Patience is a virtue. This saying has been around forever. Exhibiting patience can be an extremely hard aspect to get used to. We are all so used to getting everything we want, at a moment’s notice. We want everything done on our time.
We want everything done right now. The world today doesn’t make it any easier. If something doesn’t happen the way we want, in the time frame we expect it to, we become bitter. We expect everything to go our way. We have made ourselves feel as though we are entitled to have everything go our way. Well, everyone gets a news flash with that. We already don’t like the answer either. Almost all the time nothing goes our way. This is where we have to exhibit patience.
Patience means the capacity to accept or tolerate delay. It also means suffering through a situation without getting angry or upset. It is a quality that is very difficult to come by in this day and age. Take technology problems for example. If our wi-fi connection goes down, or our computer or phones die, we automatically freak out instead of staying calm and figuring out the problem rationally.
Then we start losing our cool with co-workers or family members who might be trying to help us with the problem. Or take when a task doesn’t go the way we want it to, we have a tendency to get angry and flip out. It doesn’t matter if we are angry at ourselves for not being able to accomplish something correctly at a present moment. If we can’t figure out how to do something right now, we think we may never be able to accomplish the task we set out to do in the first place. We sometimes end up taking it out on everyone else, while trying to calm the anger in ourselves.
We want the problems in our lives to be fixed now, not in God’s time. We want the answers as to why life is so hard, why people are killed for no reason, why our home is filled with problems that we have no money to fix. We want the answers to why sickness and disease are the main causes of death in the world today. When we don’t get the answers from the people around us, or the doctors or even from God right away, we can become angry at every last one of them.
When God doesn’t answer right away, we start thinking that He won’t give us the answers we need or that He may not care about us. We may even question why He lets us go through struggles and where He is during those times. Still, we may even question His plan for us and think that He doesn’t know what He is doing. The exact opposite is true. God wants to answer all of our cries for answers, in the way that only He knows best. Only He can provide the true answers we need in life. The best answers He can give us are in His word. All we have to do is turn to Him in prayer and look in His word.
Proverbs 14:29 says “Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly.” This means that whoever exhibits patience gains understanding that others may not have, or even want to have. Folly means foolishness or lack of good sense. The verse says that whoever is quick tempered is foolish, and should come to their senses. Whoever is quick tempered can change their ways around by calmly rationalizing each situation that could potentially make them angry.
Ephesians 4:2 “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” This verse basically explains itself by telling us to be patient with one another, love each other and to be humble with our fellow man.
Romans 12:12 says “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” This means that we shouldn’t try to hurt anyone else with the pain we may be going through ourselves. It also means that we should always think to pray about situations instead of letting them get under our skin and bother us so much.
I’ve had many times where I feel angry about a situation, thinking I may never be able to put it right. I find myself venting about it. Even though venting can and does help, God never fails to get my attention after a while and tell me to pray about the situation, instead of losing my cool about it. Only when I pray about the situation, does it become easier to think clearly about how to solve the problem, and how to make myself better.
2 Peter 3:9 says, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” This verse proves to us that God is working in our lives all the time, even behind the scenes when it seems as if He has disappeared altogether. He doesn’t want anyone to perish into the fires of Hell, because they may not believe in Him.
He wants all people to exhibit love and patience the way He does for everyone else in life. If we exhibit the same patience God has for us in our lives, we will then begin to understand just how good our lives really are. We will also begin to have more understanding of how good our God is.
Think of it this way, if God didn’t have patience with us, all human kind, since the beginning of creation, then none of us would have a chance to live out our lives in the freedom He gives us each and every day. He could have just as easily said He was sick of our whining and lack of patience. But rather He showed us what real patience and love truly is about. He was willing to teach us how to exhibit that patience for our sakes and for other’s sake.
Romans 5:4 says, with patience comes perseverance. With perseverance comes character, and with character there is hope.
May God continue to work in our lives and help us to exhibit patience.