I Corinthians 13:1-3 tells us the value of love is "that without love, we are a zero".
Verses 8-13 tell us the victory of love is "love never fails".
Verses 4-7 tell us the virtues of love and it lists first, "Patience and Kindness".
I always counsel couples before I marry them.
They seem so much in love and are patient and kind.
If they are not careful, they will love less and less....
and the problem may be less patience and kindness!
I would imagine that if couples were asked,
"What do you need most from each other, for a successful marriage?"
Patience would be close to the top of their list.
We want God to be patient with us...
and His strength through us can help us be patient with others.
I heard of a pin that has letters that stand for:
"Please be patient with me, God is not through with me yet".
After birth, the most important thing is growth.
The old statement, "I want patience and I want it NOW" does not work!
It takes God....and time!
There are many ways to learn patience and we may not like some of them.
I remember when I broke my ankle while in the Army.
It was slow in healing and I had to spend 75 days in the hospital.
I wondered 'why'?
Years later, as a pastor visiting in hospitals, I was better prepared to....
bring encouragement and patience to those with whom I visited.
Here are some Scriptures that can help us to learn patience:
Eccl. 7:8: "Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit."
Luke 21:19: "By your patience, possess your souls (the spiritual)".
Romans 12:12: "Rejoicing in hope: patient in trouble, continue instant in prayer."
Titus 2:2: "As we age, let us be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in love and do all with patience."
Hebrews 10:36: "For you have need of patience and perseverance that, after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise".
James 1:4: "Allow patience to have her perfect work that you may be perfect and complete, wanting nothing."
James 5:8: "Be patient for the coming of the Lord draws near."
(With the world situation right now, who would deny this?)
Waiting is hard for us humans to do, but the Bible is full of it's use!
It would be good if you would look up the use of the word 'wait' in your Concordance.
My favorite Scripture in the Old Testament is Psalms 37 as it is a Guide for
'How to be patient'.
1) Verse 1: "QUIT FRETTING AND QUIT WORRYING".
These are 2 negatives that never bring about positive growth and Christ-likeness.
After 50 years of full time ministries, I have had to slow down due to vocal chord cancer, 2 strokes and 2 stints in my arteries.
I'm very thankful for the opportunities we've had in the past....
and I try to stay positive concerning the future.
I have to 'work at that' (as anyone who has ever had a stroke would understand)
as fear can creep in.
God graciously opened up this website ministry with help from our daughters, Jane and Kristin, and La Moyne.
Actually, fretting and worrying is like a rocking chair....
it give you something to do, but gets you nowhere!
Worry crucifies 'today between 2 thieves, yesterday and tomorrow'.
2) Verse 3: "TRUST IN THE LORD":
The object of your faith MUST be God Who reveals Himself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
If your trust is in anyone or anywhere else, you are in trouble....
especially in these end times!
3) Verse 4: "DELIGHT YOURSELF IN THE LORD":
'Where' and 'what' is your delight?
Your chief delight MUST be vertical before you can delight and live a patient life in the horizontal.
It's not so much that we take the bad in place of the good...
but the good in place of the best!
4) Verse 5: "COMMIT YOUR WAYS UNTO THE LORD":
Jesus is the way for your ways! Our commitment MUST be to our Creator....
and not to things.
Things can make good servants, but terrible masters!
Settle WHO is in charge of your life, for you are too small to be in charge!
Americans are too impatient these days because of the philosophy
'I know what I want and I want it NOW!'
The height of frustration is:
a bullfrog on a freeway with his hopper out of whack.....until....
you get to a human with his 'want-er' out of whack.
So many things that people 'want' don't satisfy for very long.
5) Verse 7: "REST IN THE LORD AND WAIT PATIENTLY FOR HIM":
Catherine Marshall calls this, 'The Prayer of Relinquishment' whereby you let all of your weight (concerns) down on the Lord. He's big enough to handle ANYTHING, you know!
A farmer had a weather vane on his barn with 'God is Love' on it.
When friends asked him 'why', he replied, "It is to remind me that.....
no matter which way the wind blows, God is love!"
The rest of Psalm 37 deals with 'steps to be taken by a good person'. (Verse 23)
One of the big things to realize is that patience is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Galatians 5:22 lists these:
Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Gentleness, Goodness, Faith and Meekness.
These are 'gifts' from a Gracious God provided through the Cross and in the Power of the Holy Spirit.
We need to accept these gifts and use them in our lives and for God's glory.
(I Cor. 10:13 and vs. 31)
We've all heard someone say that 'he/she has the patience of Job'.
Job had his 'revelation of God'... and 'reasons for living'.... in spite of losing everything.
Really, he did not lose everything for he had great faith in God...
Who saw him through to the end.
If you would like to study Job's patience further, read the following Scriptures:
Job 1:20-23: He worshipped and he blessed the name of God and in it all, he did not sin.
Job 5: 8-9: Job committed it all to God's cause.
Job 13: 15-16: "No matter what happens, I will still serve the Lord"
Job 19: 25: "I know that my Redeemer lives and He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth".
Job 42: He concluded his life by faith (commitment) to God whom he had served patiently.
Recently, there was a column in our newspaper entitled, "Got A Minute...Probably Not"
It said, "Patience is a virtue and a gift from God. People don't have it 'naturally'.
An Associated Press poll has found an impatient nation.
It is a nation that gets 'antsy' after 5 minutes on hold on the phone...
and 15 minutes max in a line like at a grocery store.
In short, Americans want it ALL and NOW....or awfully close to it.
It really takes grace to wait.
If you ask the average person, 'Do you feel more time-poor or money poor....
most would say 'time-poor'."
Our most worthy example of patience is God Himself and His Son, Jesus Christ.
It is always a great experience to recognize the Love of God and
to experience His limitless mercy and patience.
For example: His forgiveness, when asked, 'How often should we forgive....seven times?'
Jesus replied, "Seventy times seven" (Matt. 18:21-22)
God has patience toward us.....and we should have patience toward others!
For example: The Golden Rule in Matthew 7:12
Please allow annoying things help you to make your patience grow.
Also, humor and laughter may help....as many times,
things are just not as important as we make them.
Remember that it is not a sin to be patient with yourself.
James 5:11: "Behold we count them happy (content) who patiently endure".
Make it a prayer to God,
"I want patience, but I will be patient, for I know You will respond."
Claim this Promise in Psalms 40:1:
"I waited patiently for the Lord and He inclined unto me and heard my cry!"
One of the best way to be a witness for our Lord, is through patience!
'Let Others See Jesus in You" by B.B. McKinney
"Your life's a book before their eyes
They're reading it through and through.
Say, does it point them to the skies
Do others see Jesus in you?
Let others see Jesus in you
Let others see Jesus in you,
Keep telling the story, be faithful and true,
Let others see Jesus in you."
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Dearest Travis, Thank you for this wonderful Article of encouragement. Patients is one thing I at times so stuggle with in my job and need so much in it as you well know. I Corinthians 13 Was one of Tony's and mine favorite chapters.And I have tryed to live by. I love reading your articles as I love you and La Moyne as well. you both have always been someone I have looked up to . Love you much Laurie La Moyne
Dear Travis thank you so much for this much needed article. Patients is something that we all need, but don't want to wait for it. (smile) Thank you so much for sharing this. Blessings, Sharon