Dictionary.com has several definitions for patience. One definition is “an ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay” In other words, handling pain or difficult times without complaining. While studying on patience, I noticed that most of the reference scriptures also described long-suffering. It makes sense because when we really look at what long-suffering is, it’s patience. Thus making patience a fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).
I have often heard that patience is a hard thing to acquire. It is not something that is just dropped into our laps. I think it is something that is “developed”. James 1:2-4 says “Count it all joy, my brothers,when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” When patience is prayed for, suddenly things seem to take a little longer than usual. Traffic lights may seem longer, waiting in lines may seem longer than usual but patience is being developed throughout these situations.
I am sure many of you can look back on some things that you have done and thought “I would have given up on me” But, because God is love and love is patient(1 Corinthians 13:4,7), God is patient towards us. 2 Peter 3:9 says “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but, that all should reach repentance.” Because God is patient towards us, we are to be patient towards one another. Again, walking in love is long-suffering or being patient.
I did a post not very long ago called “Overcoming Anxiety”. In that post, I talked about dealing with anxiety and overcoming it using Philippians 4:6-7 as a reference. However, this scripture can be looked at in relation to being patient as well. Verse 4 says “do not be anxious about anything,but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Being anxious for something can mean wanting to rush for it. It is important that we be sure we are in the will of God in everything we do. 1 Corinthians 14:40 says “ Let all things be done decently and in order”. Rushing into things is not orderly.
We are instructed in Romans 12:12 as Christians to be patient. We only get patience through God. Don’t be afraid of the tests and trials that may come as a result of asking for it. God will never give us anything that we can’t handle. Being patient is something I have asked God to help me with. I am often excited for things and want to get them right away. However, through prayer and perseverance, I know I will begin to see the fruit of patience grow in my “spiritual garden”. You can too.
So, Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. ~Romans 12:12
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