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The Gift of Patience

The Gift of Patience
And Acquired Virtue That is Earned

But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31 (NKJV)

I used to think that those people who had patience were just lucky in that they were given "The gift of patience."  I soon learned that wasn't entirely true.  Yes it is true that there are certain people who seem to have this attribute more than others, but it's not always what it looks like.  Some really don't have any more patience than the next person - what they do have is more self-control.

Self-control is the ability to control one's emotions and desires despite what one may feel like doing.  Obviously if we don't like what we're experiencing we will react; it's how we react that is the key.  It usually comes down to what we believe is going to happen to us.  For example, it could be someone persecuting us verbally through slander and we might be inclined to defend ourselves or even become angry at what is being said.  

The reason is, we want to defend ourselves - we want to make sure that we can control the situation, including the outcome if possible.  The problem is that we are not looking at this in the proper light, because God has told us in Scripture, that He will be our defender.

When you lie down, you will not be afraid; Yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet. Do not be afraid of sudden terror, Nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes; For the LORD will be your confidence, And will keep your foot from being caught. Proverbs 3:24-26 (NKJV)

This is why it is important for us to read our Bibles, because it will expose those lies that the enemy is throwing into our heads.  That is why the Psalmist could say with conviction, "Your Word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path" (see Ps. 119:105). God knows that we are being tempted by the enemy to lash out, or to say things that are not edifying, but He is also monitoring the situation to ensure that we're not tempted in a way that is too much for us to handle.  

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. 1Corinthians 10:13 (NKJV)

Patience is defined as the "Capacity for waiting."  And when you think about it, that's what so hard for us to do.  When we go through trials and tribulations, the tests and hardships of life; we are eager to get them over with as fast as possible - but that is not what God wants.  It is through these hard times that we are shaped and transformed - it's where we get our character and our patience.  

We can see this clearly defined in the Book of James.  We're told, "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing" (See James 1:2-4).

So patience isn't really a gift that is given, but more of a virtue that is acquired through life's experiences.  It comes from understanding that each test has its own course to run in God's due time - our part is to be what God has called us to be throughout the test.  We should continue to walk in faith as if we know the outcome is going to be the best possible one.  That's because when we believe that God is in control, we can be confident that He will take care of things in the way that He knows to be best.

I like what Warren Wiersbe said, "When we trust in a Great God, we can quietly wait on His leading and not get upset."

We must always remember, others are watching.  They want to know how much we really believe in God - how much faith we have in His promises to us.  In many ways, this is a greater witness than any words that we could share.  When others see us during difficult times, and we are filled with joy and peace, then they are drawn to what we possess, and they are inclined to want to possess it as well.

Hey Christian, keep your eyes on God and your mind on His Word.  We have been given the Holy Spirit that now resides in our body.  As we listen to His promptings, and we abide in God's Word, we are empowered to be able to do the things that He has asked of us.  Self-control and Patience are listed as fruit of the Spirit and they should be something that every Christian should possess as they continue to imitate a God that is slow to anger (See Joel 2:13).  

STUDY QUESTION: What can we learn from the Scriptures contained within this devotional with regards to "Patience" and God's protection?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Do you tend to lose your patience when you get attacked or fatigued?

APPLICATION: Remember that God is in control; He knows every detail of what you are facing at every moment.  Remember that He has a plan and will guide you through every aspect of what you will encounter.

Father, Thank You for being a God that is slow to anger.  Thank You for Your patience with me and for your graciousness during the times where I have had no patience.  Help me to remember that You are in control when I face those temptations to react in the flesh rather than take every thought captive.  Help me to remember Your Word and the promises contained within it.  In Jesus precious name, amen...

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000