-By Lorato ||
Today, we live in a world where everything happens almost instantly. Many people no longer wait long periods of time to get things done. For instance, we have access to the internet making communication very easy compared to written letters that would often take days before they arrive.
Patience: A Priceless Virtue
We often mindlessly say ‘patience is a virtue,’ without really pausing to ponder on what it truly means. Patience is the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious. How many of us often tolerate delay calmly while waiting on a queue, in traffic, waiting for an answer to prayer or just dealing with difficult people? Patience is indeed a virtue as the word of God says ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.’ Gal 5:22-23 ESV.
God: True Example of Perfect Patience
In John 10:30, Jesus said, “I and the Father are one” (ESV). Being fully man and fully God, Jesus taught us the true mark of perfect patience and how we ought to be in our daily lives. Jesus was patient with everyone He came in contact with: His disciples, enemies and with Jewish authorities. This tells me that patience isan important attribute of God the Father.
In the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve fell, we see the perfect patience of God manifested in how He deals with their rebellion. Yes, they were casted out of the presence of God, but God in his patience clothed them to cover their nakedness and promised them a Son who will crush the head of the serpent (Genesis 3:15).
In the book of Exodus, we see the Israelites, God’s chosen people,always wandering off to worshipping idols and blatantly disobeying God. However, God tirelessly redeemed them each time they would find themselves in a ditch. He is a patient God and we see it many times with different people in the old testament.
Even today, God is still patient with us. In his patience Hegives us ample opportunities to always return to him each time we have sinned against Him; and to unbelievers, He is giving them time to repent before He returns.
How do we develop this virtue?
- For today’s generation, we often are so impatient even when it comes to learning patience, we want a quick fix or magic dust that we can sprinkle and ‘voila! We are patient!!’. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works.
- Patience is a fruit of the Holy Spirit and potentially found in all of us that are believers. It’s the work of the Holy Spirit that produces this virtue. Our responsibilities are:
- Cooperate with the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22).
- Be thankful and rejoice, knowing, that the trials of our faith produces patience (James 1:2-3)
- Imitate Jesus Christ and Learn from His patience and that of the saints ahead of us, setting our eyes on the glory ahead (Hebrews 12:1-3).