - 1622)
I invite you to read FULNESS OF LIFE FOR ALL PEOPLE which is on the link below:
FULNESS OF LIFE FOR ALL PEOPLE