But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing – James 1:4
I was looking over some notes I had taken on one of Dr. Charles Stanley’s sermons on patience. This sermon was preached at the time when God was working with me to help me to be more patient.
I learnt the following things about patience:
- It is essential to a life of obedience
- It gains the respect of others
- It is a strong form of protection
- It is essential in persevering in prayer
- It is key to your success in life
- It creates a sense of stability in your life
- It enables us to endure suffering
- It is essential to peace, joy and contentment
- It allows us to see God at work
- It is an attribute of God
I have to remember that God is in control and working things out for my good. I have to be willing to wait. Difficulties always drive me to Him because I know that He is the only One who can take care of me.
Dr. Stanley said that the more patient we are the more God can trust us with. God loves us so much that He is protecting us from what He knows is not best for us.
When we pray and ask for something, if it is for us God is working on it. He is arranging the situation, person and putting everything into place.
Right now I am going through a tough situation and it seems that there is no relief in sight. I was beginning to develop a self-defeatist attitude but the Holy Spirit snapped me out of it. Now, I am encouraged to look at difficulties as opportunities of God working in my life to make me more like Jesus, more useful to Him and to others.” When we go through trials, we can in turn around help people who are going to the same thing.
When you are hurting, you want immediate relief. It doesn’t always happen that way. Sometimes you have to wait. In order to develop patience, you have to let go of the need for immediate gratification. I have to calmly accept what God wants to give, when He wants to give it and accepting when I don’t get what I want. I have to be willing to wait for God’s timing and purpose. The greater the blessing God has in store for me, the greater the patience He requires. Dr. Stanley said, “It is better to be married at 45 and be happy than to be married at 25 and miserable for the next.”
I have to remember that patience is developed through trials. Faith and patience are intermingled. When we see how God takes us through difficulties, our faith grows stronger. As our faith grows stronger we become more patient. We know that God will work things out in time.
Dr. Stanley said that patience develops in proportion to my belief that God is in absolute control of my life. I can trust Him and be patient and watch Him work. When we wait on God we acknowledge His lordship and affirm our faith.
Dr. Stanley made a very good point. “You do not become patient by praying for it”. I prayed for patience but it was through difficulties that I developed it. You won’t develop patience if you don’t have reason to be patient. Waiting helps you to exercise patience. Sometimes God puts people in our lives who try our patience. Dealing with these people will help us to learn to be more patient.
Instead of allowing the situation to get the better of me, I will say, “Lord, even though I cannot see the end result I know that something good will come out of this because of You said to me, ‘Be patient and wait on the Lord who only has the best planned for you’”.