Tag Archives: patience

PATIENCE

Ye have need of patience — Hebrews 10:36
     No one is born patient.  Babies come out of the womb with no patience at all.  What they want, they want it NOW.  If they don’t get it immediately they will let you know loud and clear!
Patience does not come naturally.  If patience was natural, why does God command us to “be patient” (1 Thess. 5:14; James 5:7)?
Patience is a virtue that must be developed over time. Peter tells us that patience is something we must “add” to our faith (2 Pet. 1:5-7).    Paul tells us the trials help us to develop patience (Rom. 5:3). Patience is also part of the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23).  When you and I are impatient, it shows we are walking in the flesh and not the Spirit.
When will find ourselves in the grip of impatience, it is time to cry out to the Lord and commit our situation into His capable hands. God may, or may not, immediately resolve the source of your impatience.  It is often a process.  We cannot pray, “Lord, I want patience, and I want it NOW!”  As the words of the gospel song goes, at times He removes our mountains one stone at a time. If we will just be patient, we’ll notice our mountainous problem is getting smaller with time.
As James 1:4 says, “But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”

The Way of the Vineyard

“…he beholdeth not the way of the vineyards.” —Job 24:18

In Job 24:18, the wicked are likened to swift running waters.  The wicked are impatient and in a hurry to get what he wants.

And the devil stands by to help him get it by offering a “short-cut.”  No matter what your goal is, weather it be happiness… success… making money, Satan has a short-cut to achieve it.

Rather than achieve something God’s way, which is usually the slower way, and the way that requires character and builds character, Satan offers a quicker way to get what you want.

That is what Job implies when he says, “he [the wicked] beholdeth not the way of the vineyards.”  What is “the way of the vineyard”?  It is the way of hard work that requires plowing, planting, pruning, and patience before reaping a harvest.  That is, if you are going to reap a harvest in the vineyard it is going to require WORK and WAITING.

For example, if a person has a certain financial goal, Satan offers a “short-cut” to getting money. That “short-cut” could be gambling.  I am asked sometimes by immature Christians, “What’s wrong with gambling or playing the lottery?”  It is wrong because it seeks to acquire money contrary to God’s way—“the way of the vineyards.”  God’s way is by hard work and wise stewardship (read Prov. 12:11; 13:11; 1 Tim. 5:18).

Yes, “the way of the vineyards” may be slower and require character, but the rewards are much more satisfying and longer lasting!

Forbearance

With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love.” —Ephesians 4:2

Are there people in your life that you have trouble getting along with? Their personality, manners, and peculiar quirks get on your nerves? Being in their company drives you up a wall?  C.S. Lewis writes about such people in his book God in the Dock.  He points out the things that frustrate us in other people are the very same things God endures in each of us everyday!  Lewis writes: “You are just that sort of person. You also have a fatal flaw in your character. All the hopes and plans of others have again and again shipwrecked on your character just as your hopes and plans have shipwrecked on theirs.”

Knowing this should motivate us to show the same patience and acceptance to others that God shows toward each of us everyday. It’s called forbearance. Forbearance is to politely and patiently restrain the impulse to retaliate when you are irritated.  Basically it is the capacity to “put up” with difficult people and exhibit grace instead of allowing them to get you riled.

Next time someone’s idiosyncrasies rub you the wrong way, respond with the same grace and forbearance that God has shown you. As Paul writes, “Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.” —Colossians 3:13

 

Trouble Is Good For You

Psalm 119:71 says, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.”  There are some things that you will never “learn” apart from troubles or problems in life. Here are a few…

  • Problems make us think.
  • Criticism makes us check up on ourselves.
  • Pain makes us humble.
  • Trials teach us patience (Rom. 5:3).
  • Disappointments remind us to look to God for our expectations.
  • Sorrow makes us more sympathetic to the hurts of others.
  • Adversity teaches us to depend on God and “have no confidence in the flesh.
  • Losses remind us that this world is not our home.

So, next time “old man trouble” comes knocking at your door, don’t try to shut him out. Believe it or not, he’s there to help you!

The Principle of “Delayed Gratification”

The Principle of “Delayed Gratification”

Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. —Hebrews 12:16

Esau had been out hunting all day and worked up a big appetite. He smells something cooking and finds his brother Jacob brewing a pot of chili. He pleads with Jacob to give him a bowl of that chili because he is starving from hunger.  Jacob offers Esau a bowl for a price— “Sell me this day thy birthright” (Gen. 25:31). The family birthright was priceless, but Esau agreed and sold Jacob his birthright for a bowl of chili.  He later regretted it, but it was too late. He could never get it back. Dr. Bob Jones, Sr. said, “Do not sacrifice the permanent on the altar of the immediate.” Never sacrifice the ultimate for the expendable.

Most young people live with the attitude, “Why wait, when I can have it now.” Instead of getting what we want now, we need to learn to the principle of “delayed gratification.”

Craig Groeschel teaches this principle to his children by playing the Oreo Game. He sits his five year old at a table and places one Oreo cookie in front of them.  When the child reaches for the cookie, Craig stops them and gives them this option: “You can eat that one cookie now. It’s all yours and you don’t have to do anything for it. But that’s all you get, one cookie.” Then he slides two additional cookies on the table and says, “But if you wait one hour, instead of just that one cookie, you can have all three.” If the child takes the cookie immediately, it only take a few more times playing the Oreo Game, until he learns the value of “delayed gratification.”

The Bible calls this principle of “delayed gratification” temperance and patience.  Temperance is the character quality to say “no” to something you want in order to get something better later. That requires patience. Temperance and patience go hand-in-hand. The Bible says, add to our faith temperance and to temperance patience (2 Peter 1:5-9).

Instead of gratifying some momentary compulsion that won’t last, learn to WAIT on God.  God’s best is always worth waiting for.

Have you added temperance and patience to your faith?

What bowl of chili are you trading God’s eternal blessings for?