I don't know about anyone else, but I am finding it increasingly difficult to exercise patience. The older I get, the less patience I seem to possess. This became glaringly obvious while taking on the task of writing this article. I spent a good portion of my time feeling frustrated by having to navigate a new laptop and use an unfamiliar program, which I honestly had no interest in learning. My impatience got the best of me. My true character was revealed, and I was quickly reminded that I am not ready to meet Jesus in the air when He comes . . .
The Lord understands our weaknesses (Psalm 103:14). He is ready and willing to help us. The Lord is a very present help in time of trouble (Psalm 46:1) and He is only a prayer away! Paul is such a great example of patience, and his knowledge on the topic is an encouragement for us today. It seems he did a lot of writing from prison to encourage believers. According to Acts 28:30, it appears Paul was under a form of house arrest for two years, during which he was allowed visitors, but could not go out to preach. What an incredible example of the need to be patient with the realities of your situation! Yet, in his confinement, Paul still found a way to encourage others.
In the book of Hebrews, there is encouragement regarding patience. Chapter 10:34-37 says, "For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance. Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience, that after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and He that shall come will come, and will not tarry."
Sometimes the Lord allows spiritual struggles that specifically test our patience. Challenges with health, jobs, finances, and relationships all have their place in helping us to develop patience. We need to stop, be still, trust God, and grow. Romans 5:3-5 provides a Christian perspective on trials and the necessary patience which ultimately causes the love of God to be manifested in us. But we must go through the process to work the fruit of patience out in our character.
Wouldn't it be great if we could remember to pray for more patience during the challenges and irritations of life? What if we could remember that exercising patience would lead to a better and more enduring reward in heaven regardless of what we are going through? What if we could have confidence in the promises of God? Our patience, our waiting on God, and our dependence on God prepare us to meet Jesus with joy when He comes again.
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Further Study: James 5:8, Philippians 4:6, Romans 12:12, and Psalm 40:1.
All scripture taken from the King James Version.