Patience is Rooted in Faith

“Have patience, have patience, don’t be in such a hurry…”

I sang that song when I was a kid. It extols patience as a virtue that we should pursue. It is, after all, one of the fruits of the Spirit – and who couldn’t do with a little bit more of any of those? But patience is easier exhorted than practiced; easier extolled than embodied. Especially right now.

We live in a Twitter world. Instantaneous information. Quick gratification. Faster food. Microwave relationships. Multi-tasking tasking. Patience is bucking the entire culture around us.

I suppose that we might just decide to be patient; to will ourselves past our frustration. But I think we all know that won’t last. You decide to be patient, and you know what? It doesn’t happen fast enough. So you find yourself frustrated at how long it’s taking you to be patient.

But patience, like any of these other fruits of the Spirit, is rooted in faith. Think of it this way – what does a person of true patience communicate to those around them about what they believe?

– They communicate a belief in a sovereign God who is readily involved in even the most mundane areas of life.

– They communicate a trust that this God is orchestrating events for their good, even when those events seem haphazard and chaotic.

– They communicate an appropriate view of themselves, that their agenda and schedule is actually not the most important thing in the universe.

– They communicate an openness to divine interruption, believing that they might join God in some unexpected way for some unexpected work on behalf of the gospel.

– And finally, they communicate that they believe in the enduring patience of God, who instead of being frustrated with us, continues to love us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies.

For me today, the exhortation is not just “be patient.” It’s “believe.”

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