Patience, (Hos. 2:19-23; Psalm 33:20; Matthew 27:14; Romans 5:3; 12:12; Gal. 5:1; Col. 1:11; James 1:3-4,12; 5:10-11), is showing tolerance and fortitude toward others, even accepting difficult situations from them, and God, without making demands or conditions. Patience allows us to endure a less than desirable situation to make us better and more useful and even optimistic and prudent. Hence, its other name is longsuffering. It allows us to put up with others who get on our nerves, without losing other characteristics of grace.
Impatience, annoyance, intolerance, worry, fear, and distrust are the opposites of Patience. These prevent us from seeing, as our Lord wants us to see, that all things will work for His good in the end (Rom. 8:28). We should hang on, place our trust in Him, and not let the temporary things of life bother or distract us from our purpose and call.
Patience is an essential aspect toward maturity and growth as a Christian, yet it is not a fun thing to obtain. We, as fallen humanity, do not like to wait, especially in our fast paced, and fast food society. We may cry out to God and ask that He give us Patience, NOW! Yet, if He did, would we have it? It is not likely, as it needs to grow through difficulties so it can build and improve. It is not something we get off the shelf of a bookstore.
Patience will allow us to receive and participate in God's love as it builds loyalty and faithfulness, as in the life of Hosea. It will take us beyond our comfort zone into an area we do not want to go. Yet, when we do, we are better and more able to be used by God and to be available for others. Without Patience, we cannot be used effectively in the lives of others, as they will seem repugnant to us, and we will be callous and unsympathetic towards them. Patience will allow us to manage anger and problems, and to wait on God's timing. Patience will allow us to forgive (Rom. 5:8), as Christ forgave us and has Patience with us. Patience will allow us to endure and go on, even when we do not feel like it. It will see the hope that is ahead, when the clouds of our lives and experiences block its view from our sight. Patience will allow us to cling to Christ no matter what happens. Patience is hanging on to what is good. When we are impatient, we will miss a lot in life, especially in our relationships, because we will give up too easily. Allow the Potter to put you on His wheel and form you in His time!
1. How is Patience exhibited in my daily life?
2. What can I do to develop a more Patient attitude?
3. What blocks the practice of Patience in my life?
4. How can I make Patience function better, stronger, and faster, even in times of uncertainty and stress?
- How would you define Patience?
- What are the things that cause you to be impatience or distrustful?
- How does Fear counteract Patience?
- How can you make James 1:3-4 work in you? Are you willing to allow Patience to develop in you, even through times of waiting and confusion?
- When have you most been filled with Patience?
- In what situation did you fail to have Patience when you should have?
- What issue in your life would improve with more Patience?
- Think through the steps you need to take to put Patience into action in a specific situation. Perhaps you could learn to relax when things do not work out your way, or refuse to allow your circumstances to get in the way of your Patience.
Remember, the Fruits of the Spirit are not options!
· Here are positive examples from Scripture (Gen. 39:19-23; Job 1:13-22; Matt. 27:11-14; James 5:7-11)
· Here are negative examples from Scripture (Num. 20:1-12; 1 Sam. 13:8-14; 2 Kings 6:33; Luke 10:38-42)
© 2002,Richard J. Krejcir, Ph.D. Schaeffer Institute of Church Leadership, www.churchleadership.org