Patience is the next fruit and Rick Warren says God will put us in situations that test our patience because that’s how we get more patience. This happens with interruptions, inconvenience, irritation and inactivity. (Waiting)
Impatience is very selfish, so if we want to develop patience we need to look at things through a different perspective instead of “my needs, my goals, my schedule.”
Know that we are not in control of most things that happen. We are only human. Know that everyone else is only human too. Patience is another mark of maturity. And maturity gives us the ability to wait and live with delayed gratification.
It also helps to develop a sense of humor. Or as Warren suggests – try to find the fun in frustration. Humor dissolves tension. If you can laugh at it you can live with it.
When people irritate us, when bad things happen to us, and we praise God through it all, if it’s Satan trying to get at us, he’ll eventually give up when he realizes he can’t penetrate the wall of praise around our life.
But, you can’t say, “I’m going to be patient if it kills me.” It’s not will power. Patience is a form of faith. It says, “I trust God. I believe that God is bigger than this problem. And I believe that God has His hand in these irritations and can use them in my life for good.”
Faith helps us look at life from God’s point of view. It helps us say, “God, what do you want me to learn from this?” Instead of, “Why did this happen?”
Noah had to wait 120 years for the promised rain to come. Abraham had to wait 100 years for a son. Moses waited 40 years in the desert and then another 40 years leading the Israelites to the Promised Land. Those are all long times to be patient! Look how long people waited for the Messiah to come. Look how long we’ve been waiting for Him to come back! The Bible is a book about waiting. Why? Because waiting demonstrates faith and faith pleases God.
The hardest kind of waiting comes when you’re in a hurry and God isn’t. It’s hard to be patient when you’re waiting for an answer to prayer, but it’s a test of faith. God’s timing is perfect. Psalm 37:7 says, “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him.” He may not move on our schedule (and usually doesn’t) but He is always on time and He wants us to show we trust Him and are willing to wait on Him.
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