Having Patience in the Midst of Discouragement
by Rick Warren
“You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For in just a very little while, ‘He who is coming will come and will not delay’” (Hebrews 10:36–37 NIV).
If you’re discouraged because of God’s delay in answering your prayers, understand the delay is not a denial. Just because the answer or the miracle hasn’t come—yet—that doesn’t mean God isn’t going to answer, or that he’s forgotten you, or that he doesn’t care about you. It simply means “not yet!”
Spiritual maturity is knowing the difference between “No” and “Not yet,” between a denial and a delay. The Bible tells us, “He who is coming will come and will not delay” (Hebrews 10:37 NIV).
The delay may be a test of your patience. Anybody can be patient once. And, anybody can be patient twice. And, just about anybody can be patient three times. So God tests you patience over and over and over.
Why? To see how patient you are?
No, he does it to show you how patient you are. So you’ll know what’s inside of you, and you’ll be able to know your level of commitment. God tests you so that you can know he is faithful, even if the answers you seek are delayed.
If you’re discouraged, turn it around by remembering God teaches you patience during delay. Ask him to transform your discouragement into patience.
You may be going through difficult times right now and feel like dropping off the planet. You’re discouraged because the situation you face seems unmanageable, unreasonable, or unfair.
It may seem unbearable and inside you’re basically saying, “God, I can’t take it anymore. I just can’t take it anymore!”
But you can.
You can stay with it longer because God is with you. He’ll enable you to press on. Remember, you are never a failure until you quit.
Don’t quit. Resist discouragement and finish the race God has set before you.