A friend of mine once warned me never to pray for patience because you might have to learn to have some. I have also heard that “God is never late, but he is very seldom early.” Why is God so interested in us learning patience and why does it have to be so painful?
Patience is associated with trials or in other words–hardships. In James 1:3-4 says “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into many trials because the trying of your faith works patience. But let patience have her perfect work that you may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”
This isn’t sadomasochism. These verses aren’t telling us to enjoy the pain. This verse is telling us that no matter what trials we face, we can rejoice in knowing that we can patiently look forward to his perfect will in this circumstance.
It says in Romans 5:1-5, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. By whom also we have access by faith unto this grace wherein we stand and rejoice in hope of the Glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulation also know that tribulation works patience, and patience experience and experience, hope. And hope makes not ashamed, because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given to us.”
Patience can only be developed over time. If we were to instantly receive what we want, we would never develop patience and without patience we wouldn’t have experience and without experience our hope of what Christ has done in our lives would not grow in us and we would not be able to share what Christ has done for us in our time of need.
Becoming Like the Creator
Paul says in I Corinthians 13:4 that love suffers a long time. God himself has shown his patience in us and we are to do the same with others. I know that I have been through a lot lately. I have personally been trusting God for some things that I have not seen yet. I know that there are times when I get to the end of my patience on something and God then gives it to me. It is like that here at the church. I sit patiently waiting for the Spirit to draw people here so that I can talk with them about Spiritual things.
I know that he has me here at this church as its pastor for a reason. I know that he plans to use me to bring people to Christ. I know that he provides for me. I know that he desires that everyone be born again. I pray for specific people who seem to be doing so well not believing that they don’t feel the need for God. Meanwhile I am sitting here with needs that do not seem to be met. However, I have never done without the necessities. I have a roof over my head, warmth, and food in my stomach. I know that God loves me and wants the best for me.
Patience is a byproduct of love. It says in I John 4:8 says “God is love.” And as we mentioned before from I Corinthians 13:4, Love is patient. Put these two verses together and you realize that by learning to become patient, we are becoming more like the one who created us. We are becoming more like the one who wants the best for us. Sure, it may be tough to learn patience, but like walking, toilet training, and learning to read, it is a lesson we all require for maturing in this case spiritually.
Have you been struggling with patience lately? Perhaps, we all need to stop struggling with it and simply rejoice that we are being tested in patience. We will be all the better for it.. He suffered for us on the cross. The least we can do is learn to be patient.
Donna Brown is pastor at Faith in God Church 1 1/2 miles south of Brandsville, Missouri on Hwy 63. Sunday services are at 10 am and Wednesday night Bible Study at 6:30 pm. As Author Cygnet Brown, she has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener
She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga