Patience in Ministry

Maynard Belt, Guest Blogger“Lord, give me Your patience, for mine is wearing out!”

Not a bad prayer.  F. B.  Meyer in his book, “Five Musts of the Christian Life,” tells of a meeting of ministers in the home of William Wilberforce where one of the pastors, well advanced in age, confessed that he was somewhat “short‑fused.”  Once, while teaching a Sunday School class in which the students were quite boisterous, his patience was stretched to the breaking point.  Just when he was about to lose it he said that he felt inclined to pray, “Lord, give me Your patience, for mine is wearing out!

 “One moment of patience may ward off great disaster; one moment of impatience may ruin a whole life.”  

Oh, how true that statement is. There are some outside of ministry today because “patience” was not their virtue.  Patient waiting on the Lord is just about one of the most difficult things that we have to do in ministry. It seems as though we are always waiting upon something.  I was encouraged once to hear that patience is simply accepting a difficult situation without giving God a deadline.  Whoever said that first, had me pegged perfectly.  For you see, I often have a tendency to set deadlines in which God must work out the circumstances in my life,  even though I know that His ways are not my ways…and His ways are always right!
I am still trying to learn that no time is wasted in waiting if I am waiting on the will of God!  Oswald Chambers once said: “Songbirds are taught to sing in the dark, and we are put into the shadows of God’s hand until we learn to hear Him.  ‘What I tell you in darkness’ ‑‑ Matthew 10:27.  Watch where God puts you into darkness and when you are there keep your mouth shut!  Darkness is the time to listen.”

Do you remember Moses’ impatient spirit in Numbers 14:27: “How long shall I bear with this evil congregation which complains against me?”  If, for some reason, right now, your patience is wearing out, just remember that the great believers have been the unwearied waiters!  A few years ago, during a very intense time in my life and ministry, the Lord impressed upon me a little acrostic that I have continued to keep handy  during the “waiting” times.  If these four simple biblical mandates might help you during your “season of waiting” then I would be most gratified.

W ‑ illingly…..“Thy will be done…”  Matt. 6:10

 A ‑ ttentively….“Cause me to hear Thy loving kindness”   Psalm 143:8

 I  ‑ ntimately….“Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you”  James 4:8

 T ‑ hankfully….“In everything give thanks: for this the will of God in Christ
Jesus concerning you.”  I Thess. 5:18

“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Galatians 6:9

 This blog comes from guest blogger Maynard Belt. He has served as a pastor, Director of the Michigan Association of Regular Baptist Churches and presently serves as a Representative with the Church Relations Dept. of Baptist Mid-Missions and president of Fellowship of Missions and continues his conference ministry both stateside and on mission fields.

You can find Pastor Belt here and sign up for his mailing list if you wish: