Who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously. – I Peter 2:23
I Peter 2:19-23
Webster’s dictionary says to be patient is, “To be able to remain calm and not become annoyed when waiting for a long time or when dealing with problems or difficult people.” This can be quite a difficult task as it is almost contrary to human nature to express that level of patience. We daily see people ‘jump’ traffic lights, unwilling to stay on queues, become harsh and impatient with a slow motorist and sometimes get into verbal fights.
Biblical patience is cheerful endurance and patient continuance. It is the ability to remain calm in the face of difficult circumstances. It is a fruit of the Holy Spirit of God, whom the Bible says is “…slow to become angry.” Jesus Christ modeled this patience to us when He was falsely accused, wrongly sentenced, inhumanely flogged and unjustly killed. He did not fight back, He did not call fire from heaven, He neither cursed nor reviled His persecutors, but committed Himself to God. That takes patience – a faith in God that, indeed, He will eventually make everything alright and ultimately vindicate you.
Are there situations or people you consider to be irritating? Is there a child or a spouse you always wonder why they ‘never get it?’ Is there a boss that seems to have been sent to unnerve you? Do you feel like God is slow in fulfilling His word to you? Is there someone you wished you got even with? Well, you are being poised to produce the fruit of patience – which is a test of character. Commit it all to God and rein in yourself – He who rules his spirit and is slow to anger is better than a mighty warrior.
Patience understands that God is not asleep; it knows that everything will eventually turn for good. It is tolerant, it is full of faith in God, never acting hastily and thoughtlessly (Isaiah 28:16), and it is longsuffering & will rather forgive an offending brother seventy times seven times, seeing that God Himself is patient with sinners.
Patience is not weakness but a powerful weapon to tame the flesh. Turn it on today! Remember, the pregnant woman has to be patient for 9 months, the farmer has to be patient until harvest, and we all have to patiently wait for the Lord’s coming. The good news is that, we will ultimately see the result and reward of patience.
Ask for the grace that will enable you apply patience with difficult situations and relationships; also, that you will see the reward of being patient in all you do.