Patience and Purpose

  Luk 2:25-26 And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.    

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Photo credit: Jesus film

     Here is a passage in the Scriptures often overlooked by Bible believers. If we are going to have a closer look, we can dig out some gems vital for our daily walk as a Christian. How much patience we had learned depends upon how much purpose we have understood. This is because every bit of patience will depend upon our purpose. If it is our own purpose we can do so any time we wish and any time we can terminate it on our terms. But if it’s God’s purpose, we can only do so as He wills and according to his ways. Let us learn from the life of Simeon and what God has done in his life.

 ARE YOU AFRAID TO DIE?

     Simeon is a man of God, just and devout, who awaits his own physical death, yet he has to wait for Christ. He is a man who is not afraid to see death but longs for it,but God wants him to see more than what he longs that even the prophets and kings of old died with only that desire to see what he has seen (Mt.13:17; Lk. 10:24).

     Here we can learn that death is not the satisfying thing that brings consolation because only Christ can fill it. [The reason Israel waits for that consolation is because they are under the Roman rule. They expected a Victorious King to deliver them yet Christ came as a suffering Servant.] Many people look upon death as the solution of unanswerable problems which they have , though they are afraid of it and even think of it as the finale of their life but it is not.

    In Simeon’s life ,can we imagine what patience God is teaching him? He desires to depart in peace yet apart from Christ and apart from obedience to His words he can’t have it.The consolation that he longs requires only Christ and it requires patience on his part. If we were given the same condition of ‘not dying until a certain unknown time’ can we still choose to yield to do God’s will? It could be tempting to many of us. Maybe some of you will spend it to the utmost for this world’s gain. It is a reality to many Christians that as they rise higher in this world (they acquired abundance of this world) the more they descended in spirituality. This world is teaching survival of the fittest and many desired to live longer yet they do not want everlasting life in Christ. If we have received something let us take note if it lead us to long for more of HIM not to go away from HIM but to obeying Him(2 Co.10:5).

2Co 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

      We were not given details about the struggles of Simeon but at least in v. 29 we can see that life in this world is weariness as he stated that he longs to depart. Even the apostle Paul desired it (Php.1:23 ).There is nothing in this world worthy enough to hold us because indeed we are just passing, or pilgrims in this world, and we cannot build a permanent abode. There is nothing in this world worthy of eternal plans and dedication, for indeed it will soon perish and everything herein. God is also teaching him that though he has grown old, he have not seen and experienced everything in which the fulfillment of it is in Christ alone, the same experience God wants all people to see and that is an encounter with Him.

1Ti 2:3-4 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

      Simeon also has to remain in accord to His words as long as he has breath, and he has to take heed of the Holy Spirit’s guidance. We can only be truly patient if we do so according to His words. God is teaching Simeon that he can only joyfully meet or experience death only after an encounter with Christ and on God’s term. And many people who had accomplished many things in this world are confident that they will leave their bodies peacefully yet someday they will be shocked that what they have done cannot benefit a good standing in God’s sight. They even have a zeal for God yet not according to His will (Rm.10:1-3).But why is it that many Christians today who have a zeal for God were still afraid of death? We were already delivered from the fear of it.

Heb 2:14-15 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

In fact a Christian is already dead (Gal.2:20)

     I don’t intend that we have to seek for our death, but I’ve met many who have problems on it. More so for those who vocally say they are willing to die for Christ (since death is future), yet experientially they are not living for Christ today. How do we maximize what the Lord has given us? Do we have in mind waiting patiently for the coming of our Lord (1 Th.5:1-6)? He will come as a thief in the night and may we be watchful and sober.                                                                                                                                      (Read: Set Aside Suicide)

The Holy Spirit was upon him and he was given a revelation.

      Simeon is the only Simeon to take part of that role that is why he has to be in strict compliance. That is his specific purpose in life, and we believers today also have to partake of that purpose stated in verses 30-31 ‘to make others see God’s salvation which He has prepared for all people’. If we had experienced it, and as long as we are living, that specific purpose God wants us doesn’t stop. He wants us to be part in making all people to see His salvation, to share the love of Jesus Christ to those people around us. We can do so in many ways and may He lead us to do it accordingly.

There is also another person who mentioned this testimony before he finished his course (2 Tim.4:7). He is Paul who wrote

Act 20:24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.

I believe that each of us who believed in Christ has a course in life and ministry from God. Have you discovered it in yourself? May you be guided according to that specific purpose of making his salvation known to all people, Jesus Christ the Savior of all. Let us invite people to come to the saving power of Christ .

 

 

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