Pretty much every popular story of the Bible has an element of patience. Lot, Gideon, Noah, Moses, Abraham and Sarah, King David, the Disciples; the list goes on and on. Disaster occurred when the patron wasn’t patient, but God’s will prevailed when they persevered through the circumstance. Each of these stories is an example of how exceedingly patient God is with us. However, each of these stories demonstrates how if we refuse to accept His love and we lack setting ourselves straight with God through forgiveness, then He will bring barrenness to our hearts and land (Isaiah 6: 9-13).
Patience is obeying God with a “task” while not understanding why He wants us to pursue it. Like Moses and Noah, patience is having faith that God will overcome even while wondering in a literal or figurative dessert for 40 years or floating in a boat for 40 days. Much of our life is a journey of trusting God and feeling like we’re wondering around aimlessly or waiting uncomfortably for Him to guide us further. But, patience is required for God’s timing. It seems to always feel like we’re following the Lord, but He isn’t working fast enough for our understanding or desire. But, God’s timing is great and wonderful. Just when we feel like giving up, God swoops in and reveals His answer. Look at Mary & Martha who thought they lost their beloved brother Lazarus. In their time of emptiness, Jesus fills them with reassurance, encouragement, belief and life!
Not only does the Lord want to carry us through our restlessness, He provides fervently for us. He loves us so much that He actually wants to provide us tremendous gifts as a reward for our patience. When we look at the story of Jacob and Rachel, we see the beauty that can come through patience. Jacob waited for years to marry his beloved Rachel, but was tricked into marrying her older sister, Leah, first. Then he had to patiently wait and work several more years until he could betroth Rachel. God was with Jacob all those years, making his desire for Rachel more complete so when the reward came, it was even sweeter than Jacob believed it would be!
God’s patience with us is also filled with compassion. The Prodigal Son is a tremendous example of how compassionate God is when we return to Him after years of Him patiently waiting. Not only does He welcome us back, He lavishes gifts upon us. So, when we do stray, God is patient. When we’re impatient, God is patient.
Through the Holy Spirit, God gives us His patience. In the midst of frustration, uncertainty and strife, we can bear it because God is available to rely on. Proverbs 14:29 says, “Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly.” When we utilize God’s strength and character and become patient, we gain a greater understanding of God’s character, how He made the world and why He is enacting our patience.
Tell us how patience is demonstrated in your favorite Bible story. What insight has the Bible given you in sustaining hopefulness in the midst of chaos and strife? Send us a note by using the #LessonsInPatience via Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.