by Rick Warren — July 18, 2021
“Don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed."
James 1:4 (The Message)
God’s timetable is rarely the same as yours. You’re often in a hurry—but God isn’t. It can be frustrating when it feels like the progress you’re making is slow.
But remember this: God is never in a hurry, but he is always on time. He will use your entire lifetime to prepare you for your role in eternity.
The Bible is filled with examples of how God uses a long process to develop character, especially in leaders. He took 80 years to prepare Moses, including 40 in the wilderness. For those 14,600 wilderness days, Moses kept waiting and wondering, “Is it time?” But God kept saying, “Not yet.”
Great souls are grown through struggles, storms, and seasons of suffering. Be patient with the process. James advised, “Don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed” (James 1:4 The Message).
Don’t get discouraged. When Habakkuk became depressed because he didn’t think God was acting quickly enough, God said: “These things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day!” (Habakkuk 2:3 TLB).
Remember how far you’ve come, not just how far you have to go. You are not where you want to be, but neither are you where you used to be.
Years ago people wore a popular button with the letters PBPGINFWMY. It stood for “Please be patient. God is not finished with me yet.”
God isn’t finished with you either. Be patient with him and with yourself. And keep on moving forward. Even the snail reached the ark by persevering!