How has the past year stretched your patience?
The pandemic, isolation, uncertainties, racial injustice, political tensions have stretched many of us beyond our limits of endurance in the last year. Or perhaps it’s the financial instability, job loss, death of loved ones, or illness that has tried your patience.
What is patience?
Patience, Long-suffering, Endurance
Patience is not the ability to wait but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting.Joyce Meyer
A farmer knows that his reward is not instant, but his effort and patience will pay off as he waits patiently for the harvest (James 5:7). Patience doesn’t come naturally. It’s an area of weakness for most of us. Saul couldn’t wait for Samuel any longer. He took matters into his own hands by sacrificing the burnt offering to God himself (1 Sam 9-12).
Are you a patient person? How well do you deal with interruptions? How do you handle irritations or things that bug you? How do you react when someone cuts you off in traffic? How do you handle difficult situations with your loved ones, health, business, or job?
We don’t like to wait for anything in our fast-paced world of instant fast foods, fast checkout lines, microwave meals, and instant coffee. Instead, we want it, and we want it now!
5 Significant Benefits of Growing in Patience
Patience is necessary for growing in Christ (Ephesians 4:13). Tribulation works patience. God allows difficulties to develop our patience (Romans 5:3). As we mature spiritually, we learn to exercise patience with others. We release bitterness, blame, and judgmental attitudes through Holy Spirit working in us (Colossians 1:11).
2) A Better Witness for Christ.
A friend and her husband prayed for 27 years for their son-in-law to know Christ. That required a lot of waiting and trusting in God. Today their son-in-law is serving Christ along with his family. Do you want to be a better witness for Christ? Learn to cultivate the fruit of patience. Your patience could make a difference in someone’s life.
3) Enjoy Peace
When we are impatient, we have no peace. Impatience keeps us fixated on what we want rather than on the Lord. The only way you and I can grow in patience is by living and walking in the Spirit (Galatians 5:25, John 15:7-8).
During a hard season in my life, Isaiah 26:3 was my go-to verse. I intentionally choose peace regardless of the circumstances. God is with us in our trials just as he was with Job.
He will help us endure the hard times. Let us not be discouraged or lose sight of our faith. Our faith will unlock God’s promises of peace and joy as we wait patiently on Him.
4) Spiritual Prosperity
Would you like to be a victorious Christian? According to James, we will receive a crown if we persevere under trial (James 1:12). Fourteen years later, I can see how waiting on the Lord has helped me grow spiritually and increased my joy. Whatever you face today, friend, be encouraged and wait for the Lord (Psalm 27:14). Delay is not denial. Wait on the Lord. The blessing will surely come.
5) Love for others
Patience helps us love others well. Loveless people are impatient. If you are impatient with your spouse, kids, and loved ones, you don’t love them. Patience comes from love and allows us to see other’s points of view. When we are patient, we are more likely to exercise humility and bear with others in love (Ephesians 4:2).
Have you ever asked where God is when you are going through a rough time?
We don’t develop patience from reading a textbook but through difficulties and challenges. Just like you and I can never learn to play the piano without practice, we won’t grow without patience and endurance.
God is always working behind the scenes and teaching us patience in the process. Waiting patiently is the best way of doing God’s will and enjoying the journey of life.
In what ways is God developing your patience in a current situation? Share in the comments.
This post is part of our series on Fruit of the Spirit