“Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better. We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy.” – Colossians 1:10-11.
Do you consider yourself to be patient? Our daily lives require us to exercise patience, whether the issues we face are small or big. Receiving a bad grade, dealing with a difficult co-worker, experiencing conflict with a friend, or trying to be a peacemaker are all situations that require us to be patient. It is often easier said than done. We cannot control every aspect of our lives. The way others treat us and the situations we find ourselves in are sometimes simply beyond our control, and we have to find ways to cope with them.
What does that mean to us today? Most would agree that Christians should be patient, but does that mean we should be tranquil or peaceful? Or does it mean we should be long-suffering? When we think about patience we have to think about God himself. God isn’t patient because we deserve it. He’s patient because it’s who He is. He doesn’t lose patience with those He loves, since patience is His very nature. 2 Peter 3:9 says, “The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.” A couple verses later, Peter says: “And remember, our Lord’s patience gives people time to be saved…” (2 Peter 3:15).
When we are patient in an impatient world, we show people the One who is patient with us. When was the last time you had to be patient with someone? Our culture isn’t exactly keen on patience. We want what we want now, not later. Being patient with others is hard, especially when that person causes delays or raises our blood pressure.
Read the parable in Matthew 18:21-35. This is a story Jesus told His disciples about two servants who both had debts. The first servant owed his master an exorbitant amount of money; so high a payment that he likely could work his entire life and never fully make the payment. He asked his master to be patient with him, and the master, being good and forgiving, forgave the servant of the entire amount. Can you imagine how the servant must have felt? Instead of relieved and grateful, He went to his friend and asked for the friend to repay his (very small) debt. The story highlights the contrast of the two responses and makes clear how God intends for us to respond to His great patience.
If you want patience then ask God for it. Because when we’re patient, we’re more like Him. Romans 12:12 says, “Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.” In life, we will face trials. However, as believers, we can find hope in knowing that we have a loving God who is in control of our lives. When we put our trust in His perfect plan rather than our own, we do not need to feel anxious, worried or impatient.
- In your relationships, are you patient?
- Pray and ask God for patience in all your dealings this week.