Patience is among the most important virtues to have. It is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. Patience allows us to wait for God to work in our lives. However, waiting does not mean we do nothing; it means as we trust God for breakthrough, we do what He is directing us to do. It may not be what we would have wanted to do, it may go out of our plans, but if it is God’s will, it will go in alignment with His Word.
Patience is the ability to hold ourselves back, to not act out of our flesh. It is defined as “the state of endurance under difficult circumstances, which can mean persevering in the face of delay or provocation without acting on negative annoyance.” It is also known as forbearance. As humans, we want things quick, we want quick results, we want things to work out fast. Most of the time we run out of patience; we become impatient with ourselves, with our circumstances, with other people. However, we should keep in mind that patience does not mean we should accept mistreatment from other people; we need to speak out against injustices and immorality.
One of the characters of God we note is patience; we are told God is long-suffering. In the Old Testament especially this comes out clearly. He bears with us. Even when we wander miles away He is always ready to take us back when we run back to Him.
The Lord is slow to anger and abundant in loving-kindness, forgiving iniquity and transgressions; but He will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations. Numbers 14:18.
One of the things that are of encouragement is that God knows the guilty, He knows everything. Yes, we should seek justice when we are oppressed, but the truth is, God knows. And when He visits the iniquity of the guilty, it not only affects them but also their generations.
In the valleys God is with us, and when we know that, everything changes; our attitude towards suffering changes, our mindset shifts. When we are low, we look up to God, He is the only one who has all the answers. Yet, most of the time we find ourselves running to other people and when some of those people realize the state we are in, they take advantage. We should pray to God, He changes circumstances, and even if the circumstances do not change as we expected them to, He turns what was meant to harm us into good for His glory.
It is a win-win with God. He brings the right people into our lives, people who will love us with God’s love, people who will see us as God sees us. God literally directs our paths.
Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you, and therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the Lord is a God of justice; how blessed are those who long for Him. Isaiah 30:18.
How blessed are those who wait upon the Lord! There is something amazing about being still in the midst of storms. What propels us forward during such periods is faith; our faith in God literally grows. We know whatever we are passing through is just a passing storm. And the best thing is, God is with us every step of the way! At times during difficulties, we run away from God. We go into the world to look for solutions. But soon we find out there is nothing out there for us. We belong to God. When we turn to God, He is faithful to see us through.
The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 2 Peter 3:9.
We soon realize God is always present. We are the ones who move away, not Him.
He never allows us to go through anything that would destroy us. Only the enemy causes destruction, and we should never give him the power to destroy us. We are strong enough to handle the things the enemy throws at us; God empowers us. When we have gone through and overcome, greater glory is awaiting us. Christ bore all our suffering, and through Him, we have hope.
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have access by faith into His grace in which we stand; and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our suffering, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. Romans 5:1-4.
Our attitude during difficult times is very important. Through Jesus, we have hope. There is nothing we go through that God is not aware of. Jesus had no sin yet people still hated Him to the point of crucifixion. He bore all our pain, shame, and sin, and when He rose again, He defeated sin and death. Through Him, we have the assurance of eternal life.
Christ bore everything on our behalf; there is nothing to fear.
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