PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE

Patience street sign

You’ve heard the old adage, “Patience is a virtue.” However, many of us struggle with God’s seemingly slow timetable when it comes to doing things in our lives and the lives of others. As you well know, God is not in a rush to do most things. Sometimes He will act suddenly, but usually after a long wait time. He is more like a crockpot than a microwave oven when it comes to cooking up things in our lives. The reason is that God is the most patient person in the universe.

I John 4:8 says, “God is love.” I Corinthians 13:4 says, “Love is patient.” Therefore, it follows that we must conclude and accept that God is patient. 2 Peter 3:8-9 says, “With the Lord, a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years is like a day. He is patient with you.”

The definition of patience is “the ability to accept or tolerate delays, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious.” That’s exactly how God wants us to be. He says, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). Perfect means mature, and God expects us to mature and progress as we continue on our spiritual journey by developing patience in the following areas:

Be patient in waiting on Him. Psalm 37:7 says, “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him.” God is omniscient and omnipotent, and He knows what is best for you. As you wait on him, let that truth empower you to remain content and anxiety free in your circumstances until your change comes.

Be patient with other people. Ephesians 4:2 says, “Be completely humble, gentle, be patient, bearing with one another in love.” When we are patient with others, we are showing love. Again, love is patient, and you have the ability to be patient because of the fruit of the Spirit that lies within you as a believer. Also, it helps when you remember if you are able to do something better or faster than someone else, it’s only by the grace of God.

Be patient with yourself.  Matthew 22:39 says, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” Since love is patient, you love yourself by being patient with yourself. When you condemn yourself for your failures or for not being where you think you should be in life, you are not being patient or loving towards you. There is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). God is patient with you, and He wants you to be patient with yourself.

Ecclesiastes 7:8 says, “Patience is better than pride.” That says that impatience is a form of pride. Patience is a form of humility. Impatience is a form of idolatry. Pride says, ” I know better than God what the timing should be or where I should be on my journey.” Pride looks at others and thinks, “Why can’t you be as far along as I am?” or “Why are you struggling with that? What’s taking you so long?” Pride says, “I am responsible for making my own way, and I will make myself pay for my own sins and short-comings through self-condemnation.” Therefore, let’s be determined to defer to the timing of God, be patient with others when we have gained mastery in areas that they have not, and be patient with ourselves when we fail to live up to our own standards.

How is God teaching you about patience at this time in your life? Please leave your comment below. 

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Photo courtesy of Tom Pickering via http://www.freeimages.com

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