Greetings friends! We may have heard the saying, “Patience is a virtue!” Or, “Good things come to those who wait.” Of course, for patience is listed as a fruit of God’s divine Love: “Love is patient” (1 Cor.13:4). If patience is virtuous, them impatience is meanness.
How many times in a day or week does setbacks (of whatever kind) affect us and makes us upset, and even angry because we don’t have the patience to be cool, calm, and collected? Impatience leads to emotional stress which takes its toll upon our health and well-being. One of the root cause of depression is the lack of patience to deal with stressful situations. So we get upset easily. Life will always bring many demands upon us, and unless we are prepared for them, especially emotionally, we will live in the cycle of impatience and impulsiveness and become inadvertently unkind to ourselves. So, we can see that patience brings tons of virtue into your life – if you know how to practice it. Let’s talk patience today!
Here’s what we don’t fully realize about the subject, impatience is a meanness we impose upon ourselves, rather than someone else inflicting it upon us. We are the practitioner of impatience which makes us act rashly – it’s like shooting ourselves in the foot – pardon the pun! And, of course, it affects our relationship with others. How many times have we jettisoned something good for our lives because we lack the patience to act rationally, and stay the course. Sadly, most people try to justify their actions, and they are none the wiser. So they enter into this vicious cycle of exasperation and emotional roller coaster.
Be kind to yourself today, and let the virtue of patience shine into your life. We will face trials and tribulations and will make mistakes along the way, so be patient with yourself. Learn how patience can give you a well-deserved rest from the cycle of impatience you may find yourself. Today I will share with you just one point that can turn your life around so that patience can dominate your life like never before. But first things first. This is a vicious habit that has held untold numbers of people captive for most of their lives. So, you have to keep an open mind, and be willing to change. Here’s the one point we must observe: WAIT! Yes, wait! Patience is having the capacity to wait. Impatience means you’re incapacitated in this activity of waiting. Listen to what the Bible tells us, “Wait on the Lord!” (Psa. 27:14). It’s a very simple and straight forward call to a reality believers will always face. It’s a statement of reality we cannot dodge in our relationship with the God who Loves us unconditionally.
But what are we waiting on the Lord for? And that my friends is the right question when we consider this vital topic about patience and waiting. We “wait on the Lord” to deliver us according to His promises. In another passage from the Psalms, it says, “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him” (Psa.37:7). We find “rest” in the Lord’s promises which gives us patience. His promises are based on His Love for us. The Psalmist writes, “He remembers His covenant forever, the Promise He made, for a thousand generations” (Psa.105:8), The story of the Bible is one of His people patiently waiting on Him to deliver them according to His promise. Waiting is futile if it is an end in itself. On the other hand, if we are focused merely on the mundane dreams of this life, of what value is that? Jesus said, “What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul,” or his true destiny, his divine calling? All God’s promises originate and spring from the covenant promise ratified in Jesus’ blood. Jesus is the Mediator of the new covenant promise. (Heb.8:6; 9:15) To view the many promises of God, you may go to this helpful web site: www.scripturepromises.com. Or, you can go to a Christian bookstore and find a book on the subject of God’s promise. In this web site, you will find God’s promises for every need to help you in your faith-walk. It is by no means exhaustive, but it is a good starting point. Peter was inspired to write, “He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you might be partakers of the divine nature having escaped the corruption that is in the world by sinful desires” (2 Pet.1:4). When we partake of the divine nature through Jesus we enter into the eternal Love relationship of the Father and Son, and through the Spirit God showers His Love upon us. (John 17:23-24; Rom.5:5) That’s worth everything waiting for.
Moses Viewing The “Promise Land.” The Nation of Israel Was Born Out of Promise God made To Abraham. Illustration from the 1890 Holman Bible. (Wiki Commons)
We live in a world of instant gratification where waiting and patience is almost a nonsensical word. How unfortunate! We want things done yesterday, not now! Think of the modern day cell phone. What is its most attractive feature? Isn’t it the ability to give instant access to people and information, or many other features for that matter? There’s nothing wrong with obtaining information, but success will come to those who knows how to decipher information relevant to the present as it relates to their purpose. Success is about using the right information at the the right time for the right purpose. We can be distracted and deluged by information overload. We don’t know how to live with it, let alone what to do. If we are not vigilant, we can get caught up in this insidious appetite for instant gratification. The Bible says, “In your patience possess your souls” (Luk.21:19).The key is to know your place and purpose in life, and never deviate from it, but “patiently wait on the Lord” to take us forward in His Love. Listen, Paul said, “Don’t worry about anything, instead pray about everything, tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done” (Phi.4:6). Yes, millions of people are lost in this world of information overload, and without guidance they are heading in directions which lead to dead-ends and cul-de-sacs.
I’m no different from you. I have suffered at the hands impatience for too long, and have broken dreams to show for it. We are all in this together. I have spoken much about the “Triune Life” in my blogs. It teaches me never to look inside myself for answers, because the answers which bring true success and happiness is not found in the human heart. The “Triune Life” means a collaborative life we live with the Father, through the Son in the Spirit’s move in our lives. The Spirit who dwells in us reveals the will of the Father and Jesus in our lives as John affirms clearly: “He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak and declare the things to come” (John 16:13-15; 2 Tim.2:25-26). It’s a life of faith through which we process information about God, His promises, neighbor, and self. That’s the “Triune Life,” it’s based on the miraculous activity of the Spirit of God in your life and mine. How does it happen – all it takes is to receive Jesus and confess Him as your Savior who has rescued you from the devil who held you captive in sin all your life. (Matt.4:1-11) He frees us to live the “Triune Life” so we can claim His promises which brings true life. (1 Tim.6:19)
If you were to read an article on patience from a secular source, or hear a talk on the subject, you will find it points you to resources that’s humanistic in its philosophy and application – how to handle setbacks, count to ten before a decision, deep breathing, persistence, be calm, turn anger off, positive thinking, meditate, etc, etc. You will not find a write-up like this one because it’s not asking you to search for your own answers in yourself, or from secular sources, but where true answers have been, and will always remain – in the Spirit of God. This is what the collaborative life in the Trinity means.
So, we see patience is about waiting, and waiting is about holding onto God’s promises for us. We will call this the patience slogan – “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently on the Lord!” (Psa. 37:7). It’s very direct, and simple to understand.
Jesus gave a parable showing how people respond to God, and provides four different people types in life. (Luk. 8:4-15) Let’s quickly look at this parable in the context of our patience slogan: “Wait on the Lord.” Jesus uses the metaphor of soil types to represent people, and the seeds sown upon them to represent their response in life. The seed is God’s word. The first soil type is an unploughed field like a path, where the seeds fell but fails to germinate and is eaten by birds. Jesus said, they “are those hear the word but the devil comes and snatches it from them so they won’t believe and be saved.” In other words, they are just outright doubters. The second soil type has many rocks and stones so there’s not enough moisture where the seed can take root and grow. Jesus said they “are those who receive the word with joy, they believe for a while, but in times of testing, they fall away” because they have no roots. These people stumble easily under pressure. The third soil type had many thorns and weeds which choked the seeds to death. Jesus said they “are those who hear, but as they go their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature,” but die. They are people who are easily tempted and led away by their desires for material stuff. The fourth soil type is where seeds fell on good, rich soil and grew into a tree which produce a bumper crop. Jesus said they “are those with noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and through patience produce a harvest” of peace, joy, abundance, and Love. They are the people who have the patience to “wait on the Lord” to show them the way to go. Notice, the main element in the good soil is patience. The question is, which type are we?
The Parable of The Sower. Brooklyn Museum – James Tissot. (Wiki Commons)
Patience has to be grounded in faith. The Bible says, “Without faith it is impossible to please God” (Heb. 11:6). Through faith we overcome our doubts which the devil feeds upon, and we anchor our lives upon the promises of God. This is the living faith of Jesus. It is the Spirit who lives and moves in us who brings this kind of faith to life. Paul said, “The life that I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who Loves me, and gave Himself for me” (Gal.2:20). So straightaway we see that if doubt can be instilled by the devil to make us impatient and not “wait on the Lord,” then the Spirit can likewise fill us with the faith of Jesus to make us patiently wait for the Spirit’s move. As I have often said in my blog, the “Triune Life” we live is a miraculous life made possible in the Spirit who move in our lives.
James says this about the trials of life and how faith and patience have their place in our lives, “The trying of your faith produce patience. Let patience finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (Jam.1:3-4). So, faith energizes patience in us to produce an outcome we see in God’s promises. Imagine peace of mind, imagine confidence and assurance, imagine a joy that’s out of this world, imagine enduring hope, contentedness, abundance, and generosity. These are things money cannot buy. These are conditions included in God’s promises for His people. They are produced only by living in a certain way. When we rest our lives on God and wait on Him, He promises to show up for us every time. The Bible says, “Indeed, none of those who wait for You will be ashamed” (Psa.25:3a). God says, “Those who hopefully wait for Me will not be disappointed” (Isa.49:23b).
Although the many promises of the Bible may be general in its application for all, there is a promise that’s specific for you as a person, as God’s child. All our children have birthdays, and we treat them uniquely because they are all different and special. God does the same to each and every human. He gifted us differently because we have dreams that are unique to each of us. All our dreams are merely reflections of the greatness of God and His magnanimous Love for us. Think of the story of Joseph, the son of Jacob. As a boy God gave him a dream so grand it would blow anyone’s mind if he knew what it meant. The dream was a promise from God. God had planned for Joseph to become the leader of the nation like America is to the world today – that’s what Egypt was to the ancient world. He was going to save the known world at the time from a worldwide famine. But did God tell him the meaning of his dream? No, he was given symbols, signs, dreams, and metaphors, but Joseph did not know its meaning exactly, and how and when it would pan out. Sometimes, if not many times, we are not ready for the things we desire in God’s plan for us, and so the reason for “waiting” (patience) is so He prepares us before He orchestrates its fulfillment. The Bible says it like this concerning your personal destiny, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” (Eph.3;20). The road which leads to that beautiful place is called patience. Arnold H Glasgow said, “The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it.” What this tells us is, His dreams for us is beyond our wildest imagination that if He told us when we are not ready for it, we will probably not believe it because it is too good to be true. And we have heard it said that if something is too good to be true, it probably is. But it is indeed true, because it’s God’s promise, not man’s.
You will recall that Joseph was sold a slave by his brothers at the tender age of seventeen. He was sold in the slave market of Egypt, but what kept him going through the thick and thin of life was his dream. Though he did not know its true meaning, he knew it was something from God, and it was good and it captivated his imagination. He went through many trials and tribulations, even being unjustly thrown in prison. Joseph’s faith never wavered, for he rested his hopes in his dream – God’s personal promise for his life. It was not until Joseph appeared before Pharaoh to interpret his dream, that his own dream had come full circle to converge in this majestic throne of Egypt which he was about to ascend to become second in command in all Egypt. Now he understood his dream. What followed is history.
We all have dreams. But to have a dream like Joseph’s, where a dream has the power to captivate you in the very depth of your soul – that, my friends, God alone can give you. Dreams like that is locked in everyone’s DNA which God alone can manifest. And the good news is He has done that for you and I through His Son. By giving us His Son as our Savior and Mediator, our Father blesses us with His Spirit to keep us in His Love. The Spirit which kept Joseph’s dream alive in his heart, will keep our personal dreams alive, and bring us to its fulfillment. The Bible says, “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven, give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him” (Luk.11:13). What Joseph went through is not human effort alone, but it was the Spirit who orchestrated and brought His dream to reality. All you need is ask, and your Father in heaven will give you a dream to die for. The Spirit will lead you, prepare and bring you to your dream’s grand finale as He did with Joseph.
White Dove, Symbol of Holy Spirit. Principal Gift From God to Man. (Wiki Commons)
But here is the problem with many of us – even believers. How many of us believe that wherever we find ourselves today, we are always in the middle of God’s will in the dynamics of His destiny for us? Even in times of trial, as it was with Joseph, we are standing right in the center of His purpose of bringing us to our dreams. It is unfortunate that many of us see trials as an end in itself, and focus on trying to wiggle out of them, instead of being fixated on the big picture and see what the Spirit is orchestrating before our eyes. And then we murmur about living meaningless lives. We often forget an important promise concerning trials, “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it” (1 Cor.10:13). In other words, He will not allow the trial/s to exasperate us to the point of discouragement and hopelessness.
Through patience we are not only mindful of our destination (dream), but patience gives us the heart to enjoy the journey. Yes, it’s in the journey that we take the necessary steps to reach our destination. For that reason we ought to find joy in the journey, for the destination will automatically unfold itself like it did for Joseph before Pharaoh. Yes, most times it is not so much about the destination as it is about the journey itself. We can’t wait in idleness because God’s work is in constant movement – often we forget that. Jesus said, “My Father is working until now (constantly), and I Myself am working (constantly)” (John 5:17). God’s purpose is always on the move. Jesus said, “From the time of John the Baptizer until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful people have been seizing it” (Matt.11:12, God’s Word). When we evade the journey (trials) our lives are in idle mode. Jesus is saying, “Seize the moment.” There is no idle time in God’s purpose for you.
Paul says, “Be joyful always. Never stop praying” (1 Thes.5:16-17). What do we pray for? Jesus taught us, “Your will be done…” (Matt.6:10). In other words, you are praying that God’s dream and destiny for you (like Joseph’s dream), and all the circumstances you will encounter this day, He will give you the capacity to see they are attractants that’s spontaneously drawing you to your dreams. People don’t choose who they become, their dream choose who they become. A musician does not find his music, his music finds him. An author does not find his subject to write about, his subject finds him. An entrepreneur does not find his niche, his niche finds him. An artist becomes one because the calling is locked in the person’s gift. We are all free to accept or reject the prompts of our gifts. When we invert this basic truth, we’ll live like “square pegs in round holes” – we become misfits and live meaningless lives.
Many have defined success as being in the right place at the right time. However, no one can tell you how to do it successfully every time. It means the reverse is also true, if you are in the wrong place at the wrong time, then its consequence is failure. But let me tell you emphatically, you are one of the blessed, because you are always in the right place, you are always in the right time, and what you’re experiencing is not coincidence. And if that is your conviction, then you know you can live and act with self-assurance and integrity. How do I know that? Because God’s promise says, “All things work together for good for those who Love God and are called according to His purpose” (Rom.8:28). “All things” means in every circumstance and situation God’s purpose is at work. “According to His purpose” means all things to do with your dream-life. Your dream is God’s promise for your life. A promise is good only as long as we wait for it. A promise fulfilled is no longer a promise, you don’t look forward to it. Paul said it this way, “But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it” (Rom.8:25). Waiting instills patience. It takes living faith to live in this way.
I ask the question at the beginning, how many times in a day or week does setbacks (of whatever kind) affect us and makes us upset, and even angry? Don’t, be patient for you are in the middle of God’s will for your life. Assess your life situation and ask, am I living in His Love and doing all that is right and proper before Him? “Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it, ” James tells us (Jam.4;17). Always give thanks for everything He has done. I will conclude with the serenity prayer which is relevant for this subject of patience:
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference. Amen.
“In your patience, possess your souls” (Luk.21:19).
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to write to me in the space provided below, or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until we meet again in my next post, may the blessing of the God who ceaselessly expresses Himself in His dependable Triune Love, be with you always. May the Spirit enliven you and make all things concerning you possible in Triune Living as a Bulamanriver.*
Kiang, (Your Servant in Christ)
* The “Bulamanriver” is the metaphor describing the union of man with the Love of the Triune God flowing in humans, making possible the “Triune Life” – the source of the miraculous life in man. To read the many facets of life of the Bula man-river, go to my website www.bulamanriver.com where you can order a copy of my Book.
All scriptures are taken from the NIV Version 2011, unless stated otherwise
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