LHM Advent Devotion – December 18, 2014 “Be Patient!”

 

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Advent Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

By Reverend Wayne Palmer

Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin!  Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int’l LLL (LHM). 

“Be Patient!”

December 18, 2014

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Read James 5:10-11.
As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the Name of the Lord. James 5:10

It was always about this point in December when I just knew I was going to crack under all the pressure. Christmas is still a whole week away. Seven more days I have to be kind and courteous. Seven more days of not hitting my brothers even though they are really annoying me. And, of course, seven more days of trying to concentrate enough to finish school while remembering every line from the Christmas program! And if I crack and do something bad there’s a good chance I’ll find a lump of coal in my stocking and no presents under the tree.

It’s a terrible strain to be a kid seven days before Christmas!

Growing up doesn’t remove the impatience from life, especially when we are suffering. And many people find the Christmas season actually seems to increase their suffering. These issues include sickness, depression, grief, and being misunderstood by the people we care about.

That’s what happened to the prophets who spoke in God’s Name before Christ came into this world. They warned the people of their sins, and they called them to turn and repent. But the people of Israel didn’t want to hear what they had to say. They rejected God’s messengers, mistreating them, beating them, imprisoning them, and even putting some of them to death.

Still the prophets faithfully warned the people about God’s coming wrath and punishment. But Israel continued its stubborn rebellion. The prophets kept preaching and nothing happened. Days turned into months, months turned into years, and yet sinners kept on sinning and everything remained the same. The prophets were ridiculed because their message didn’t seem to be coming true.

But the prophets learned patience. Though they suffered they knew God was true. When His time was right, all their prophecies would come true-both the warnings God had given in patience and the promises of a Savior God had made in love for His people.

We can learn from their patience. Through Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, God has given us many great promises. These include a final victory over sin, death, and hell and an eternal life with Him in the new heavens and the new earth. Christmas is a great reminder of God’s faithfulness. He keeps every promise He makes.

God grant you patience through your sufferings, especially this Christmas.

THE PRAYER: Lord God, Your Word stands sure and certain forever. Let me never be discouraged but give me faith, confidence, and perseverance to always stand secure and certain in Your promises through Jesus Christ my Savior. In His Name I pray. Amen

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