Continuing to expound on the Peace, Patience, and Presence post earlier this week, this post will expound on patience.
The definition for patience is “calm endurance of hardship, provocation, pain, delay, etc.”. This definition was found in the Reader’s Digest Oxford Complete Wordfinder. However, the definition I retrieved from the NLT Dictionary states that patience is “bearing pains or trials calmly or without complaint; steadfast despite opposition, difficulty, or adversity; not hasty or impetuous.” This is a description of godly patience.
That said, I would venture to say that being patient is not just about that you wait but how you wait. I used to think that because I understood the concept of waiting, apparently things were out of my control-otherwise no need to be patient-that I had godly patience. Not. I have since learned and accepted it is how I wait. Being patient or waiting is a necessity when you have no choice. However, not complaining, brooding, embracing emotions of anger, disappointment, etc. is godly patience. This is a description of how you wait.
Romans 2:4 – “Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you?” God gives us a real example of patience. He is giving us time to choose Him, to change our ways. God does not wish that anyone perish. We have to be humbled by God’s patience for us.
Another verse that speaks to how we wait is Romans 12:12 – “Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep praying.” When in this posture, it is evidence of trusting God; knowing that He has everything under control. Not only that, we have patience with those who abuse us and misuse us. We know that vengeance belongs to the Lord. We don’t need to avenge ourselves. I believe the challenge with this perspective is that we want things handled right now. Or, not trusting that God will handle things and the people who hurt us will get away.
In light of the Scripture that we are to imitate God in everything we do because we are His dear children, we are to love. Love is patient.