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First World Problems? No Problem!

Suffering Comfort Patience

Contributed By: Rob Tucker | Date Posted: 2019-01-19

Scripture: Philippians 2:7 ; James 1:2

Author: Rob Tucker
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ILLUSTRATION

As Americans, we are often easily frustrated with what are called First World Problems.  Here are a few examples (feel free to add your own!):

• When you say something on social media which you think is really clever, but hardly anyone "likes" it!

• When your kids put dishes in the dishwasher, BEFORE they unload it. Now, you have to play the game of which one is clean.

• When you run out of hot water for the shower because someone else took too long.

• When you and your spouse can’t agree on what temperature to keep the thermostat.

• When your phone battery dies before you get home from work to charge it.

• When you're eating chips, crunching so loudly that you can’t hear the TV. So annoying!

• When you get chicken tenders from the drive through, but they forget the dipping sauce.

APPLICATION

For most of us, the worst discomforts we face each week are trivial. That's why it is so hard to relate to all that Jesus did for us when he came to earth and suffered on the cross. The Bible says, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance" (James 1:2, 3).

Every time we patiently endure suffering, major or minor, we become a little bit more like Christ. But don't be concerned if you blow it over some trivial thing.  God will give you another chance, and another, and another, etc., until, with practice, you demonstrate the longsuffering of Jesus. 

First world problems are no problem to God.  Rather, each one is an opportunity for you and me to grow in Christlikeness.  

God's Waiting Room

Patience Trust (In God) Rest

Contributed By: Thomas Bevers | Date Posted: 2015-06-29

Scripture: Psalms 62:5

Author: Thomas Bevers
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ILLUSTRATION

As we arrived at ER, in rather frantic fashion, I shared our concern with the lady behind the desk. She did not seem to share my concern as she matter-of-factly handed me papers to fill out. I doubt I wrote a legible word on them, as I hastily answered a host of very unimportant questions. When I handed the papers back, I heard those words, "Please have a seat sir, we'll be with you as soon as we can."

While we may know how to preach on the book of Job, most pastors I know struggle with putting patience into practice. Did she not understand this was my child, did she not care that she had a knot the size of an egg on her head, did she not care that she was vomiting, did she not care that... you get the idea.

The issue was not about caring, it was about urgency, a word that she and I would have defined differently. Ultimately, I sat and I waited and they got to us as soon as they could (my wife said it was about 5 minutes, I say closer to 5 hours.). Our daughter was fine, no concussion, just a knot on her head.

APPLICATION

It is not hard to look back on life and see God's perfect timing. It is much more difficult, however, to look at the present crisis and see that perfect timing. I know it is for my benefit that God has a "waiting room," and that I must spend time in it. God does't make me wait because He does't care but because that is where I need to be.

I was reminded that there are a lot of things I stress over, all the while God is saying, "I'll get to you, not as soon as I can, but rather, as soon as you need gotten to." In His timing, God will "get to me." And time and time again, I find it is exactly when, "I need gotten to."

"Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him" (Psalm 62:5).

Shattered Mirrors

Criticism Patience Friendship

Source: DAILY GUIDEPOSTS, February 1998, p. 57

Contributed By: Barnett Gushin | Date Posted: 2014-08-14

Scripture: Matthew 23:24

Author: Karen Barber
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ILLUSTRATION

“Hank seemed to bring my critical nature to full bloom. He headed a charity where I did volunteer work, and Hank’s chronic disorganization drove me crazy. One day when He again failed to return my call, I decided the best thing to do was to quit.

“That Saturday I found an ornate, antique mirror at a garage sale. …The mirror was hazy, so I decided to have a new mirror cut to fit the vintage frame. When I unwrapped the new mirror, I was disappointed fo find that it wasn’t flawless. My eye kept returning to an eighth-of-an inch scratch … in the glass. ‘This will never do,’ I decided. I rewrapped it and promptly returned it.
 
“While I stood awaiting my refund at the glass shop, a worker carried the mirror back to the workshop. Suddenly, I heard a loud crash, followed by the tinkling sound of shattering glass. ‘How awful!’ I said to the clerk. ‘It sounds like they had an accident back there.’
 
“’Oh, no,’ she answered, ‘that’s what we do with all returned pieces.’
 
“’Oh,’ I said meekly. I suddenly recalled the three feet of perfectly serviceable mirror, not the minute scrath. If I’d known they were going to smash the whole thing, I  wouldn’t have been so picky, I thought.”
 
Karen Barber, contributor, DAILY GUIDEPOSTS

APPLICATION

Karen concluded: “Would I want to be treated that way for some small fault? When I got home, I called Hank. Not returning phone calls wasn’t such a big deal after all. Certainly not enough to shatter a friendship.

"Father, I prayed, please keep me from turning minor irritations into major forces of destruction.”
 
Jesus said, “You strain a fly out of your drink, but swallow a camel!” (Matthew 23:24, GNB).

World's Quietest Room Can Drive You Mad

Hearing God's Voice Distractions Patience

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-04-12

Scripture: Isaiah 40:31 ; Lamentation 3:26

Author: Alexander Davis/Illustration Exchange
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Put A Stop to Red Light Changing Devices

Patience God's Will Prayer

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-07-31

Scripture: Psalms 27:14 ; Proverbs 3:5

Author: Illustration Exchange
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The Hands of the Clock (and God!) Are Moving

Object Lessons Patience Trust (In God)

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-05-01

Scripture: Habakkuk 1:1 ; Habakkuk 1:2

Author: Illustration Exchange
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Get off my back!

Patience Worldly Mindset Success

Contributed By: Paul Flannery | Date Posted: 2012-02-07

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 13:

Author: Paul Flannery
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While You're Waiting

Patience Disappointment Spiritual Growth

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2011-12-15

Scripture: James 1:2

Author: Illustration Exchange
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Wishin' And Hopin'

Patience Hope Fear

Contributed By: Larry Lewis | Date Posted: 2011-09-04

Scripture: Philippians 4:6

Author: Henri Nouwen
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Patience Isn't Passive

Patience Contentment Circumstances

Contributed By: Larry Lewis | Date Posted: 2011-09-02

Scripture: Isaiah 40:31

Author: Henri Nouwen
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