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Things of the heart take time
The enemy wants to preoccupy us with our personal faults and failures. But walking by faith is not about doing everything right. It’s about whether or not we are in a relationship with God so that we can learn righteousness from Him. Shame does not have to be a part of our lives; God wants to wipe it away. But we have to settle this one thing in our hearts; we cannot figure righteousness out in our heads; it is something that God has to grow in us. It takes time, and we need to learn how to develop patience for ourselves in the journey.
I’ve had times where I was struggling with personal problems. I knew what the issue was, I knew what I was supposed to do, I knew the solution, but my heart still needed a change to get to that place. I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling this way. It’s at those times that we need God to meet us and do the heart change as a work of His Holy Spirit. It comes through a relationship with Him, not by your own strength or understanding.
Why is patience important?
This brings me to my topic, which is how to develop patience. As believers, there is a way that we are called to conduct ourselves through the journey regardless of circumstances. Patience is a learned behavior. We learn it through trial and error. We all come to a point where we’ve exhausted all of our own ways and have to choose to either be patient and trust God, or get worn out in continually trying to figure it out.
What is the meaning of patience?
Patience differs from longsuffering. Longsuffering is endurance towards others in their humanness; it is the application of God’s grace and mercy towards others. Patience, however, is endurance through life circumstances. It applies to situations we find ourselves in that we cannot control, which may include people.
The definition of endurance from the original Greek is to remain steadfast under trials and temptations. We need God to help us work through our struggles and not try to escape temptation or get ourselves off of the burner. It’s not looking for the easy way out or trying to find comfort in temporal things. We need to recognize that trials and temptations work to refine us; they are the refining fire that will work to purify us and strengthen us in the Spirit. In seeking comfort and instant relief, we may be fighting against what God is trying to work in our lives, and we may hinder His work. Patience is endurance rather than falling into despondence and hopelessness. Endurance means you’re still moving forward; you’re still believing, you’re holding firm to your faith.
The Bible says that faith without works is dead. We might find ourselves striving and performing to make something happen in faith. Yet patience is an active choice to wait on God’s answer in His timing. It takes a significant amount of faith to stand strong and weather the storm while we are waiting. It’s also a choice to surrender control to God and not feel like we need to fix every problem on our own.
What does the Bible say about patience?
Without patience, we will lack two crucial things in our lives. The first thing is fruit, both in the physical and spiritual dimensions. The physical dimension includes things like our health, our financial situation, or perhaps our work or living situations. Without patience, those things will be challenged or lacking in areas. We may feel driven to make hasty and unwise decisions and thereby experience unnecessary challenges. Spiritually speaking, I’m talking about spiritual fruit like love, joy, and peace – all the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit.
Luke 8:15 refers to Jesus’ parable of the sower and the seeds:
But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep [it], and bring forth fruit with patience. Luke 8:15 KJV
How to grow the fruit of patience
The fruit of the spirit doesn’t just spring up in your life because you planted the seed. It grows through those day-by-day decisions that you make to be led by the Spirit of God rather than following your own ways.
If you’ve ever planted a seed, you’re a person of faith. You dared to believe that if you put it in some soil, and watered it, and gave it sunlight and time, it’d grow into a plant that would eventually bear fruit. The fruit of the Spirit grows in the same way. It starts with a seed of faith that needs to be nurtured and grown by the Holy Spirit’s leading, relationship with Father God, and by being rooted in the truth found in the Word of God. Yet even with all of these ingredients, it still requires a great amount of patience with ourselves, God, and others to grow and mature good fruit.
Sometimes we get impatient with our spiritual journey and walk with God. We pray once and expect God to do something, but we don’t endure with Him through the process of growing and maturing to be prepared to obtain the thing we’ve asked for.
Hope and Patience
The second thing we’ll lack in our lives without growing patience is hope. Romans 8:24-25 says:
For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? 25 But if we hope for that we see not, [then] do we with patience wait for [it]. Romans 8:24-25 KJV
Another scripture that draws a close link between patience and hope is 1 Thessalonians 1:3:
Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father… 1 Thessalonians 1:3 KJV
We need to cling to hope, not in people, things, or circumstances, but hope that our Almighty God will fulfill His promises in our lives and our generation. Without hope, we cannot endure in faith because faith is the substance of things hoped for. Hope is something that the enemy will try to steal from us and replace with hopelessness, thereby overthrowing our patience and our faith.
Why do we need patience?
There is something in our hearts, and our lives that only patience can form. No amount of intellect, Bible knowledge, spiritual warfare, or even spiritual gifts can accomplish it. With patience, God can do a miracle in our hearts and bring peace and contentment regardless of circumstances.
James 1:4 says:
But let patience have [her] perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. James 1:4 KJV
God's patience towards us
We have to learn to think, speak, and act like God, and to walk in His ways. God has long patience for us too. Do you think He likes what He sees in the Earth? He loves you, He’s pleased with His people and what He made in creation, but God is not pleased with how man is abusing His creation and each other. However, His patience withholds His hand for a time until more precious fruit, in this case, souls, can be brought forth and redeemed.
There was a time that not one of us would have made it had it not been for His patience and longsuffering towards us. I’m so grateful for His patience towards us. Now we need to learn how to join God in His patience. When we join the Lord in His patience for the Earth, we are learning His righteousness. That is where the fruit will spring from.
Things that will distract you from your patience
Don’t get so distracted with the things that are going on in your lives and the world that you lose sight of God’s faithfulness and patience. This is a journey of establishing your heart with God. We are learning how to become fixed on Him, to be solid pillars of righteousness. This takes time. We don’t establish our hearts in God just because we decide to one day, or just because we were born again; it’s a journey of learning patience. In the times to come, patience is going to be very important for us.
James 5:8 says:
Be ye also patient; establish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. James 5:8 KJV
Hold onto faith that the Lord is coming to establish His Kingdom. What you see right now is not the end. Take the time to establish your heart.
Keep your eyes on God, not others.
Don’t let other people’s stuff knock you off course. Keep your eyes on God. If you don’t know what to do with someone in a particular situation, ask Him to help you and teach you what to do. Don’t lose your patience over another person’s faults and failures. There will be many naysayers and mockers who say, “Where is your God?” and “Why do you need Him?” We need to be trained and established in God’s Word and His truth. We need to be firmly rooted and grounded by His truth in our hearts so that we will not be thrown off course. That way, we can say, “I am patiently waiting on Him, and you should too.”
James 5:9 says:
Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door. James 5:9 KJV
The reward of patience
Sometimes patience may feel like you’re just plodding along. Getting to know God, learning righteousness, establishing your heart, letting God change your heart day by day by day may seem mundane. Other times it may be more exciting. Nevertheless, throughout the journey, patience is a consistent, patient continuance. The reward is eternal life.
Settle this in your heart:
The enemy cannot stop what God will do in your life or this planet. We’re going to enjoy the benefits of that as we learn to wait patiently and keep our confidence in the fact that His plans and purposes cannot be thwarted.
This scripture in Jude gives solid instruction for how we can keep our faith and our patience through any circumstance:
But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, 21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. 22 And of some have compassion, making a difference: 23 And others save with fear, pulling [them] out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. 24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present [you] faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, 25 To the only wise God our Saviour, [be] glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen. Jude 1:20-25 KJV
God will keep you from falling
It will be challenging to be patient unless we keep ourselves in the love of God. Trust your Father; He can keep you from falling and present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy. He is the only wise God; only He knows the beginning and end. He is the only one who knows everything. And you get the privilege of getting to know Him through the course of your life. As you draw closer to Him in a relationship, as you grow in patience with Him, He will teach you His wisdom. He will be faithful to complete the good work that He has started in your heart.
Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform [it] until the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6 KJV
This is my prayer for you:
Father, I know that each person reading this has to endure different things, trials, and tribulations. Father, I pray that in the establishing of their hearts, you give them peace and joy in the endurance as they learn to keep themselves in your love, waiting patiently for you. Establish their hearts in your truth, so they will not be moved by anything; not by media, news, or by friends or family. Let them only be moved by the Word of God and your Holy Spirit concerning what you are doing in this planet.
In their individual lives, help them stay focused so that they look not to the right hand or the left. Help them not be distracted or remain angry because of the failures of others. Show them your love and your forgiveness for people so that they can have the same compassion for others that you have for them.
Help them to hold out for something better – for your more excellent way. Help them to be patient until the coming of our precious Lord, Jesus Christ. Thank you for creating us and working with us to establish us and calling us in this generation.
Father, please overthrow any roots of pride that would keep your people from humbly coming to you for help and wisdom. Teach them to come to you as little children, with hope and expectation that your way is perfect and that you will faithfully lead them and not fail them. Keep them from distraction. Keep their focus on the things that matter to you. We want it to matter to us too.
Thank you for your patience towards us as we continue to learn and grow in all things. We love you, Father God, and we love you, Lord Jesus. We look forward to the day that we will be with you and see your glory in your Heavenly Kingdom.
In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.
|For this cause we also, since the day we heard [it], do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.
Colossians 1:9-12 KJV
Watch David’s full exhortation on how to grow the fruit of patience here:
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Would you like to read more articles related to this topic?
- What Does the Bible Say About Trusting in God? – By David Levitt
- What Does the Bible Say About Trials and Temptations? – By Pastor Adrienne Shales
- Resisting Evil is Good Training – By Pastor Donna Wright
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