My wife says I have no patience and for the most part she is probably correct.Patience is defined as “the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset”. Some synonyms that would further explain patient would be forbearance, tolerance, restraint, self-restraint, more calmness, composure, understanding, indulgence, perseverance, persistence, endurance, tenacity, staying power, determination, resolve, resolution.
The slow driver in front of you that you bump your horn at or use hand motions or yell at in the confines of your car because the light just turn green and they are not moving. The reaction or the thoughts you are thinking when you are standing in line at the supermarket with one cashier open and a person in the express line has twenty-two items (You mentally counted each item).
The definition of patience in the bible however refers to “Patience” implies suffering, enduring or waiting, as a determination of the will and not simply under necessity”. Now the word “Patience” does not appear in the Old Testament at all but “Patiently” does appear in Psalm 40:1
“I waited patiently for the Lord. He turned to me and heard my cry”, Psalm 40:1
This verse comes from the translation of “Qawah” which means “to wait” or to expect”. However, it appears that this term is also referencing waiting or expecting from God.
Patience comes in all forms. Just this past week, I had the opportunity to first hand see what patience can accomplish. For the better part of a year and a half, Joe battled homeless, other issues, while putting on a good front that all was well. This past week doing a follow up call we found the results of patience has Joe in housing, living a different life. The result was from the pouring of love and care from many outreach workers that sacrifice their time and display patience to help a group that is mainly forgotten by most and shoved in a closet by others.
1 Timothy 1:16
“But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life”, 1Timothy 1:16
Plainly translated, God uses Timothy as a prime example of his great patience even with the worse sinners. This should lead to others following by example which lead to believers who will receive eternal life.
Patience: God’s Way
The first thing we must consider when looking at patience is that all things happen for a reason and therefore we must believe in God. As sinners who have come to accept Jesus as our Savior, we are filled with the fruits of the Holy Spirit. One of those fruits is patience.
Having patience God’s way will lead to restoring relationships and will stop quarrels. The following verses demonstrate this:
Matthew 15:18 Matthew 12:34 James 3:6-10
Matthew 15:11 Proverbs 15:2 ` Proverbs 10:32
Ephesians 4:2 states we should demonstrate patience as we show our love for each other’s fault. We all have faults and if we display patience it will assist all of us to get along with each other.
Please don’t let those people that succeed by ways not approved of by Christian standards. God will respond in his way and his time. The following verses demonstrate why we should be patience:
Psalms 40:1 Jeremiah 12:1 Psalms 62:1
Proverbs 20:22 Joshua 10:12 Hebrews 10:36-37
The second thing is we must believe in prayer. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 commands us to never stop praying. We know when we pray we will receive one of three answers: “Yes’, “No”, or “Not now”.
Remember though, if we get the “yes” or “Not Now” answer will still require patience. It is all in His time not ours even if we feel we need it right this moment.
Isaiah 30:18 is a fine example of God’s time. He will answer your prayers but will be in His time to demonstrate patience as well to allow you to understand his power.
Patience: Our Outlook
As we look at patience from a human’s perspective, we have to look at three traits that seem to be common when we lack patience.
1. What Happened?
How many times have things happened even after we taken our concerns to the Lord? The simple answer is that God answers our prayers his way and that may not be necessarily our way. Remember we do not know god’s plan but he knows our plan.
He didn’t answer your prayer the way you wanted was not for any of the reasons below:
- Unawareness: God is fully aware of every little thing that happens. He is aware of the possible injustice or difficulty suffered because He answered the prayer the way he did.
- Imperfection: Does anything need to be said about this?
- Lack of Concern: This is the furthest from the truth. God cares about all his children and what is happening with them always (Matthew 12:36).
- Absence: God is always there always watching. No matter what is happening to you God is there. (Acts 9:3)
2. God’s patience
God is slow to react to my sin which allows me time to reflect and repent. No matter the situation, God does not come in both barrels blazing but chooses to allow Him to come after us and to seek those that have yet accepted Jesus as their Savior.
God’s Patience: Our Results
With God being patience with us, it allows us to be strengthened. To be changed by the patience of God I must:
- Admit I am a sinner (1 John 1:9)
- Believe Jesus led a sinless life, died on the cross, and rose again on the third day to be seated at the right hand of the Father. (1 Corinthians 15:4)
- Confess to the world as born-again Christians (Mark 16:16)
So, from a human perspective, I guess the next time my wife and I get in the car and she is driving that I be patience while she answers those 120 Facebook posts before starting the car.
How are you responding to the patience of God? Are you puzzled? Are you just beginning to realize that God has been patient with you? Or are you living a new life because of His patience with you?
Remember if you have no patience then what do you have?