The Path of Godly Patience

Sometimes I really hate computers! There are times when I want to accomplish something that seems simple to me which I think will take only 10-15 minutes, but I come up against a technological snag and it takes more like 45 minutes! I can get so easily frustrated and quite impatient with these little annoyances in life.  I wish I had more patience. I’m sure you can relate; we all have irritations and difficulties to face.
It is important when we think about practicing the virtue of patience, that we look at patience not in a narrow way, like repeatedly counting to ten when our patience is tested… as if that is enough to practice true perseverance! But we should look at it with a wider lens.  Notice that the title is not just The Path of Patience but The Path of Godly Patience.  Godly patience is God-centered, not man-centered. As we seek to incorporate patience into our lives it must have as its foundation our trust in God and His inherent righteousness, holiness, and faithfulness. Hebrews 6:11-15 says: “11And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. 13 For when God made the promise to Abraham, since He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, 14saying, “I will surely bless you and I will surely multiply you.” 15And so, having patiently waited, he obtained the promise.”
The author of the Book of Hebrews encouraged his readers in chapter 6 to exercise faith and trust in the Lord. These believers were aware of the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ had conquered the devil and was now enthroned as King of the universe. Yet, they wondered why they did not see all things under His feet as they were struggling through a time of persecution (Heb. 2:8). The reality was that God had sworn that they would in time inherit the promise (Heb. 6:12-18), and that as believers they should be patient. Hebrews sets out patience as the core ingredient of faith strengthened by a secure hope in God.  Just as Jesus learned through suffering (Heb. 2:10), so Christians must patiently endure hardship until they mature and are given kingdom responsibilities (Heb. 12). Abraham is the Bible’s premier example of patient faith. In Hebrews 11, he receives two honorable mentions in, what has been labeled by many, the “Hall of Faith.” “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance . . . By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up His only begotten son” (Heb. 11:8,17). Abraham trusted, hoped, and persevered in his faith even when tested.
In today’s fast-paced life, drive-through lanes, instant products and technological devices have made Americans very impatient.  We are impatient as we face long-term struggles. Think through some trials: a loved one who has a long term illness, a child who is going through a divorce, a family member or friend who walks away from the Lord, someone who loses their job in the midst of other crises in their life, someone who struggles with mental illness or is dragged down by depression or poverty…It is for just these times we are called to exercise our faith in God and His providence by patiently enduring suffering, trials, and disappointments and entrusting ourselves to the LORD.

MOST Merciful Father, You are patient and not willing that anyone should perish; Fill us with Your Spirit and give us the strength to patiently endure the hardships we will face, for the glory of Your Name, through Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.