Is anyone patient anymore? How can we learn to be patient? From people driving us bazonkers to marriage, to parenting to traffic jams to Jerry Jones messing up yet another season with his craziness, it’s hard to be patient. How can we learn to be patient?
It is interesting to note that the early church spent more time working to develop patience than they did preaching the Gospel to unbelievers. They believed patience was the true image of God and reflected God to the world more than anything. They believed God was incredible patient with everyone. He allows us to live our life without final judgment patiently waiting while wooing us to Him. He remains patient with us as we grow in Him. To be patient is to reflect the glory of God in our life. But where does patience come from and how we can make it part of our life?
First of all, patience is the result of love (1 Corinthians 13:4). It is part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22). The Holy Spirit is the presence of God in us. And God is love. The greater His presence in our life, the greater capacity we have for loving others. And with this increase in love, there will be an increase of patience.
The process of becoming patient begins with understanding and accepting the love of God. The Bible says that we love because He loved us first (1 John 4:19). The Apostle Paul reminds us that we need supernatural power from the Holy Spirit to help us grasp the love that God has for us. Spending time in the presence of God through the Word, the gathering of believers, praise, and worship fills us with power to grasp the powerful truths of Scripture including the love of God. That God gave His only Son to receive the punishment we deserved because of our sin so anyone who chooses to follow Christ can be set free from this judgment is the love of God.
To love God is to love His creation. It is to love every person, everyone regardless of social status, race, religion, sexual orientation, or personality. The world loves by deciding who is worthy of being loved. God loves everyone though no one is worthy to receive His love because of their rejection of Him through sin. When we don’t love people, we are not loving God. Love is patient, kind, gentle, not proud, not seeking harm, never beating people down with their past mistakes. To love God is to treat people in this manner.
If you tell me you love me, but treat my children with disdain, then you are not loving me because you are hurting my heart when I see how you treat my kid. The same is true with God, but with greater depth. When we mistreat anyone, we are hurting God’s heart because that person, no matter what, is a child of God whom He loves.
More than this, though, we have to understand that God wants to see everyone healed in their spirit, for broken lives to be made whole, for broken hearts to be mended, for souls to be saved. If I truly love God, then I will want for His children what He wants for His children. Then I need to be moved in my heart to do what creates the greatest potential for others to be saved, to be healed, to be made whole. And at the heart of this behavior is patience. Without patience, there is no love. If people can’t see the love of God in me, I am doing nothing to help them find the source of their healing.
The Scripture says ‘for the joy set before Him, He endured the cross,’ speaking of Christ (Hebrews 12:2). In other words, He wanted to honor His Father in Heaven by helping His Father’s creation find salvation. To do this, He was willing to suffer for them to see the love of God that they might fall in love with God.
Patience is a mindset. It is not an emotion, but a way of looking at every situation from a spiritual perspective. If we want our children to find and know God, we must be patience to reflect God’s love to them. If we want our spouses, family, friends to know God, patience is required. And even for those we struggle to love or like, we have to keep in our mind the simply truth that God loves everyone the same. Determination to hold fast to this mindset will develop patience in our heart.
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Leave me a comment. What is the hardest part about being patient?
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