Points Covered: Being Patient in situations is a virtue we all must develop. Read this practical blog on the benefits of being patient and how to develop patience.
We are living in a very impatient world. By the day the world is progressing where inventions are made to make things faster which makes man even more impatient than before.
Listen, God works on a totally different realm. God has a specific time for every event in our life.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven. We need to understand that God is in control over our lives and he has a time for everything concerning us. We just got to wait patiently for God’s timing. If we do not develop the fruit of patience.
Joke: A woman wanted to reach her husband on his mobile phone but discovered that she was out of currency. She instructed her son to pass across an urgent message to daddy who is at work. After the son had called, he got back to mummy to inform her that it was a lady that picked up daddy’s phone the three times he tried reaching dad on the mobile. A lady answering dad’s phone, exclaimed the mother! She waited impatiently for her husband to return home. The moment she sighted him, she gave him a very hard slap, while the man was trying to ask why? She repeated the slap, people from neighborhood who saw this rushed around to know the cause of this. The man asked his son to tell everybody what the lady said to him when he called, son said: “Daddy that lady said the number u are trying to call is busy at the moment, call again later.” Impatience causes us to be worked up in life.
Definition 1: “Patience is self control which does not hastily retaliate against a wrong.”
Proverbs 19:11 A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense.
When someone does you a wrong how do you respond? Fill in with example.
Definition 2: “Patience is the ability to accept delay or disappointment graciously.”
How do you deal with delay? How do you deal with disappointment? For many of us dealing with delay and disappointment is tough but patience is the ability to accept it without getting upset.
Definition 3: “Patience is a powerful attribute that enables a person to remain steadfast under strain & continue pressing on.”
How do you respond to strain? Strain at workplace, at your ministry, house, relationships? When you are strained do you carry on or do you feel like quitting everything? Yet patience is the quality that says “This too, will pass. It is almost over. I can keep going on.”
Definition 4: “Patience is calm endurance based on the certain knowledge that God is in control.”
1. Developing Patience is Difficult.
We all desire to be more patient but as the young Christian found out, it is not easy to develop patience.
a. Patience goes against the basic human nature. We are not born patient. As life passes on we learn to be more patient by life’s experiences.
Illustration: When Sam & Grace were small babies they used to get hungry at midnight, wet their diapers in the night. They never lied in the bed and thought “I know my Mom & Dad are tired. I will just want until a more convenient time to let them know I am hungry or my diaper is wet.” No they used to cry and then scream impatiently and continue to cry until their demands are met.
Children are not very patient. Have you ever traveled with a child? This can be quite an experience.
Illustration: A year back Glory, me and our children drove to Kerala through Mysore. About 100 km after Mysore there is Bandipur Forest and the road goes right through the forest where we can see a lot of animals on the way, just open wild life, a beautiful scene. Right from Bangalore Sam started asking when is the forest coming? We said after 4 hours. After 10 minutes he asked again when are we going to get into the forest? And he kept on asking until I finally had to tell him, “Sam we plan to go through the forest but you ask once more we will to change our route and you will never see the animals.” He kept quite for a long time and asked his mom, “Mom will I still be 6 years old when we reach the forest?”
b. Our carnal nature chokes the fruit of patience.
This is the season of fruits. If you clear observe as some fruits begin to grow they are choked by the trunk of the tree. For example jack-fruit, sometimes it grows in-between 2 stems and it is chocked and the fruit comes in amazing shapes.
Patience is a fruit of the Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience ….. The fruit of the Spirit, Patience can be chocked by our carnal nature like anger, pride, selfishness etc.
Illustration: The other day I was driving and at a signal our car got switched off. The signal became green and I could not start the car. There was a heavy-duty truck behind us which could not move because of our car and the driver started honking. He started showing his hand, signaling, shouting at me to make way but I cannot as my car would not start. Finally thank God it started and the traffic got cleared. But all through the honking I was in fact trying hard to start the car and in between I felt like walking down to the truck driver and asking him to start the car and I will take the job of honking his truck.
How do you respond to people when you lose patience?
Many times we get angry, we shout, because we let our carnal nature choke the fruit of Patience.
Proverbs 14:29 29 A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly.
Proverbs 15:18 18 A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel.
c. We live a fast-paced life.
Our city is never relaxed, everyone is busy. We have fast food, quick print, instant dosa mix, quickly heating food by microwave, instant cameras etc. We got so used to the fast-paced life.
I think we all must take a trip back to the places of our origin, our hometown. There still everything is relaxed, people are more patient. They have a more relaxed lifestyle. They have more time.
2. Patience is a fruit that has to be developed.
Colossians 3:12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
3. Benefits of patience.
a. Patience enables us to inherit God’s promises. Hebrews 6:12 We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised. If we have to inherit the promise of God in our life we need to have faith and patience. Impatient people will quit. Impatience will delay God’s promises in our life.
God promised Abraham and Sarah that he would give them a son. During the course of their journey Sarah grew impatient. She started thinking in her own understanding. Instead of possessing her mind, her mind possessed her actions. She asked her maidservant, Hagar to produce a child for her husband. I believe even Abraham grew impatient here. God’s promise of a son for Abraham was delayed because they acted impatiently. When we are patient we see how God at work in our lives.
Moses’ impatience robbed him of the Promised Land. Our impatience keeps us outside God’s will and promise. It is only through patience that we can inherit God’s promises.
Hebrews 6:13-15 13 When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, 14saying, “I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.” 15 And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised. Abraham finally received the promise after waiting patiently.
Everyone here has great promises to inherit, you have a great destiny; but if you want to inherit those promises in your life you need to be patient.
b. Patience enables us to enjoy the present. Have you seen someone impatient? Just observe them. They cannot enjoy the present because they want to get past the problem and get into the blessings. They just want the next thing to be happy. They say, “I will be happy when I finish my work. I will be at peace when the loan is over. I will be happy when my cooking is over.” Enjoy life now. Enjoy life in the go. Do not be happy after you have finished the job; be happy while you are doing the job. Do not be happy when your house work is over; be happy when your work is on.
The psalmist says in Psalm 118:24 This is the day that the Lord has made and I will rejoice and be glad in it. God wants us to be happy every day of our life and impatience steals our joy.
c. Patience builds strong relationships. Another reason that patience is so important in a person’s life is; many mistakes are made without it. How many times have we in our relationships jumped to conclusions without first hearing the facts? How many times have we opened our mouth and spoken when it would have been better had we been patient and listened?
Illustration: Max Lucado was talking about one time he and his staff had gone to these conferences together. He was really growing impatient and irritated because these two gentlemen in the back kept whispering while he was trying to listen to the conference. All of a sudden the speaker made mention of the two men in the back talking. One man was from somewhere like Romania and the other man was translating everything for him. All of a sudden he had an understanding of the situation and he was much more patient about the talking going on behind him. You see so many times we get irritated and upset and often time act out of our impatience when we don’t have understanding of what is truly going on and often times damage is done.
I believe love, understanding, and patience go hand in hand.
Proverbs 14:29 A patient man has great understanding.
1 Corinthians 13:4 Love is patient.
The Greek word used here for patience is literally “to have a high boiling point.” It means that it is loving to be patient, it is unloving to be impatient.
Joke: A worship leader, a musician, and a believer were out playing golf one day. As they we to ground they got stuck behind a group of golfers who were taking quite a long time and weren’t letting anyone else play through. Feeling irritated, the three of them went to the club manager to complain. The manager told them that the slow golfers were blind. “It takes them more time,” he said. “Please be patient.”
The worship leader was irritated and got angry at the manger. The musician was also got impatient and shouted at the manager. However, the believer wanted to play immediately, he was very impatient. He asked the manager, “Why don’t you make the blind men play at night?”
Most of us are impatient in our relationships. We are quick to point them out and criticize them instead of being patient and dealing with them in a loving way. Lack of patience has damaged many relationships. Patience isn’t an easy thing. But God’s wants us to develop it. True love is patience. Patience with your spouse, with your friends, with those you come in contact with you.
d. Patience qualifies us for heaven. One of the qualities for a child of God to inherit eternal life is patience. I am not underestimating salvation, baptism and holy life. Those are vital values without which we cannot even be called a child of God. Patience is a virtue that we develop as we mature in Christ. You see we are not all that patient when we are baptized. God develops patience in us through the years which also qualifies us for heaven.
Romans 5:3-5 AMP 3Moreover let us exult and triumph in our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance. 4 And endurance develops maturity of character. And character produces joyful and confident hope of eternal salvation. Patience develops the character in us for eternal salvation.
e. Patience enables us to make wise decisions leading to a good testimony.
When we are patient in our lives we avoid foolish mistakes that we usually make. Listen when people watch us making decisions, going through a trial, our patience becomes a good testimony.
4. How to develop patience?
a. Abide in Christ. Understand patience is a fruit of the Spirit and a fruit develops only if the branch is attached to the main stem of the tree.
John 15:5 5“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. We have to abide in Christ to develop spiritual fruit. Have fellowship with Godly people spending time in worship and prayer, read His word, meditate on the word of God, develop long personal prayer times. Slowly we start to produce the fruit of patience.
b. Wisdom and understanding produces patience. Proverbs 19:11 A man’s wisdom gives him patience. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. So, the more we learn about God, the more we mature in Christ, the more we develop patience.
You see, God leads us through different situations in life and develops patience in us because by nature we are not born patient.
Illustration: When Sam & Grace were small babies they used to drink milk and wet their diapers at night. Once the diaper is wet they feel very hungry. Both of them never lied in the bed and thought “I know my Mom & Dad are tired. I will just wait until a more convenient time to let them know I am hungry or that my diaper is wet.” No they used to cry and scream impatiently and continue to cry until their demands are met. Children are not very patient, isn’t it?
So we are not born patient. God works in our lives through different situations and develops the fruit of patience in us. Majority of us are more patient now than we were 5 years ago. See, the more you know Christ, the more wisdom you gain, the more patient you are.
It is only a person who has the wisdom to understand others, understand the situation who can have patience.
Proverbs 19:11 A man’s wisdom gives him patience.
Now, read with me Proverbs 14:29 A patient man has great understanding.
The key to patience is understanding. The more you understand that person, the more patient you are going to be. The more you understand your situation, the more patient you will be about your situation.
c. Trials produce patience.
Illustration: A young Christian went to an older Christian for help. “Will you please pray for me that I may be more patient?” he asked. So they knelt together and the old Christian began to pray. “Lord, send this young man tribulation in the morning, send this young man tribulation in the afternoon, and send this young man tribulation in the evening.” At that point the young Christian blurted out, “No, no I did not ask for tribulation. I wanted you to pray for patience. “Ah,” responded the old Christian, “it’s through tribulation that we learn patience.
James 1:2-3 2My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.
Remember patience is a fruit of the spirit and that fruit can only be developed by the Holy Spirit in us. The Holy Spirit uses our trials to produce patience in us. Every investment of pain and suffering you have endured will cause your patience to perfection.
James 1:4-5 4But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
The Bible says that wisdom and trials produce patience. The Bible also says that if you are enduring tribulation and need wisdom you can ask God for wisdom so that you can develop the fruit of patience.
d. Learn from God.
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
1 Timothy 1:16 I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience.
If anybody understood the patience of God, it was Paul. Paul was a murderer. He helped murder Stephen. Paul believed that God turned him around to show His unlimited patience. Paul is telling us that the starting point of our patience is to remember the patience God has shown us.
e. Slow down. We need to slow down in life. We cannot accomplish everything in one day.
The Lord came up with the idea of Sabbath Day – A day to worship and to rest. Our body and mind needs rest. We need time to sit and think on what God is doing and absorb His teaching. Some of you need to spend more time with your family. Take a break, watch your children play, take a family break and so on. Slow down and you will be a lot more patient in life.