We live in a world where we have no time to wait for anything. From fast food restaurants to Express trains, we want everything to happen immediately. The term patience has lost its place in our lives when things don’t happen as we expect. The definition of patience is “the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious.” Sometimes we do wait for things to happen but without being truly patient. We fail to realise that when we don’t have the patience to wait, we won’t get the best God wants to offer us.
There are incidents in the Bible that tell us how the presence or absence of patience can make a sea of difference in our lives. In the old testament, we read about two characters from whom we can learn the virtue of patience. One is of Abraham and the other is of Job. Though both of them walked with God, their varied responses to their situations speak volume about the importance of patience.
Abraham is someone whom we refer to when it comes to faith. God promised Abraham that He will make his descendants multiply on the earth. The Bible says, “Then He brought him outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness” (Genesis 15:5-6).
But when his wife Sarah lost her patience in receiving God’s promise, he heeded his wife’s advice. Abraham took Hagar to bear a child and Ishmael was born to him. Later, God blessed Abraham and Sarah with His promised child Isaac. However, due to the impatience of Sarah, the descendants of Isaac and Ishmael continue to fight against each other even today.
Job is a God-fearing, righteous and blameless man. He had so much of possessions that he was one of the richest men of his time. One day, he lost all his possessions, livestock and even his own children. Despite all that, he didn’t revile but praised God saying, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21).
Then he got boils all over his body and sat on the ashes scraping his body with a potsherd. Seeing him suffer, his wife lost her patience and said, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!” (Job 2:9). But Job didn’t lose his patience and waited for God’s time of restoration. God honoured Job’s patience and restored His health, wealth and gave him seven sons and three daughters. The Bible says, “Now the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning” (Job 42:12).
God never allows us to suffer beyond what we can endure. In due time, He will make a way out of it. The Bible says, “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).
We might have a lot of expectations going into the New year. We expect certain things that didn’t happen last year to happen at least this year. Remember, God shapes us and draws us closer to Him when we wait patiently for His will and time. So, let us not lose our patience looking at our circumstances but wait like Job for God’s time as He alone is able to turn things around. May God help us learn patience this New Year. Wish you all a very Happy New Year in Christ!