#324 – Waiting to Avenge

Waiting is a part of life.

Some people do well with waiting and others do not.

I have a friend who hates waiting more than anything else. Every time I’m with him and we have to wait I just start laughing because I know what he’s thinking.

As I’ve shared before I am anxiously waiting the release of The Avengers. It comes out three weeks from tomorrow and my excitement is reaching peak levels. In spite of my overwhelming excitement I have decided to abstain from watching any more clips that are released from The Avengers.

I have watched the numerous theatrical trailers a number of times. However Marvel has been releasing more and more clips for the movie and I haven’t watched any of them. I’m marveling at my own self-control but wish that it expressed itself in more important areas of my life.

Patience and self-control are two of the fruits of the Spirit and both are directly related to waiting. Patience and self-control are absolutely necessary to live godly lives. We need self-control to abstain from the temptations in our lives and we need patience to wait for God to respond to our prayers.

Exhibiting self-control to not watch clips from The Avengers isn’t that difficult. Exhibiting self-control to flee from our most tempting temptations is a lot more difficult. There’s more to our lives with God than avoiding sin, but Jesus himself said that if we love him we’ll obey his commands. Obeying some of his commands is easy. Obeying some of his commands takes a little more self-control.

Showing patience while waiting for The Avengers to come out isn’t that difficult. Showing patience while waiting for God to respond to a prayer request is more difficult. God doesn’t work on our timing or our prayer schedule. God works in his own providence and will answer our prayers when he knows it’s best. It takes a lot of patience and a lot of faith to trust that God will answer our prayers. And it takes even more patience and even more faith to trust God when he doesn’t answer our prayers how we’d like.

Waiting sucks. There’s no way around it.

The Holy Spirit, though, can use waiting to produce patience and self-control. It still sucks but what it produces doesn’t.

What has the Holy Spirit done to develop patience and self-control in you?

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3 Responses to “#324 – Waiting to Avenge”

  1. Another really fun and really thoughtful post! You’re a gifted writer and, I’m sure, preacher. (I’m embarassed to say I lost the link to the audio sermon you posted a few months ago… can you share it again? Maybe post to the blog?)

    I still struggle with patience and self-control, so I don’t have any great insights to share, I fear. I didn’t even end up keeping the embarassingly modest Lenten fast I set for myself – it was the bare minimum of historic Christian fasting patterns, and I still caved the week before Holy Week! (Thankfully, we are not saved by fasts; but, still…!)

    One theological thought that does occur, though, is that our Christian life here and now is, in a sense, God providing a “teaser trailer” of the Feature Presentation to come in Paradise… Where we see God at work in this world is, in part, to give us just enough of a “sneak peek” to tide us over – and to motivate us to look for more (dare I compare that to “easter eggs” in films, especially during Easteritde?) until, in God’s good timing, “Premiere Date” dawns…

    Thanks again for the ministry of this blog, Scott.

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