My wife and I are expecting our third child at any moment. She will be induced in less than a week, but the waiting is almost unbearable. The anticipation is growing by each passing moment. In fact, this week during our Sunday evening service, my friends and I were singing a song during worship when I caught my wife standing up abruptly. She was going to ask someone a question that she needed an immediate answer, but that was not my train of thought. I thought something major in this last week of her pregnancy happened. It was funny, to her.
Life is filled with many moments where patience is a requirement. I don’t need to list any because our mind at the mere mention of the words patience or waiting triggers personal memories of our own experiences. Scripture is aware of this need as well and offers encouragement.
“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” -Galatians 6:9
“But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” -Matthew 24:13
“For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promice” -Hebrews 10:36
“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers tempations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing” -James 1:2-4
“And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also; knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience, and experience, hope” -Romans 5:3-4
So, what helps us to gain patience? I want to share briefly about three sources for patience.
Experience develops our patience
Most believers will direct you to Romans 5:3-4 when it comes to learning patience. Faith grows through real-life situations, and so does patience. It is one thing to say that you are a patience person and another thing to demonstrate that quality. The fiery trial that comes up against us is also what tests our faith and patience. We learn what we are made of in the difficult areas of life and it is through those situations that we are strengthened.
Knowledge informs our patience
Galatians 5:22-23 reveals that part of God’s gift of our salvation, part of the fruit of the Spirit, is longsuffering or what we better know as patience. For the Christian, we have the understanding that God is in our corner and is providing grace to endure. Sound theology has a way of bringing us peace because we know the truth and the truth sets us free (John 8:32). The ultimate source of truth is God’s Word, the revelation of God to mankind. Through His Word our faith increases, our patience is encouraged, and our hope is confirmed.
Perspective guides our patience
A final source or at least the culminating of the previous two is perspective. Once we have experienced life and its hardships, the waiting game takes on a new shape. With the help of God’s grace and His Word, we can begin to see the long view of our life. The Proper perspective of what’s valuable in life, our purpose, and our eternal future helps us endure.