Mastering Patience

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On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your level of patience? (10 being most patient) Patience may be a virtue, but it does not come naturally.

Check out these quotes on patience;

  • “At the gate of patience, there is no crowding.” Moroccan Proverb
  • “God did not create in a hurry” Finnish Proverb
  • “Haste has no blessing.” Swahili Proverb
  • “Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.” French Proverb
  • “Patience is the companion of wisdom.” St. Augustine

When we are impatient, we say and do things that create tension or cause division and takes us off course from our destination.

In James 5:7-12, the author uses the word patience four times in these 6 verses. If that doesn’t heighten the significance of being patient, I don’t know what will.

The word patient comes from the Greek word makrothuméō, and it means to suffer long as opposed to a quick angry response. It involves exercising understanding and patience towards a person.

Patience reveals the measure of mercy and grace you show others.

In Luke 6:38, Jesus shares a principle that is often tied to money but goes well beyond our finances.

“give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” Luke 6:38

However, generously you give it will be reciprocated. Give patience generously, and the same measure of patience will be shown to you.

A lack of patience is often based on personal preference. Why don’t others behave more like me, think more like me, or be more like me? Out of our impatience frustration grows and gives birth to judgment.

Impatience causes us to be cynical towards people and institutions that steals our joy, peace, and integrity.

James explains that developing patience begins with “establishing our hearts.”         This is a call to discipleship.

This is where the church is to play a vital role in your life, but only to the extent that you engage. If the church is something you just attend but not something you are engaged with, then you are missing the point.

God gave us the local church as a place to grow, give, to serve, to be supported, and to encourage others. Don’t neglect one of God’s best gifts to us, which is meant to complement our salvation.

Waiting together is much more palatable than waiting alone.

Discipleship is not just about reading the bible, but fellowshipping with other believers, serving together, praying together, and living out the scriptures on the daily.

If we are not developing patience or engaged in discipleship, we are predisposed to grumbling.

  • Grumbling about when/if Jesus will return.
  • Grumbling about what others are doing or not doing.
  • Grumbling about anything we don’t agree with or those who disagree with us.

James 5:9 says that when we grumble, we act as judges over others. Human judging lacks grace and is generally based on our bias’. Judging is a sign of impatience, not waiting on God, and a lack of trust in Him to be just.

In life you are going to experience suffering, so paired with patience is the discipline of endurance. The word steadfast (endure) is translated from the Greek word hypomone.

Hypomone: to remain under the weight of the difficulty.

Christians don’t run from difficulties, but by the mercy and grace of God, they endure. Hypomone consists in putting up with things or circumstances.

Some situations in life will never make sense.

 When you encounter those moments, endure it and rely on the peace of God that transcends all understanding. Trust God and endure.

Job had no idea why all that happened was happening to him. His friends tried to make sense of it, and Job even questioned why God allowed these things to happen when he lived a faithful life.

The rain falls on the just and the unjust. Good and bad happen to people with or without faith. Those with faith in God are given strength and the peace of God to endure inexplainable times.

Be committed to personal discipleship. Develop the characteristics of patience and endurance so that in every situation you are enveloped in the peace and joy of your salvation!

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