Sunday Devotional Playlist:
This week’s playlist starts with some songs to sing along with, but then will move into some instrumental music as a backdrop to your devotional time.
Feel free to use the opening songs as moments to worship, or just have them as background music while you read. It’s up to you!
Hit play on the video above and it will run through the songs in the playlist.
Hope & Patience
Today I want us to consider the connection between hope and patience. I’m sure it’s the case for all of us to some degree or another that the things that have changed for us over the last few months have created a sense of loss as we have experienced the restriction of not being able to do what we normally would have been able to. It’s being with friends, hugging those closest to us, getting to go to work, being able to be together to worship and pray and I’m certain that for every aspect of loss or restriction there is an equal measure of longing for, or hoping for those things to return.
Paul, when he was writing to the church in Rome, challenged them to see that in order to have hope for something they needed to experience patience.
24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.Romans 8:24-25 (NIV)
That statement “But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have?” is profoundly simple but shines a logical light on our current situation. It helps us make sense of where we currently are and why it is that our hearts are longing for some things to change and for the things we are missing to be back fully present in our lives.
The challenge comes in the next part of that verse “But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.” There is a reality to being in a season of hope that recognises the context of delay. That delay is the time between where we are now and the time when the things we are hoping for will be fully realised and for Paul he’s identifying a key ingredient in this is patience.
We have to appreciate that in order to fully live in hope, healthy hope, we have to embrace patience.
Patience can be frustrating because when patience is required we have at some level to come to terms with the reality that what we want has not yet happened, the things that we long for have not yet been fulfilled, the areas we are experiencing loss in have not yet been resolved. Patience though really is an antidote to hopelessness because if we can find, cultivate and nurture patience we will find, cultivate and nurture hope.
Patience and Purpose
There is something beautiful that can happen in hope filled seasons of patience, patience has purpose. There are things that we can learn about ourselves and about God that we cannot find apart from seasons of patience. Here’s a few things worth considering:
Seasons where patience is required help us see and nurture our dependancy on God, they are the moments when we lean in again and remind ourselves of God faithfulness.
Seasons where patience is required allow us to discover what is really valuable, they reveal the things that are worth contending for as we wait in hope filled, patient expectation.
Seasons where patience is required allow for the acknowledgement of what is not yet, the things we hope for. What is powerful in those times is to be aware more of the things that we do have or the aspects of our life that are complete and it can lead us to thankfulness. Thankfulness is another ingredient that is so valuable in times of waiting because we get to choose to focus on what we do have and not be overwhelmed by what we don’t have or what we haven’t experienced yet.
Seasons where patience is required create the opportunity for our lives to be refined, for God to draw close and help reveal to us those things that are important and those things that are not. The hope is that through this process of refining we can hold fast to hope over the things that are good and Godly and allow the things that are not to fall away.
Prayer and reflection:
- Allow the four keys of trust, value, thankfulness and refining be something of a lens to hold up towards your current situation and set of circumstances.
- Take time to prayerfully consider in specific areas of delay where you need to cultivate patience and where that could be a part of your discipleship journey.
- Highlight areas where you could cultivate a deeper trust in God, a clearer understanding of what’s valuable, thankfulness to God and areas where you could embrace what God may be doing in refining your life.