Romans 5:3-4… “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us–-they help us learn to be patient. And patience develops strength of character in us and helps us trust God more each time we use it until finally our hope and faith are strong and steady” (TLB).
Life is made up of periods of waiting. The skill of waiting is not learned in a day. Impatience hurts everyone. This year is a year to seek for and to practice patience. People will face many problems this year. Many will be filled with panic and fear. We cannot let the fears of events overtake us. Fear causes people to become selfish and causes them to turn inward and to think only of self-preservation. Total commitment to Jesus simplifies patience. Life is complicated, and patience makes it easier to live. The word “patience” refers to endurance, steadfastness, long-suffering, continuance, the power to abide, the power to wait, perseverance, and cheerfully and hopefully enduring.
The parable of the sower and the seed is all about patience. Luke 8:15 says, “But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience” (KJV). Fruit is brought forth with patience, but impatience brings little fruit. When I was a youngster we had a good-sized garden. Mom planted carrots. When carrots are about an inch to two inches long they taste great. Because I was impatient, I pulled all of them up about when they were about a half an inch long–growth stopped and the carrots died. My impatience killed the young carrots. My impatience brought no fresh carrots. I had no power to wait. I learned a valuable lesson… that growing things takes patience. How often in life our impatience kills our plans and our desires because we have never learned the power to wait.
Patience is part of maturity. James 1:3-4 says, “For when the way is rough, your patience has a chance to grow. So let it grow, and don’t try to squirm out of your problems. For when your patience is finally in full bloom, then you will be ready for anything, strong in character, full and complete” (TLB). Impatience gets us to squirm out of our problems, but the problems and trials that we go through bring our character to maturity. Notice that when your way is rough, your patience has a chance to grow. Colossians 1:11 reads, “Strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness” (KJV). The Lord is with us in our trials, and He is concerned with our root system, our inward man. Give patience a chance to grow.
Patience is part of our spiritual clothing. Colossians 3:12 says, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (NIV). Are you wearing your patience today? The King James Version phrases “clothe yourselves” as “put on.” The idea is to sink yourself into a comfortable garment and to invest in clothing that looks good on you. Patience is such a garment, and kindness and compassion and humility give you a good over-all appearance when you have patience. Work on your spiritual clothing.
Patience is the key to every pastor’s success. 2 Corinthians 6:4-7 says, “But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in watchings, in fastings; By pureness, by knowledge, by long suffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left” (KJV). It was patience that brought the approval of God. The congregation looks for patience in their pastors (2 Corinthians 12:12, 2 Timothy 3:10). Notice also where patience is wrought–in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonment, in tumults, in prayers, and in fasting. Notice how patience is wrought–by pureness, by knowledge, by long-suffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by love unfeigned, by the word of truth, and by the armor of righteousness. This is the time to consider just what is important in our lives. We will not learn patience through negative means, such as vengeance and retaliation and criticism.
Patience coupled with faith causes you to inherit God’s promises. Hebrews 6:12 says, “Then, knowing what lies ahead for you, you won’t become bored with being a Christian nor become spiritually dull and indifferent, but you will be anxious to follow the example of those who receive all that God has promised them because of their strong faith and patience” (TLB). In Isaiah 64:4-5, we are told that we are not able to understand and perceive the wonderful promises that God has for us. We are exhorted to rejoice; Paul confirms this in 1 Corinthians 2:9.
Patience is a must for all senior saints (as well as all saints, of course). Titus 2:2-3 says, “That aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. The aged women likewise” (KJV; Psalm 71:8-18 is a chapter for seniors too).
Patience is to be added to our faith. 2 Peter 1:5-7 says, “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity” (KJV). Peter goes on to teach that by adding these things to your life you will be fruitful and you will not fall away.
Patience helps you to discern those who are evil. Revelation 2:2 says, “I know how many good things you are doing. I have watched your hard work and your patience; I know you don’t tolerate sin among your members, and you have carefully examined the claims of those who say they are apostles but aren’t. You have found out how they lie” (TLB). The early church leaders examined, through patience, those who were evil.
Patience helps you to keep from caving in (Revelation 2:3). Patience is the result of keeping the commandments (Revelation 14:12). Patience in your life encourages the ones who are watching you (Philippians 1:14). Patience produces testimony (2 Thessalonians 1:4). Patience helps you to understand the love of God and waiting for Christ (2 Thessalonians 3:5). Patience helps you to keep from giving up on people (Hebrews 3:9). Patience keeps you from being bored (Hebrews 6:12). Patience should be a priority for our lives. Proverbs 3:25-26 says, “Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh, for the Lord shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being snared” (KJV).
Pastor George Belobaba
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