September 24, 2023 | Doug Sauder
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“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.”—Psalms 37:7 (NIV)
Don’t ever pray for patience. I’m not kidding. Unless you want to be put into situations that allow you to practice building patience, I would avoid mentioning the word “patience” at all in your prayers! I’ve had my fair share of slow check-out lines, crawling traffic, and understaffed restaurants to show me just how impatient I am. Maybe you can relate!
Actually, I am kidding. Patience is a fruit of the Spirit, so it should be something we ask for and demonstrate in our lives as Christians. I love the way Merriam-Webster defines patience: “bearing pains or trials calmly or without complaint.” If I’m honest, most times I don’t bear pain or trials calmly or without complaint. I want the pain to be over quickly and the trial to end soon, and I make sure to let God and anyone else who will listen know! I grumble and get agitated. Patience is not easy.
The psalmist here beckons us to be still before the Lord; to wait patiently for Him. By saying, “Do not fret,” he’s calling us to reflect on the faithfulness of God and his character. God knows what you need. He sees you. He will come through. Be patient.
We ought to be patient because God is patient. Made in His image, we reflect His character traits to a world that doesn’t know Him. Patience is hard to come by because it’s difficult to practice. But what is amazing about patience is that since it’s a fruit of the Spirit, patience is a work of God’s Spirit in us. It’s not about us or up to us! It’s God at work in us.
Imagine if God was impatient. He could very easily come down from heaven and put us all in our place with His might and power and omnipresence. Instead, He is kind and longsuffering. He is slow to anger and abounding in love. He is good to all. He is patient, and that allows us to be patient.
In a world that is hurried and always in a rush, I want to be like that. I want to be like a boulder along the shoreline, that though is pounded by waves, soaked by rain, and blown by wind, it does not move. It is patient, steadfast, and suffers long. Ultimately, I want to look like Jesus who demonstrated this the best for us by enduring the pain and trial of the cross calmly and without complaint. If Jesus was patient, then He can and will enable us by the power of His Spirit to be patient, too!
Pause: When do you find yourself most impatient? Do you bear pain and trial without complaining?
Practice: The next time you feel your patience start to be tested, take a deep breath and count to ten. Instead of complaining about the pain or trial, try making a list of things to be thankful for in the midst of the trial.
Pray: Dear Jesus, please forgive me for losing my patience. I confess I’m not always the most patient person. Thank You Jesus that You demonstrated what perfect patience is. Even though I’m imperfect, please fill me with Your Spirit so I might demonstrate this fruit of the Spirit to others. I do pray for patience! Remind me to choose gratitude and praise the next time I grow impatient. Thank You for Your help! Amen.
Denise Trio has been on staff with Calvary for almost two years, serving as the Director of Strategic Development. She has 10 years of project management experience, with a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture and Engingeering from Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA and a Master’s degree in Pastoral Counseling from Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA. When not on campus, Denise is either making her way through her book list at the beach, ordering tacos on any menu that serves them, or running her side business, The Rose Creative, which specializes in creating beautiful and meaningful products for her clients.