35 So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! 36 Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.
Dear God, I just got off of the phone with my friend/Christian brother. We talk every Friday morning and share our lives. I told him about how I’ve struggled to really dig into you this week. I mentioned this yesterday with the prayer I did about the “Ode to Joy” flash mob. As he and I prayed together this morning we prayed that we would remember our first love. That we would love the Lord, our God, with all of our heart, soul, and strength. And only after we did this, would we try to love our neighbor as ourselves. But nothing can happen until I simply love you. Worship you. Submit to you. Repent to you. Embrace you. Acknowledge my powerlessness over my life and realize, addiction or no addiction, that I need you to restore my life to sanity and keep me sane. That’s where it starts.
So this passage lends itself to that concept. Patient endurance. Paul’s talking about waiting for your return, but he’s not just saying to patiently wait. This translation uses the word endurance. Part of that endurance is disciplining myself to follow you, submit to you, and worship you. I’m not just a believer in you. You aren’t just a concept in my mind and a philosophical idea that I follow. You are my God and I am able to have a relationship with you. You are able to shape me and mold me. You lead me. You give me peace.
Father, I told my friend this morning that I’m just doing “okay,” and I don’t necessarily judge that based on my circumstances, but instead on the level of peace in my heart. In terms of peace, I’m just doing okay. But you are the vine and I am the branch. You are the source of the fruits of the Spirit, but my branch has to be connected to your vine for that fruit to grow. So here I am to worship. Here I am to bow down. Here I am to say that you are my God. Help me to carry you with me throughout my day. And let it all be for your glory and not mine, oh Lord!
In Jesus’s name I pray,