You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. Hebrews  10, 36

 

Dear readers,

 

being patient is not everyone's cup of tea. And I have to admit, I might as well get impatient from time to time. The other day, when I was stuck in a traffic jam on the motorway for an hour, I was already drumming my fingers nervously against the steering wheel. The impatient drivers in front of and behind changed lanes and hoped to gain a few seconds. After the traffic jam, one or the other overtook me again and I then thought somewhat mockingly: well now, did your lane change really pay off ?

 

Being fast is important today. No company can afford a slow Internet. Goods need to be shipped fast from one place to another. No one wants to wait long for craftsmen. Time is money, as we say.

 

The word from the letter to the Hebrews comes out of another time and from a different world. In my imagination, the ancient world was quiet and stress-free. Fruits were transported from the fields to the village by donkey, there was no trace of traffic jams on the dusty roads. There was no Internet, no telephone, not even carrier pigeons. And yet the letter to the Hebrews admonishes: you urgently need patience! You need perseverance! You must also be able to endure a situation.

 

So were the people back then very similar to us after all? Even if their world was very different from what I can imagine? Could Peter or Paul also become impatient? Did their patience sometimes run out?

 

The Christian community at this time lived in the expectation of the Lord Jesus´ imminent return to earth. And they firmly reckoned that this would happen fairly soon and Jesus Christ would establish his heavenly kingdom for all to see. They also hoped for an early end of their suffering. Into this situation, the writer of the letter to the Hebrews urges them to hold on to Jesus Christ despite the many daily difficulties. He cautions them not to give up faith and not to lose trust in the Lord Jesus. They are not to change lanes - like drivers. They should continue to stay in the lane of faith, even if it can become a heavy burden  at certain times.

 

Jesus talks in a parable how valuable patience is. In the parable of the sower (Gospel of Luke 8:11 f), he tells how the word of God is scattered. Like seed, it falls into the hearts of people. Unfortunately, the word of God cannot take root and grow in everyone. Not all listeners grow spiritual fruit from the word of God. But some of God's word does fall on good soil (verse 15): " But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.”

 

The Word of God grows naturally like grain and bears much fruit one day. However, growth needs patience. It is the same with plants and animals, and it is the same with us human beings. Spiritual maturity develops in patiently staying under God's guidance.

 

How can I become patient? The first Christians are a model for me (Acts 2:42): "They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and in prayer”. It is in abiding that spiritual life can grow and mature. Trust in Jesus Christ grows only in abiding with Him. Love for God and people can only grow when we abide in Jesus Christ. This is how it was in these times. And so it is still the same  with us today.

 

I wish you this patient abiding in the Lord Jesus Christ. No matter what your circumstances are. Please do not change the lane and keep track. Stay in the succession of Jesus.

 

May God bless you as always and I do look forward to your next visit on 1st August.

 

I invite my German-speaking readers to hear my sermons. 

You can find the audio files at https://www.nord-ost-gemeinde.de/predigten

 

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version), edited by R. Jordan

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