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2 Thessalonians 3:5
Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ.
When I was in college I remember facing one frustrating situation after the next and one night I was talking to one of my dorm monitors about it during our devotions and she looked at me with a strange look on her face and said, “you have been praying for more patience haven’t you? Stop it!” Wow! I guess I never thought about the fact that if I wanted to learn to be more patient it was probably going to take more situations that required it. So ladies, how do you feel about praying for more of God’s love for others?
Hmmmmmm……. is it worth it to you to pray for more of the fruits of the Spirit to abound in you? How determined are you to become a more godly lady? (Galatians 5:22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”) In light of what I was told about praying for patience what do you think will happen if you pray for these other godly characteristics? Are you willing to work to become more godly?
When you want to tone up your muscles you aren’t going to do it by thinking about it so why do we expect God to just pour out more love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control without our having to exercise in those areas. Just like the fact you have muscles, you also have the “fruit of the Spirit because He dwells within you when you get saved, but you have to develop those qualities by exercising them in you life. I have found when I ask for more of the love of God for people I tend to end up with some of the most difficult people to love in my life, when we pray for self-control we end up with situations that push every button we have and the list goes on. Have you prayed for any of those characteristics lately? Have you felt like the more you pray for it the more difficult it seems to be? Look at it like it is your godly workout for the day. Ask God for the “strength” you need for it and press in. See it as a great challenge not a problem. Know that the more you are exercised in those areas the more improvement you will see. As the old saying goes, “no pain, no gain”.
As God works in these areas of your life you will notice that you will face the same types of situations and people over and over until you “get it”. Don’t get frustrated see it as a new goal in your personal improvement. God is working in you and He just wants to bring out the best in you. When I have watched the Biggest Loser I have really been amazed at how tough those coaches are on those pour souls but they know their limits better than the people do themselves. God knows how much He can push us as well and He knows what it will take to fully develop that quality in our lives. Is it easy to develop those godly traits? Not usually. We can always trust though that God isn’t going to push you too far but you have to see the situations and people brought into your life as lessons so you can maintain the right attitude and grow in Him.
If you want to grow to the point that you can help others then odds are you are going to have to face some tough lessons yourself first. Personal trainers don’t teach us to exercise before they go through the pain of it themselves, flight instructors don’t teach others how to fly before they have put in the hours themselves and have faced tough situations and decisions in order to know how to instruct others. The best teachers in life are those who have faced it themselves – it’s difficult to teach what you don’t personally know. Take heart if you are in the “classroom” for one of these godly attitudes, we all are, and face it with a new attitude today. This situation isn’t here to torment you it is here to grow you, the sooner you “build this muscle” the sooner you can move forward. The best is yet to come!
“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.”