It is my prayer that every Christian recognizes the importance of serving God through the way we serve others. There are few things, if any, that are as emotionally exhilarating, and draining, as the task of serving others. Having worked in a variety of ministry settings, including various roles within Christian camp ministry, I understand the excitement that often comes with the beginning of a new ministry or ministry season. I also understand the weariness than can develop when our focus begins to drift away from the ministry of serving and onto ourselves.
This is day six in the eleventh week of devotions from the book, “Serving God: Devotions for Active Worship”. This devotional book is laid out in thirteen weeks of daily devotions with each week wrapped around an aspect of how we can serve others. Each of these devotions are designed to help a person spend time with God to see how serving others is an act of worship.
Patience In Standing Firm
“Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.“
James 5:7-8 (NIV)
Do you ever feel like giving up? Have you done so? Why? Does knowing that the Lord’s coming is near give you greater patience in standing firm as you serve? How does having the patience to stand firm help you as you serve people who may not want to accept your help, or may want something different than what you are able to offer? How do you know what to stand firm on and what to be flexible in?
People want all kinds of things which are often very different from what they need. When you live a life that serves people, you will be asked to do a wide variety of things — some may benefit those you serve and other things may not. Sometimes the most difficult thing to do is to stand firm in giving what is needed and helpful rather than what is wanted and harmful. With patience, we must stand firm in sharing the good news of Jesus as we serve others in whatever ways meet their actual needs. It is through patience that we often win the opportunity to tell of a coming Lord. As you pray, ask God to help you know when to stand firm as you serve others. Pray that your desire to stand firm would not only keep you ready for the Lord’s return, but would keep you focused on serving people in a way that helps them to be ready.