Patience is a virtue that all of us should possess. So, what exactly is patience? Basically, patience is our ability to tolerate delays, to tolerate suffering, to tolerate trouble without getting upset or angry. But patience doesn’t come easily to us. In fact, many of us (myself included at times!) have a hard time being patient. We don’t like to wait for things that we want. We are impatient with our family and friends because they are not meeting our expectations. And when times are difficult, we are impatient to get past them.
Scripture tells us that we are to be patient in our suffering. We are to be like a farmer who waits patiently through the rainy days for the fruit of the earth to appear (James 5:7). We are to follow the example of the prophets who spoke in God’s name even as they endured suffering (James 5:10). We are to be steadfast through our suffering just as Job was. Job suffered greatly, but we know that he was restored by our compassionate and merciful God (James 5:11).
When it comes to dealing with our friends, with our families, with our brothers and sisters in Christ, God’s Word tells us that we must be patient. In the New Living Translation, Ephesians 4:2 tells us that we must be patient with one another. With love, we must make allowances for each other’s faults. After all, we all have faults. None of us is perfect. And yet, God is always patient with us! If God can be patient with us, we must be patient with each other.
Patience is a fruit of the Spirit and it is something we all, as believers, must strive for. But we cannot attain it in our own power. We must rely on the power of the Holy Spirit working in us. We must pray for patience. God will gladly help us to find it.