Read: Proverbs 16:32
Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city.
Patience! Who really has time to develop patience anyway?
In truth, you may think that way about patience, but it’s not what God thinks about it. In this Proverb, Solomon reminds us that in God’s list of character qualities, patience far outranks personal power (“a warrior”) and achievement (“one who takes a city”) any day of the week.
Patience, in fact, is a fruit that God has assigned the Spirit to develop in us:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5: 22-23)
Why is God so hung up on the cultivation of patience in our lives? Three reasons:
Number one, God wants us to be like him, and at the core of who he is you’ll find patience. And we all should breathe a prayer of personal gratitude for that!
“But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (II Peter 3:9)
Number two, since we have been the recipients of God’s patience, it is only right and fitting that we make patience with others our highest priority. The Bible often reminds us that we have been forgiven much solely because of the merciful restraint of God, and therefore, it behooves us to offer nothing less.
“Put up with each other, and forgive anyone who does you wrong, just as Christ has forgiven you.” (Colossians 3:13, CEV)
Number three, it is important that we grow in patience because it is necessary to the fulfillment of God’s plan for our lives. God wants to make you holy, and you can’t be holy in a hurry. Without the fruit of patience, it is likely that you will bail when the chiseling on your character gets painful.
“Consider it pure joy whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance [that is patience]. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:2-4)
Whatever is lacking in your life right now, patience is what will bring it to you!
The nineteenth century preacher A. B. Simpson said it this way: “Have you ever thought that someday you will not have anything to try you, or anyone to vex you again? There will be no opportunity in heaven to learn or to show the spirit of patience…If you are to practice these things, it must be now.”
God’s first concern for our lives is our growth, not our gratification. That’s why he often withholds what we would prefer and allows us to experience a long-term difficulty until we have learned patience.
It is said that Joseph Hayden wrote a musical piece in which the flute player did not play a note until the 75th measure. And then, that flute player had only one note to play. On that 75th measure, on the up beat, the flute player was to play that one and only note. And that was it. One of the flute players made this observations, “When Hayden wrote that musical piece, he had a very special, patient person in mind.”
When the Sovereign Lord, who has ordered every one of your days, even before one of them came into existence, saw fit to allow unpleasant people or undesirable circumstances to be a part of your life, he had you, a very special and potentially patient person in mind.
“Endurance is not just the ability to bear a hard thing,
but to turn it into glory.”
Your Assignment, Should You Choose To Accept It:
Take five minutes right now and offer a verbal list to God in prayer of the things that are trying your patience. Instead of griping, offer each one with gratitude that God has seen fit to perfect his will for you through these very things.