It’s Hard to Be Patient!

The second reading for this week (James 5:7-10) exhorts us to be patient in waiting for the coming of the Lord. James urges us to look at the example of farmers who must wait for the fruit of the earth. This is a good example. Some things, such as the growing of food, or a mother waiting for her child to be born, simply cannot be rushed. This does not negate the fact that it is hard to be patient. It is a lifelong challenge and God does provide us with many opportunities to practice it.

This time of year is especially hard on a child’s patience. I remember being a child. Advent moved at a snail’s pace. The lighting of that pink candle on the third week meant so much. We were getting close. Christmas was coming! As an adult, the opposite is often true. Advent passes by in a blur of activity and the lighting of the pink candle is more likely to induce panic than joy. Christmas is right around the corner. There is so much left to do!

Parenting, on the other hand, is a daily lesson in patience. Looking back, children grow up so quickly. Where did all those years go? Most days, however, dealing with the struggles and crises of the moment, it seems as if progress is being made ever so slowly. We want our children to be out of whatever difficult phase they are going through, even if we know that it is a learning experience for them and for us. Growing up takes place one small step at a time. Being a good parent means being patient with both our children and ourselves.

It takes patience to pray. We live in a world filled with instant gratification. We can watch what we want when we want. We can access any information we need to know at the touch of a button. We can talk to friends via email or text message all the time. We take this instant world for granted, and we sometimes carry that over into our relationship with God. “Dear God, these are my problems and I would like them fixed right now. Thank you. Amen.”

And how does God respond? “Yes, I hear you and I know your needs, but it will take some time to get everything sorted out. There are lessons here that you need to learn. There is a reason for it all. I have plans for you that you can’t even imagine.” All of which means that we are going to spend some quality time waiting. Like the plants growing or the child forming in the womb, we are developing and changing and growing. It’s a process. We need to be patient with God and with ourselves, even when it is very hard.

By the same token, we need to have patience with our fellow brothers and sisters in the trenches. Going back to that letter of James, he tells us, “Do not complain, brothers and sisters, about one another, that you may not be judged.” It can be so easy to see the faults in other people. If only she would do a, b, and c, her problems would all be solved. It is so simple. Why can’t she see it? That would be because she needs to grow, too, and she is traveling her own difficult road. None of us is perfect. We are all merely travelers on the journey, waiting for that second coming of the Lord when everything will be made right.

Amid this busy Advent season, may we take the time to pray for patience with God, ourselves, our children, and all we come in contact with.

Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur
http://spiritualwomanthoughts.blogspot.com

Love Bears All Things

Love is patient.  Patience is the ability or willingness to bear things. What kind of things do we have bear? We bear lots of things, like hardships,  temptations, wrongs done against, suffering, trials, physical or financial problems, and many other things.

Bearing hardships is difficult.  But it helps to remember God uses all things for good of those who love Him and are called according to His purposes (Romans8:28).  If you are steadfast is following God, even when there are hard times God will use it for good some way.  We might not know how, but God is faithful and will carry it out for His good purposes in your
life.

Bearing temptations is challenging too.  It helps to know the source of our temptations.  The Bible tells us we have three sources of our temptations:  (1) Satan, (2) the world, and (3) our selves.  As God is not the author of temptation, we can rest in His guidance.  God always makes a way out so we are able to bear it.  No one is ever tempted beyond what they can handle (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Bearing the wrongs done against us is hard.  It’s difficult to be patient when things are not going our way.  It’s helpful to remember our
way is not important, but God’s way is.  Ask yourself whether this current slight against you is would still be remembered 100 years from now. It probably wouldn’t be, so don’t waste anytime harboring bitter feelings over it. Jesus taught the disciples to forgive others 70 times 7, as if to say we should always forgive.  Bearing the wrongs through forgiveness is what love does.

Lord Jesus, thank you for bearing with our weaknesses.  Thank you for your Spirit to enable us to bear all things as you do.  In your name we pray, Amen.

© ThinkOnIt Bible Ministries Inc. Written by Elizabeth Marks.

Patience: Willing to Bear

Love bears all things.  Love is patient.  Patience is the ability or willingness to bear things.  What kind of things do we have bear?  We bear lots of things, like hardships, temptations, wrongs done against, suffering, trials, physical or financial problems, and many other things. 

 

Bearing hardships is difficult.  But it helps to remember God uses all things for good of those who love Him and are called according to His purposes (Romans 8:28).  If you are steadfast is following God, even when there are hard times God will use it for good some way.  We might not know how, but God is faithful and will carry it out for His good purposes in your life. 

 

Bearing temptations is challenging too.  It helps to know the source of our temptations.  The Bible tells us we have three sources of our temptations:  (1) Satan, (2) the world, and (3) our selves.  As God is not the author of temptation, we can rest in His guidance.  God always makes a way out so we are able to bear it.  No one is ever tempted beyond what they can handle (1 Corinthians 10:13). 

 

Bearing the wrongs done against us is hard.  It’s difficult to be patient when things are not going our way.  It’s helpful to remember it’s our way is not important, but God’s way is.  Ask yourself whether this current slight against you is would still be remembered 100 years from now.  It probably wouldn’t be, so don’t waste any time harboring bitter feelings over it.  Jesus taught the disciples to forgive others 70 times 7, as if to say we should always forgive.  Bearing the wrongs through forgiveness is what love does. 

 

Lord Jesus, thank you for bearing with our weaknesses.  Thank you for your Spirit to enable us to bear all things as you do.  In your name we pray, Amen.

 

© Elizabeth Marks, author of ThinkOnIt Devotions and has a heart for encouraging others with God’s Word.  For more devotions, bible studies and a recommended book store, visit http://www.ThinkOnItDevotions.com today.

Patience: Suffer without Complaining

Who would have thought having patience means to suffer without complaining?  Think about this.  We can suffer a number of ways.   We suffer the loss of time while we wait in lines.    We suffer emotional pain as we recount al the wrongs done against us.  We suffer relational pains as we focus on all the ways our needs are not meet.  We suffer from physical pain either from our own doing or not.

 

But patience is not just suffering.  No, it is to experience pain or trials while staying calm and not complaining.  Before I gave my life to Christ, I was overcome by my physical pain. I was not a good role model for patience during my gallbladder ordeal.  The surgery typically takes 45 minutes, but mine took 5 ½ hours!  My defective gallbladder had made a tremendous mess in my intestines.  My recovery was not pleasant.  I allowed my pain to turn me into the worst patient.  As a result, I was treating everyone around me terribly.  I was so self-absorbed I couldn’t accept anyone’s care for me.  I just wanted out of the hospital.  However, none of those reasons are good enough excuse for my poor behavior.    

 

Why is finding a patient person is hard to come by?  It could be because having patience is difficult.  Most people give in to grumpiness or harsh behavior before letting patience have its good work.  Personally, I don’t think one can be patient without the Holy Spirit’s help.  One of the fruits of the Spirit is patience.  Therefore, if we walk in the Spirit, the fruit of the Spirit will be more and more evident in our lives.

 

It’s sad to witness someone in such pain they loose their sense of right and wrong.  Pain has a way of bringing out the worst in people, if we let it.  But as believers in Jesus Christ, we have the power of the Holy Spirit within us.  This power enables us to walk in the spirit.  In doing so, we reap the fruit of self-control (Galatians 5:23). 

 

What pain or trial are you experiencing?  Are you practicing patience during your current situation?  Tap into the Holy Spirit and allow Him to lead you through this circumstance.  When you do you will experience peace beyond your wildest expectations.

 

Lord Jesus, thank you for the gift of your Spirit enabling us to be patient during our circumstances.  Help us to suffer without complaining so you receive the glory you deserve.  In your name we pray, Amen.

 

© Elizabeth Marks, author of ThinkOnIt Devotions and has a heart for encouraging others with God’s Word.  For more devotions, bible studies and a recommended book store, visit http://www.ThinkOnItDevotions.com today.

 

Patience: Not Hasty or Hurried

Another meaning for patience is not to be hasty, impetuous or hurried.  How many times have you been in a big hurry?  Did you ever think being hurried meant you were not being patient? 

 

For me, one of my struggles is the morning routine of getting the kids ready for school.  No matter how early I wake them up, we never seem to leave the house on time.  My default response is to get flustered and hurry my kids along.  As I studied the meaning of patience I discovered my behavior is not what I want to teach my kids. 

 

Every time the feeling of hurriedness appears, it’s an opportunity to pray to our gracious Father in heaven.  Pray something like:

 

Lord, your word tells us patience is a fruit of the spirit.  If I’m not patient right now, I must not be walking by your Spirit.  Lord, I give you this moment and ask you to fill me with your Spirit.  Enable me to stay calm as we get ready this morning.  In Jesus’ name Amen.

 

© Elizabeth Marks, author of ThinkOnIt Devotions and has a heart for encouraging others with God’s Word.  For more devotions, bible studies and a recommended book store, visit http://www.ThinkOnItDevotions.com today.