September 9, 2016 Brethren Letter
During my childhood, my parents taught me that patience was a virtue, not by words alone, but also by example.
However, in today’s society, patience can sometimes be difficult to find. People often expect instantaneous gratification. But, life doesn’t always work that way. Sometimes, we just have to wait! As Church members, we find that God may not always answer a specific prayer with an instant action. That doesn’t mean He doesn’t hear us. WE HAVE TO WAIT, and continue trusting Him. He always knows what is best!
Tonight, I’m sending a letter (edited), I wrote several years ago that I thought I would send once again. Please have a wonderful Sabbath!
Your Brother in Christ,
I’ll begin tonight’s letter with a paragraph from a book entitled Illustrations Unlimited. To me, the author has an excellent way of getting his point across with the subject of “patience”. Here’s the paragraph…
A man’s car stalled in the heavy traffic as the light turned green. All his efforts to start the engine failed, and a chorus of honking behind him made matters worse. He finally got out of his car and walked back to the first driver and said, “I’m sorry, but I can’t seem to get my car started. If you’ll go up there and give it a try, I’ll stay here and blow your horn for you.”
You may have chuckled while reading that illustration. But, if we really did find ourselves in that man’s situation, we most likely wouldn’t be chuckling.
Brethren, when it comes to the subject of PATIENCE, it’s no joke when we consider that God’s elect must be growing in God’s spirit! Galatians 5:22 shows us the following about patience (longsuffering). “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering [patience], gentleness, goodness, faith…
Mr. Armstrong also had this to say about patience in his booklet “What is Faith?”
God’s purpose in your life is to transform you from what you’ve been into the very image of His son — into the very character of God Himself. Part of this character is the learning of PATIENCE!
It has been said (especially in the last few years), that we live in the “ME” generation. “I WANT IT NOW” are words we hear in today’s society.
As we realize… God’s people should be thinking like Christ and not like the world with its self-absorbed way. We see in the book of I John, the following… “ You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.  They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them.  We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error” (I John 4:4-6).
The apostle Paul wrote, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:” (Philippians 4-5). Our minds are to become more like Christ! Does it really matter if God’s people continue to grow in GODLY patience when it comes to the Kingdom of God? Obviously, only God can bring His Kingdom to come. We know that! However, it is possible for human beings to actually become weary in waiting for His Kingdom. Hearing the words “end-time”, “soon”, “it won’t be long now”, or “time is short”, could even become like worn out clichés that have very little meaning anymore.
Actually, in thinking the Kingdom might be far off is nothing new. We’re told in II Peter 3:3-4, what would occur in the last days, prior to Christ’s return.  “knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts,
 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation” (II Peter 3:3-4).
In verse 9 we read “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering [patient] to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (II Peter 3:9). No, God is not slack in keeping His promises! He’s patient toward us. We too must be patient as we wait for God’s Kingdom and NEVER GROW WEARY! Remember, God has been waiting far longer for the Kingdom than ANY of us have!
Brethren, as I’ve said many times, it’s important that we watch world events (Luke 21:36). But, watching alone isn’t of much value if we’re not growing spiritually.
All of us have probably known brethren over the years that have become weary while waiting for God’s Kingdom. They sometimes focus on the hurts perpetrated by others, and begin to lose their spiritual focus. Some even choose to go back into the world. But, a real FUTURE awaits those who continually hold fast and never let go of God’s plan and vision. “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for He is faithful that promised;)” (Hebrews 10:23).
Have a wonderful Sabbath. We look forward to fellowshipping with you!
Your Brother in Christ,