Most of us don’t enjoy waiting for something we want. To be perfectly transparent, I hate waiting for things. I am a go-getter and I like to get what I want when I want it! Waiting is not something our American culture values. Instead we value instant gratification; we have invented ways to get what we want faster and faster. From microwaves to smart phones, we have found ways to get what we want when we want it. I am in no way against technology and progress, but I fear our generation no longer values the virtue of patience.
Recently during a time of prayer God revealed to me that patience is my most lacking fruit of the Spirit. So I decided to make one of my goals this year to grow in patience. I shared this with some Christian friends and they warned me to be prepared to endure many trials. Some people are so afraid of being tested that they never nurture the fruit of patience in their lives and they encourage other people to not even pray for patience. This way of thinking is absurd. God desires His people to learn to wait for His promises with a good attitude, and that takes patience.
Patience has gotten a bad rap, and unfortunately it is not pursued like other godly virtues. The thing is if you want to stretch your faith and truly mature as a believer in Christ, you need to cultivate patience. Patience is the quality that brings about true peace despite the obstacles, pain, and adversity thrown your way. Patience together with perseverance brings about success in whatever endeavor we choose to undertake. Impatience causes frustration, imprudence, wrong decisions, poor relationships, and contributes greatly to personal unhappiness. Many people never develop patience and therefore never truly fulfill their goals and purposes in life.
Growing in patience is difficult but it is worth the maturity you will personally achieve. Here are three benefits you gain when you choose to become a more patient person.
- Patience will help you persevere.
It is easy to demonstrate patience when everything is peachy keen and going our way. However, the true test of patience comes when we are treated unfairly, when another car cuts us off in traffic, when we struggle in our marriage, or when our prayers are not answered quickly. Sometimes the only way we get our breakthrough is to wait on God in prayer. When we wait on God He renews our strength and we are reminded that we can’t rely solely on own strength.
Galatians 6:9 “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.“
- Patience will help transform our relationships.
Have you ever said something to someone you love that you wish you could take back? I know I have. Unfortunately, we tend to sometimes get defensive and say something hurtful because we lack patience. We end up making hasty decisions and at times walk away from long standing marriages, friendships, and ministries because of our impatience. In my years of ministry I have seen too many divorces and broken families because people refuse to allow God to do the deep work of developing patience in their lives. In the same way that God’s patience with us leads to our growth, our patience towards others gives them room to mature. Whenever you feel impatient with your coworkers, families, and friends, try to take time to think over their positive qualities. Instead of losing your patience and possibly destroying a relationship, take some time to quiet yourself, pray, and truly listen to their perspective, if you do this your relationships will grow and be strengthened.
James 1:19-20 “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.”
- Patience will help us achieve our goals!
Jesus had just triumphantly ascended to heaven, surrounded by an army of angels. Yet, before He left, Jesus instructed Peter and the other disciples to fulfill His mission to make disciples throughout the world. But first, He told them they must return to Jerusalem and wait for the Holy Spirit. My husband, Pastor Joshua, often says, “Wait in prayer and walk in power”. We need to wait in order to be witnesses! When we wait we receive power and boldness from the Holy Spirit. Patience helped shaped Peter and helped him achieve his God-given purpose. Your goals may not be to become a preacher like Peter, but friends your goals will take time to achieve. Like Peter you will have to learn to wait. Maybe you have to wait until you finish a degree, learn a new skill, or make a new contact before you go to the next level. Friends, achievements take time and learning to wait with a good attitude will give you the power to achieve your God-given goals.
Acts 1:8(NIV) “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Patience is a lifelong work, but good things come to those who wait. If you learn to walk in patience with yourself and others you will grow as a person. Patience will give you tenacity, amazing relationships, and will even help you achieve your goals. In a hurried world, patience is a powerful and needed virtue.