Psalm 37:7a says “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him…” What is patience? I have three answers. 1) Patience is waiting on something without getting frustrated or giving up. Noah was a very patient man, as he preached 120 years after God told him to build the ark, and he only got seven converts; his wife, three sons, and the sons’ wives. Abraham and Sarah were patient. It wasn’t a perfect wait, since they tried to take matters into their own hands, by having a son, Ishmael, with Hagar. But overall, they didn’t give up, and God blessed them with a son, Isaac, 25 years after he promised this son to them. 2) Patience is remaining calm in the midst of turmoil and uncertainty. Peter was an example of this. On a night when Herod had arrested him, and right after Herod had killed James, Peter felt the control and hand of God, and therefore was patiently able to sleep that night between two soldiers. Acts 12:5-6 says, “Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him. And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison.” And 3) Patience is displaying tolerance, acceptance, and understanding during a time of suffering. Job was a great example of this kind of patience, as he endured patiently through much pain. James 5:11b says, “….Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.” But here’s another question: What is good about patience? Well, number one: Patience will build strength and character. James 1:2-4 says, “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” And number two: God will reward patience. We see that clearly with Paul who suffered and endured so much, by way of persecution. This is what the old apostle said in 2 Timothy 4:6-8, shortly before he died. “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” Then a final question is this: How can we develop patience? I think it’s simple. We can develop patience by getting down on our knees to pray, and by digging deep into God’s Word. God is patient with us, and He has shown us how to be patient. All of us should do all we can to become a people of patience.
Pastor Randall Smith