Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. James 5:7-8
The Greek words “hupomone” and “makrothumia” which are often translated as perseverance or patience in the New Testament implies cheerful or hopeful endurance, longsuffering, self-restraint before proceeding to action, long in place or time.
The Bible tells us (Romans 5:3-4 and 1 Peter 1:6-9) we are to look at our various trials as opportunities to strengthen our faith and grow more like Jesus. By keeping our focus on God through these seasons of difficulty, we learn perseverance, which leads to maturity. This keeps those feelings of bitterness from growing in our heart.
When I become weary in waiting, it is often because I take my eyes off the Lord and place them on myself and the circumstances surrounding me. That’s when my hope begins to wane and my impatience grows. This is hardly the picture of cheerful or hopeful endurance.
During times of waiting on the Lord, He reveals my impure hidden motives. I’m forced to ask myself hard questions.
Why do I want what I’m asking for?
Is my desire for the thing I wish stronger than my desire for the will of God to be fulfilled?
Do I really trust God?
He asks me to think on all the things I am grateful for, not on what I am lacking. And then, He asks me to trust Him.
I am so grateful that God does not require perfection from me but He does ask that I keep on growing, leaning on the marvelous grace of Jesus. When I realize how impatient I have been, He calms me and says to my heart,
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28 NIV
Broken, I settle down in His arms quiet and teachable.
Learning patience is important because it brings a time of letting go and letting God. Patience brings trust in His perfect timing. It brings faith that even though I can’t see any change, God is working. It takes away worry. God knows every need and His purpose in waiting is to bring more glory out of it all. Ultimately, patience leads to worship.
James 1:2 tells us to “count it all joy when you fall into various trials.” This joy centers on God and His presence in our experience – not on the details of our circumstances.
Patience makes us more like Jesus. It is a sweet Fruit of the Holy Spirit. Pray for it, but try to be patient – patience doesn’t bloom right away!
God desires that we wait on His perfect timing. He understands our weaknesses and longs to comfort us in our trials.
Take a few minutes to read 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 and write a prayer of thanksgiving to the Lord, specifically listing all you are grateful for regarding the trial you are in. Think on these things and give thanks each time you bring one to mind.
Lord, I am thankful for Your perfect timing and know You are with me through all things I face in my life. I praise You for You are worthy of all praise. Teach me to be patient and to wait on You in all things. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.