I swore a long time ago that I would stop praying for patience. You probably have, too. Because God doesn’t just give you the patience you’re asking for, He gives you opportunities to practice patience. Most of the time, I’m not looking to learn anything, I just want to be nicer and feel less irritated and hurried. But God, in His infinite wisdom, knows that practice makes progress. And we need a lot of practice with patience.
Why is patience something that feels lacking in so many of our lives? And why is it so important to the Lord?
Patience is a characteristic of God. It is a fruit of the Spirit, meaning it’s not something that you and I are naturally–it’s something the Holy Spirit develops in us as we become more and more like Jesus.
This is also why it matters to God so much, why He wants His children to be patient. It’s not just to keep us quiet. It’s because we model our Father and reflect His character into the broken world around us when we extend patience. Patience is another countercultural quality that God wants for you and I. He also knows that showing patience requires a reliance on Him and ultimately draws us closer to God.
What does the Bible have to say about patience?
Galatians 5:22-23: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
2 Peter 3:8-9 But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 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.
1 Cor 13:4-5: Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful.
Psalm 40:1 I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry.
Romans 12:12: Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
1 Tim 1:16: But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.
Galatians 6:9: And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
Psalm 37:7-9: Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.
Thank you for using all things to draw us closer to you. Help us to be patient as we wait for you to answer our prayers. Help us to be patient in the way we treat others so that we can model the patience you have shown us. Let this fruit of the Spirit be evident in our lives so that we can glorify you and show your goodness to those around us.
We love and we trust you. In Jesus’ name. Amen