“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him…….” Psalm 37:7(NIV)
One of many difficult lessons for us to learn is patience. We have a tendency, especially nowadays, to want things when we want them, without having to wait. Remember when you were a child and had to wait for Christmas to come or a birthday? Even when we grew older, we still had to be patient. I can remember how difficult it was to have to wait nine months before I could hold my first baby.
But now from the perspective of a senior citizen, I can look back over the years and realize there were times when having to wait turned out to be a blessing. As we grow older we learn we need to listen to God because His plan is better than ours. We learn to be patient and let God’s plan work out on His timing. “For I know what plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11) (NIV)
Paul has good advice in Romans 8:25 (NIV) “But if we hope for what we do not have yet, we wait for it patiently.” Long suffering, forbearance and patience are mentioned so many times in the Scriptures, we are forced to come to the realization that it is a virtue he wants us to learn.
“We pray that ….you will have great endurance and patience…” Colossians 1:11. (NIV),
“……..be patient with everyone…”Thessalonians 5:14 (NIV).
Chapter 5 in James beginning in verse 7 is all about patience.
James 5:7-8 “Be patient, then , brothers, until the Lord’s coming………..Be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.” (NIV)
Even all the way to Revelation in Chapter 14:12 he repeats that we must have “patient endurance.”
We may become impatient because God has not answered a prayer but “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise. He is patient with you,..”(2 Peter 3:9 NIV)
“We know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him…”(Romans 8:28 NIV) in his timing not necessarily ours. So often we have to wait and be patient to see just what God is planning for us.
There are lessons in the Bible that point out how important it is to have patience and “wait on the Lord.” Remember the story of Abraham and Sarah who waited to have a son, Joseph who had to wait through many trials to finally become second in command of Egypt, and with his influence, save the twelve tribes of Israel from famine, Noah who had to be patient waiting for rain to float his ark and Job… “We must have the patience of Job,” we are often advised.
“Patience is a virtue”
(author unknown but commonly attributed to a poem written in 1377 “Piers Plowman”)