The operational definition of patience is “accepting a difficult situation from God without giving Him a deadline to remove it.” Difficult situations, along with pain and suffering, are consequences of the Fall of man. These include natural disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes, as well as results of unwise decisions or sinful choices. Some difficulties are brought about by the intentions of evil people who are serving Satan in his opposition to God. When experiencing circumstances that we do not like and cannot control, we must endure patiently. In time, the trial will pass. God encourages our hearts and strengthens our faith through difficult situations. He gives us grace to endure hardships and become more like Jesus as we trust and yield to Him.
The opposite of patience is restlessness. A restless person is unable to calm his heart because he is not trusting God. He may try to control a situation or act impulsively. Rather than accept his circumstances, he may resent them and complain, directing anger and blame toward those he holds responsible for his predicament. Because he is anxious, he will not graciously wait or endure through distress. Even normal delays or disruptions are trials to him. He may become frustrated with a sister who is taking too long to get ready, or he may burn his tongue on some hot chocolate because he is unwilling to wait for it to cool. The restless person may often be told to “slow down” or “relax!” Peace will come more readily to the impatient person as he believes that God is good, loving, and in control.
- Do I love God and expect Him to work all things for good in every situation?
- Do those who know me well sense in me a quick-tempered, anxious spirit or a joyful, restful one?
- Am I trusting God to answer my prayers in His time, not mine?
- Do I continue to do my responsibilities while anticipating a future activity?
- When praying, do I pause, wait, and listen for God to speak?
- Do I rejoice in God through trials instead of becoming bitter?
- Am I forbearing, gracious, and forgiving toward others?
- Am I willing to wait to speak, rather than interrupt a conversation?
- Do I acknowledge God’s sovereignty in difficulties and by faith praise Him for what He is doing through the situation?
More About Patience
God enables me to:
Expect Him to work in unexpected ways.
Rest in His timing.
Rejoice in trials.
Accept the things I cannot change.
Wait on Him to change my circumstances.
Wait for the right time to speak.
Use waiting time productively.
Give others room to grow.
Wait in hope.
Patience in Scripture
The Long Wait and the Unexpected Visitor
Revealed in Nature
Biblical Character Illustrated Curriculum
View the Patience booklet sample:
Free Resources for Patience
Enjoy these selections from the Biblical Character Illustrated Curriculum that are fun and memorable!