In The Meantime: Patient in Tribulation

Monday, October 21, 2013

Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing instant in prayer.” (Romans 12:12)

… Are you that mother whose child was incarcerated at a young age, yet you’re still blaming yourself to this day?
… Do you have a college roommate who doesn’t share your views (or cleanliness) and you’re stuck with them for the entire semester?
… Are you that family waiting to adopt, yet the court date keeps getting pushed further and further away?
… Have you applied for a certain job, but now that you’re hired the expectations are totally different than what you applied for?

How are you supposed to be patient in these types of tribulations?

You probably feel like you’re sitting in a season of continual rain and being patient is a waste of precious time. You may not share it with others, but you might say to yourself that God never shows up when I need Him. Being patient in your tribulation makes it seem as if the Omnipresent is not present at all. What a lie from satan.

Another facet of In the Meantime is learning patience. Patience means to stay under, remain, undergo, and persevere. Tribulation means burdened, afflicted, pressure, and persecution. Being patient in tribulation is about learning to stay under seasons of strain, undergoing the unknown, and persevering through the persecution.

How are things working for you during your tribulation period?

Even Jesus knows about having to be patient during the season of tribulation. After He was baptized, the Spirit led Him to the wilderness (Luke 4) where He had to stand up to the tricks and lies of the enemy. All of satan’s tactics were aimed at trying to get Jesus to get himself out of his tribulation sooner than He needed to.

satan told Jesus to turn stones to bread (v.3) yet Jesus answered with faith in God’s word to sustain him.

satan told Jesus that he would give him [Jesus] all the riches & power in the world if he but worshipped him (v. 5-7) yet Jesus answered with boldness in worshipping God alone.

satan told Jesus to cast himself down so that God’s angels would lift him up (v.9-10) yet Jesus answered with a warning not to tempt the Lord thy God.

satan may try to persuade you to compromise your stance on God's word when you're going through your tribulation. He may try to convince you to take the easy way out. He may try to camouflage God's purpose as God punishing you; but that's not how our Father works.

(side note: Let's stop allowing satan to speak lies into our lives!) 

If Jesus was not exempt from tribulation, what makes us think we are (Hebrews 4:15)? Jesus, through the power of the Spirit, soon had to tell satan to get lost and at that point Jesus came out of His tribulation in the power of the Spirit (Luke 4:14)! There's empowerment from the Spirit in the tribulation! If you're going through something right now, it may be time for you to tell satan to "get lost!"

Speaking from the flesh, we wonder how we're going to get through the tough time, we move ahead of God, we lash out at those that are hurting us; we hold grudges, and complain; but through the Spirit, we trust that God is completing a good work in us (Philippians 1:6). The Spirit will give you the power to endure if you remember to be patient during your tribulations. We can be patient by staying in line with God's word and striving daily to trust that the wait is worth it.

Our trials are meant to strengthen us, not squash us. Remember we're to be rejoicing in hope of that next season, and sometimes that means being patient and remaining under the afflictions of satan until the purposed time; even if that means that all we have to get us through the pressure and anguish, is faith in God! Even if that means our service for the Lord goes on, while satan tries to stump us with another trial.

For those of us that have overcome, we may have been bent by our tribulations, but the Spirit wouldn’t let us break! What a testimony! Obedience to the Spirit makes our message to the people greater. You know sometimes people won’t listen to you until they know you’ve been through something. That’s how they treated Jesus (Luke 4:14-15). It wasn’t until He came out of His trial in the wilderness, that the people were amazed at His teaching.

There's a song that says:

"Trials dark on every hand
and we cannot understand
all the ways of God will lead us 
to that blessed promised land
but He guides us with his eye
And we'll follow till we die
We will understand it better by and by..."

That's so true. We can't always understand why we're going through so much turmoil, but we'll be able to understand it by and by. Sometimes we think that by and by is right now, but we must be patient and endure some things in the meantime. Even Jesus had to go through some stuff when He walked this earth. You have to exercise patience while God's hand is on you!

Thank God for the season of waiting, because during this time He builds us, fills us with His powerful Spirit, and often reveals His purpose and calling for our lives.

In the meantime, the reward is not about getting that man finally, or gaining that position, or completing your tasks perfectly; the reward may come in the form of growth during the tribulation. Before jumping into your next season, just think…God may be preparing you with experience, strength, or wisdom. What's happening in the meantime, when we're waiting on God to answer? He's growing us and gearing us up for the next best thing!

He has you waiting at this very moment for a reason and sometimes your greatest testimony is that you have gone through that tough moment faithfully trusting in Him.

Questions for Reflection:
  1. Do you feel like God is distant in your season of tribulation?
  2. List 3 ways that God is growing you in the meantime? (For example, is he teaching you how to hold your tongue, how to be more dependent on Him, how to discern the opportunities that are more in line with His purpose, etc.?)
  3. Do you have a triumph story where God brought you through your season of tribulation? What did you learn in waiting on Him during that time? 
Pray with us:

Father, the trial sometimes seems unbearable. Sometimes our confusion seems so comfortable; the sickness seems so second nature; and our weariness seems worth it. Even our brokenness feels like a blessing because we’ve been here for so long. We know that this mindset is a trick from satan, so sustain us Lord with your Spirit during our times of stress and strain. Show us the areas we need to grow while we await the next season. Teach us to be thankful and content where we are so that our testimony on the other side of our tribulation leads straight to you. In Jesus’ mighty name we pray, Amen!

For scripture reflection, refer to our journey of 30 Days of Waiting and Patience.
Lesson 1 – In The Meantime: Romans 12:12
Lesson 2 – In The Meantime: Rejoicing in Hope

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  1. My sisters this lesson is so powerful. I'm truly enjoying In The Meantime. Trials and tribulations may come but God has his hand on it. My sisters keep up the great work.

    1. Debra, we are thankful that you were able to spiritually benefit from today's lesson! God is doing a mighty work through S.W.A.P. if we must say so ourselves.

    2. Yes he is my sisters. I Thank Him for using you as vessel to spread his word... love you my sisters

  2. Awesome lesson! I LOVE the point you made about not necessarily getting that man or that job, but how the blessing from my trials may come in the form of greater reliance on Him (among other blessings)! Thank you, sisters!!!!

    1. Tekisha, thank you! We are grateful that you were able to be encouraged by the lesson. Our trials produce a greater fruit, we just have to be patient during the growing process!! It's harvest time in His timing!

  3. Replies
    1. Hey Noreen Heuser, we would love to clarify...what area are you lost?

    2. Noreen Heuser I said a prayer for you. May God lay his holy hands upon you and lift your burdens from your shoulders and that you be filled with the Holy Spirit and be filled with peace, In Jesus Holy name I pray. Amen.

  4. The rest of the passage is very good too. It brings encouragement. Things I believe we all need in our daily lives...

    1. Amen, Priscilla! God Bless you for your comment and prayer for Noreen!

  5. God keep and continue to bless your ministry.

    1. Thank you so much Cynthia! We're glad you're being encouraged!

    2. Oh yes most definitely.


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