Patience Pays Offby Cynthia Jennings on April 20, 2022
I always thought I was a very patient person. To be honest I believe it to be one of my greatest qualities.
Part of my patient quality includes me having a mental schedule (with lots of sticky notes…lol) ---I guess you can call it my agenda to live that day. It helps me stay organized and organizing is something I really love to do!
Most days I go over my mental schedule and look at one of my many sticky notes, thinking I’m all prepared to attack the day.
Then God and his sense of humor steps in. I believe He intentionally causes a snafu in what I believe is my greatest quality.
I can’t tell you how many times my mental schedule has fallen apart, or my carefully planned sticky notes have unraveled before my very eyes. I’ve learned that when God wants to build a certain quality in my life, He puts me in the opposite circumstance. For example, if God wants me to be more patient, He arranges the hours and minutes of my day in ways that demand patience.
As I’ve stated above, I believe patience is one my greatest qualities. However, when any type of snafu is added to the mix, internally my patience is greatly tested. Snafus can be something as simple as an item on my sticky note not being executed in the time-frame I want it to be or when customer service doesn’t want to listen to me but continues to read the script.
I’ve come to learn in those moments God put me in the opposite circumstance. He’s tapping me on the shoulder because He wants to build His quality of patience in my life.
You see we can’t get too high on ourselves in thinking our greatest qualities are so great. The fact is our greatest qualities don’t come from us; they are given to us by God to be used to glorify Him.
God reminded me of this by building upon and replacing my idea of patience with His standard of patience. My quality of patience is not the same as God’s quality of patience.
What is patience? The Oxford Dictionary defines patience as the “capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.” And the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines being patient as “bearing pains or trials calmly or without complaint.”
What is biblical patience? Patience, as in longsuffering, is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22); and is most often referred to as patience towards others(1 Corinthians 13:4). Patience, as in endurance is an attribute. We get this attribute by going through trials (James 1:3).
The dictionary quality of patience reads; patience comes from within my own strength(capacity)thus being able to bear snafus. However, the biblical quality of patience reads; patience doesn’t come from within my own strength(capacity) and there will be snafus along the way to help build patience.
Both longsuffering and endurance are attributes of God and come from Him. He is the one who gives us the ability to suffer long and deal with others without getting angered easily. And He is also the one who gives us the strength to endure trials and remain under it until His appointed time.
One of the most powerful Bible passages on patience and perseverance is found in James 1:12.
“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.”
Patience pays off and you will be blessed if you…. stand firm in your trial (remember your trial could be as simple as your mental schedule falling apart).
Patience pays off and you will be rewarded if you…keep your eyes fixed on the Father in that tough (snafu)circumstance.
Patience is a virtue, and it’s something God want us to pursue. It honors God when we go through suffering and difficult circumstances patiently and without complaining.
I’ve learned that snafus or opposite circumstances are essential building blocks to God’s quality of patience in my life. It taught me patience originates from God (1 Timothy 1:16; Romans 15:5) and longsuffering is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). Suffering(snafus) produces endurance (Romans 5:3) and endurance builds character (Romans 5:4). Longsuffering is part of love (1 Corinthians 13:4) thus we should be patient with others (Ephesians 4:2; Colossians 3:12-13).
We live in a world where people get offended and lose patience quickly, we can truly be a light when we show Christlike patience towards one another (1 John 2:6).
Prayer: Heavenly Father in the Name of Jesus, please help me see You at work in each trial, snafu or opposite circumstance no matter how big or small, and choose to depend on Your strength instead of my own qualities and abilities. Help me to see Your purpose and plan, even if I can’t understand it. Help me to stand firm in my faith so that I may be more patient. Lord, allow me to become more patient so that others will see You in me. Amen
James 1:4(KJV)-- But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.