A patient person is, most basically, someone who is able to calmly wait for something to happen. In our fast-paced, high-tech world, we find it hard to slow down and be patient. We find ourselves waiting in traffic, at stoplights, in the doctor's office, in check-out lines, at airports, and in many other situations. Most of us would probably admit that we could do a better job of keeping our priorities in proper perspective and in being more patient in our daily lives. This includes being more patient with others so that we can practice self-restraint and show compassion. The anxiety that can be caused by a lack of patience is not good for us!
In the Bible, the important quality of patience is elevated to the spiritual level as it relates to our salvation. God wants us to be calm and patient. In Psalm 37:7, David tells us to "Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him." Patience is mentioned frequently in the New Testament, and it is a "fruit" of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22). As Christians, our first priority should be to stay strong in our faith and to wait patiently for our reward of eternal life. Paul tells us "But if we hope for what is still unseen by us, we wait for it with patience and composure" (Romans 8:25). It is important for us to remember, however, that God does not promise us that our wait will be without hardship. We must learn to endure various problems, challenges, temptations, and "bad things" that happen in our lives. In fact, the qualities of patience and endurance are linked in the Bible. In Romans 5:3, Paul says "Moreover let us exult and triumph in our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance." Finding joy in suffering is a difficult concept for us. But the important thing to remember is that when we suffer, we need to lean on our faith, endure, and stay patiently focused on what God does promise: our coming joy of eternal life (James 1:12). We should remember that Jesus suffered, too, and think of suffering as a test of our faith (James 1:2-3) and as a part of our spiritual journey (Hebrews 12:1-3, John 16:33).
The Bible also tells us that Jesus will ultimately return to earth at the time of the Second Coming, when we will be judged and found to be worthy or not worthy of our reward (Matthew 25:31-34). We are not told when this will happen, but we are told to be ready for and to patiently await His Coming. Paul says "For you have need of steadfast patience and endurance, so that you may perform and fully accomplish the will of God and thus receive and carry away what is promised. For in just a very little while, He who is coming will come and not delay" (Hebrews 10:36-37). In Luke 12:36-38, Jesus gives us a parable about the blessed servants who are patiently waiting for and ready to receive their master when he returns home. Jesus cautions us "You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour and a moment when you do not anticipate it" (Luke 12:40).
So we should try to slow down and be more patient in our busy lives. Some of us probably need to try harder than others! The Disciple Group recommends that you ask God to give you more patience through the power of the Holy Spirit working in you - patience that you can use not only in your daily life, but more importantly, in your spiritual journey of faith as you wait for the promised reward of life everlasting. Patience that will give you the time to do God's will and time to hone the disciplines of prayer, meditation, Bible study, worship, and service. Patience will give you a sense of peace, even when faced with hardships. Be encouraged and inspired by these words of Isaiah: "But those who wait for the Lord shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up as eagles; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired" (Isaiah 40:31).