Patience in Suffering
Are you patient? What would your
friends and neighbors say about you? God's word says, "Be patient,
therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord" (James 5:7)
If the only way to develop patience
is to go through difficulty, we'd probably just as soon skip it! Every day
brings some exasperation-some need, small or great, that forces us to exercise
patience. Patience is just part of the equipment we need if we are going to
cope with life, right? Think through the past few weeks. Who or what has
tested your patience? A teacher who didn't understand you? A friend who annoyed
you? A brother or sister in an obnoxious mood? A parent's expectations that
seemed unreasonable? OK, now which of those situations did you have
any control over? Probably not many. Yes, it's good to try to control those
things you can control, just to simplify your life. But usually, the things
that test our patience are simply out of our control. We just have to live with
them. So, now what?
Paul tells us to be
"strengthened with all power according to [God's] glorious might so that
you may have great endurance and patience" (Colossians 1:11).
Yes, God can actually give us the power to be patient. Let's try to
think of it another way. What if the only thing you ever had to wait
for was God? If the only thing that demanded your patience was someone who
loved you, who ruled the universe, and who always had your best interest at
heart, wouldn't patience come easier?
Sometimes we struggle with patience
because we don't like the circumstances we face. Patience is difficult because
things feel out of control. The timing seems wrong; the wait drags on and
on. And yet, because God is in control, we can be patient.
Because God loves us, we can relax. Because God's wisdom is flawless, we can
wait.The only thing that ever demands our patience is the wise God who loves
us. When we want circumstances to change, we wait for God to change those
circumstances-or help us to change them. Or help us to accept whatever
circumstances we're in. "Be still before the Lord and wait patiently
for him" (Psalm 37:7).
When hardships test our patience,
it is the powerful, loving, wise God who will, in time, lift our burdens-and
give us the patience to wait for better things. "Be strengthened
with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great
endurance and patience."--Colossians 1:11
Posted October 18, 2018