We are immersed in a culture that demands instant everything. We yell at the microwave for being too slow. We anxiously press buttons and tap our feet in the elevator on our way to meetings. We want the end result and we want it fast.
God Delights in the Process
In the midst of our rush to reach the final result, we forget who our God is. Our God is a God who delights in the process on the way to accomplishing his purposes. This is because ultimately, God uses the process to display his goodness and his glory.
Wilderness Wanderings and the Promise
The Israelites wandering in the wilderness are a powerful example of God’s delight in the process. Time and time again the Lord tells the Israelites that he is “the God of your fathers,” the God of the promise. To Abraham and each of the major Israelite patriarchs to follow, God vows to deliver Israel and make their descendants as numerous as the sand on the seashore.
Despite these promises and God’s continual provision, the Israelites distrust that the process will lead to the fulfillment of God’s promise. They act on their own to try to bring the final result faster. At their lowest, they create and worship false idols, believing the idols will help them reach their ends faster than the Almighty God.
Undeterred by their distrust and impatience, God is faithful to fulfill his promises to Israel and is glorified in the process.
Jesus’ Life Accomplishes God’s Purposes
Jesus is the dominant way in which God displays his glory amidst the process. During the 33 years Jesus walked the earth, he went through a difficult process to accomplish God’s eventual purpose of atonement through the cross.
In the desert, Satan was essentially tempting Jesus to avoid the progressive process of revealing himself as God. As Christians, we ought to praise Jesus for his power to resist the temptation to achieve the result without the process. After all, this is something that we who live in an achievement-obsessed culture wouldn’t be able to refuse.
Be Patient in the Process
God was faithful to the Israelites in the wilderness and Jesus during his time on Earth. He will be faithful to accomplish his purposes in you as well.
2 Corinthians 4:16 encourages us to be patient in the midst of God’s processes in us:
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.”
Even if you are doing God’s will, he doesn’t promise it will be easy or quick. Fight against a culture that tells you to skip the process to reach the result. You serve a God who delights in the process because it brings him glory. Pray for patience to persevere through the process, no matter how difficult it may seem.
God Works for the Good of Those Who Love Him
Keep in mind that you also worship a loving God who vows to work for the good of those who love him.
Romans 8:28 highlights God faithfulness to use us for his good purposes:
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Glorify God Through the Journey
Next time you find yourself tapping your foot and becoming frustrated with God in the midst of the process, remember who the God you are serving is. He is faithful and he is loving. He takes joy in the process just as much as the outcome. Above all, seek to glorify him in both the outcome and the journey to get there.