Isaiah 64:4 states, “Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.” That’s a compelling verse. It gives an answer to this question; do you want God to work for you? Of course you do. We all do. Then be patient, because the work that God does in our life takes a long time. Change is a process not an event.
The dictionary definition of patience is the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset. What then, is the opposite of patience. Well, of course, it’s impatience. Impatience equals agitation, indifference, fear, resistance and frustration.
For the Christian, patience is one of the most valuable virtues of life, and is made possible in increasing measure by the Holy Spirit. Patience is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Ecclesiastes points out that the “end of a matter is better than its beginning…”, that statement refers to the process that’s involved in our sanctification. We end up quite different than we began – thank God!
I am not a patient person. I have fought patience all my life. I’ve told on myself before concerning how pitifully impatient I was as a boy when it came to building models. I loved getting models as gifts, and I loved putting them together. But I hated what I call the “staged delays”. Staged delays were necessary in order for the glue to completely dry with certain parts before you could add more parts. I didn’t want to wait, I wanted to finish it now! So, frustrated and impatient, I would hurry the process, not allowing the glue to totally dry time before moving on. The end result was never good!
The Apostles James urges Christians to be patient, and “see how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth… until it receives the early and the late rains.” Soren Kierkegaard said, regarding patience, “… one cannot reap immediately where one has sown.” Whenever I think of patience I think of farming. Everything a farmer does requires patience. Farmers have to depend on God in so many ways – the weather, the rain and the sun – the seasons of life.
One of the difficulties of the fast-paced technology driven age we live in, is that we’ve lost our sense of seasons. We have become impervious to the natural rhythm of life. As a result, we become out of balance. We get frustrated when things aren’t resolved, or solved or completed quickly. And, our frustration leads to fear and distrust.
That’s why Paul implores us to not be anxious about anything, but instead, in every situation, present your requests to God. Then relax, be patient, and trust Him to give you what you need exactly when you need it.
“Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.” Psalm 27:14