<<steadfast, faithful endurance>>

Patience is a necessary factor of life, for although we might desire instant results or gratification of our wants, things of real value normally take time to come about and maturity will be developed as we tolerate delays (Jas 5:7). Blessed is the person who endures under pressure, affliction and trial, remaining true to God, for they will be everlastingly rewarded (Mt 10:22; Jas 1:12; Rev 2:10, 3:11). Patience is an evidence of faith – that you are looking beyond the present trial to what it will achieve – so don’t give up, instead persevere to achieve your goals and to overcome the disappointment of setbacks and frustrations which are part of life (2 Cor 4:17; Gal 6:9; Heb 12:2).

As there is a ‘proper time for all things’ don’t become impatient and force things to happen prematurely (Eccl 8:6). During difficult times when nothing appears to be happening, resist the temptation to help things along by your own effort, for although we must prepare and do all we can within the boundaries given in the Bible, to bring about God’s plans we must not force the issue by trying to run ahead of divine timing, rather live rightly before God and man. Furthermore, we are not to do evil that good may result (Rom 3:8). Acting with impatience outside His directive is sin and frustrates the purposes of God.  Abraham did this and the consequences of that action are still evident today in the Jew/Arab conflicts (Gen 16:1-4, 21:1-13).  We must do the right thing at the right time. Patience leaves the initiative with God; even Jesus said, “I don’t do anything till God says so” (Jn 5:19,30).

“Waiting patiently for God” requires tremendous strength of character, the exercise of self-control and yet keeping busy, fulfilling our responsibilities (Ps 37:7, 40:1). To receive our spiritual inheritance and serve God successfully we must utilize patience, so be prepared to pay the price. Joseph must have questioned the validity of his dream during the 13 or so years of slavery and imprisonment before it became reality (Gen 37:2, 41:46). David was anointed to be king yet for several years was on Saul’s ‘wanted dead’ list. Although he had several opportunities to take the throne he waited for God to bring it about as he clung to the promise and used the time to prepare for when it did arrive. Life is a journey, not a destination, with the grace of God and patience (a fruit of the Holy Spirit) to be outworked in us whatever our situation and wherever we are (Gal 5:22,23).  Is this my experience?

Even though the outworking of God’s plans may seem to be taking a long time, He is not a man that makes promises and doesn’t deliver; He will fulfill what He has said with His purposes coming to pass, even if the pathway is different to what we envisage (Num 23:19; Ps 89:34; Hab 2:3). Between receiving guidance or a promise from God and it

Can you recognise when God may be teaching you patience?

coming to pass there will be a period of testing.  Delays may seem like God doesn’t care or has forgotten us, but are necessary to test our patience, persistence and obedience – which are vital character qualities God requires in us. Waiting with faith until He intervenes on our behalf in spite of troubles, (being confident they are working for my good and His glory), shows maturity (Isa 64:4; Rom 8:28; 2 Thes 1:4,5; Jas 1:3)

Patience is an expression of our trust in God’s power and strength as He moves in our affairs (Rom 9:22; 1 Pet 3:20). Along with singleness of vision, consistent and persistent effort, patience is the key to achieving our goal (Prov 25:15; Lk 8:15, 18:1-8; Jas 5:11). We live in an age of instant coffee and haste, however God’s timing is different to ours and the enemy pressurizes people not to wait.  Do we maintain composure when under the pressure of testing?

See also: delay, faithfulness, fruit (spirit), impatience, Job, persevere, self-control, test/testing, time/timing, tolerate, waiting.