“… The patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.” (Ecclesiastes 7:8)
I mentioned to my wife the subject matter for this week’s blog post and when I did I received the “huh … do you think you’re an expert on that subject?” I had to confess … far from it!
Allow me to establish this point for future reference … in every aspect of our lives … namely, if our heart is not in agreement with the Lord … it really will not matter much what we believe to be true.
This is exactly why the wise man and king, Solomon would pen by inspiration and by personal faith, “Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.” (Proverbs 4:23)
There is a great deal that happens in our lives over which we have little or no control. But what we do have the ability to do is to exercise our “free will” and learn how to control our own self to include our thoughts, words, and actions. See I Corinthians 9:24-27.
The frustrations that present themselves to us … whether it is with other people, with circumstances and situations … and even in just our everyday way of living life can be valuable opportunities to bolster and strengthen our souls and faith. Traffic, deadlines, financial, health, family … all of these and much more bring their own set of issues, don’t they?
Most of us if we are honest are aware there are times when we lose our patience. Not that this behavior is acceptable, but rather our focus is on the disposition that happens perhaps more frequently and it is not a pretty thing to witness or be on the receiving end of. Our reputations when displaying regular outbursts, unkind words and actions is damaged. Our relationships in the home, at work, and yes in the church can be almost irreparably damaged.
Augustine once stated, “Patience is the companion of wisdom.” Can you see where this is going … when stress, pain, fatigue, worry rise up separately or collectively … we need to be more like our Lord! And yes, that is much easier said than done … but necessary in our growth and maturity as God’s people.
Somehow or other, we have allowed our enemy to deceive us on the value and possession of those attributes that characterize the Lord Himself. It’s not ok if we lack one or more of these “fruits of the Spirit”, or the “graces” described in 2 Peter: 1:5-11.
Take a moment and consider the inspired words recorded in Hebrews 10:36.”Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that He has promised.”
When you take a look at the various forms and translations of “patience” it becomes obvious very quickly that it has been God’s desire from the beginning to produce in our lives this rare quality of “patience, endurance” … and the sheer determination to continue … to keep going in His direction by the “light of His word.”
Biblical patience is much more than not talking to the traffic, although it can certainly be a symptom that reflects the need. Biblical patience is better viewed as the courageous perseverance of those who possess it … especially in the face of suffering and hardship of any sort!
I have been giving a great deal of attention in my study recently on the value of obtaining, nurturing, and developing greater patience … with myself, with others, with life, and yes, even with God!
And so, I want to continue this study, Lord willing, in next week’s blog and see the place in God’s big picture of this beautiful and pleasing fruit coming out of a heart that is ruled by God with no room on the throne for anything or anyone else … especially self.
So, I will ask, can you wait for it?
“Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus.” (Romans 15:5)
Bill Fairchild, Jr.