The following is an outline from a lesson I delivered in a Bible study group.
Question: Have you ever doubted God? When God says He will do something, have you ever denied that He would do it?
Impatience is unbelief
- It rises in your heart when you begin to doubt God’s timing
- When you doubt the wisdom of His guidance
- It springs up when the road to success gets muddy or a tree falls across and blocks it from where you thought you would be and when you thought you would be there
There’s a difference between impatience and desire
- God doesn’t want us to be impatient
- God wants us to desire Him
- Not to be apathetic
- It’s OK to desire something, be patient
Impatience can be as little as getting skirmish in a grocery checkout lane
Impatience can be as massive as having a handicap or disease that cuts off half your dreams
The opposite of impatience is a deepening willingness to stand in the place that God has appointed or move at the pace God has appointed.
Impatience can push you in two directions (depends on your personality and circumstances):
- To give up—I won’t stay with this job; I’ll give up on this relationship. I’m throwing in the towel.
- To make a rash decision without consulting God
To battle this impatience is to battle unbelief
- Luke 21.19
- Rom. 2.7
- Heb. 6.12
This is not a personality issue. It is a Christian virtue and it is not an optional Christian virtue because FAITH is not an optional Christian value.
Patience is the fruit of belief; impatience is the fruit of unbelief.
Because it is an issue of faith, the chief weapon is the Word. Ps. 130.5
- Waiting for the Lord is the OT equivalent of patience
- In His Word do I hope—the strength that sustains waiting and patience is hope, and the power behind hope is the Word.
- Hope is faith in the future tense.
- Faith/hope is the power to wait, and the source for hope is the Word.
- What gives you hope? —Promises
Is. 30.1-5 What not to do
- Israel had enemies
- During Hezekiah’s kingship, one of the enemies was Assyria
- Every time a threat came, God would send a prophet on how to respond
- Surrender, Fight, Wait
- In this case the people got impatient
- Odds of winning against the Assyrians were small
- Israel took a detour and went down to Egypt to make a treaty
- Read verses again
- Sought Pharaoh for help because they got too impatient with God
- If He tells us to go to Egypt, we got to Egypt, but we wait and consult
- C.f. Josh. 9 with the Gibeonites
- Don’t make plans that aren’t His plans
- Keywords in v2—without asking consulting Me
- Problem with Americans—we know how to solve everything
- Are you like Israel?
- “Oh my, I think I did pray… I think… this morning… But I haven’t tuned into God since then. I haven’t checked in with Him on any of my decisions.”
- Warning in v3
- The things that we do impetuously without consulting God, it is likely to backfire on us.
- From a world’s perspective you may succeed and say, “Hey, you’re smart.” But God is not impressed.
- What should Israel have done? Answer in v15 and 18
- Positive incentive for restful patience and waiting
- It may look weak to the world—but we will have strength if we wait
- Blessed are those who wait for Him
- He will make a blessing out of it—He promises that
How to battle unbelief
- Preach to yourself—David did it
- Preach to your soul and say, “Look at Israel Soul, it backfired on them! You don’t want that to happen to you now do you?” Soul says, “Nope, I don’t want that.”
- “Do you see what was promised? It was promised to have strength! Do you believe that Soul?”
- If the soul doesn’t answer then you go down to v18
- It promises blessing, do you believe that soul!
- If the soul doesn’t answer, you go Is. 49.23
- Everyone who waits for the Lord will not be put to shame. Do you believe that?
- Is. 64.4
- Do you believe He will work for you if you wait?
- Is. 40.31
- Those who will wait who will mount up with wings as eagles
- The soul says, “I believe”
You fight the fight of faith with the Word of God
- That’s what Paul used
- That’s what Paul told Timothy to use in 2 Timothy—it is the only weapon!