The purposes of God often develop slowly because His grand designs are never hurried. The great New England preacher Phillips Brooks was noted for his poise and quiet manner. At times, however, even he suffered moments of frustration and irritability. One day a friend saw him feverishly pacing the floor like a caged lion. "What's the trouble, Mr. Brooks?" he asked.
"The trouble is that I'm in a hurry, but God isn't!"
Haven't we felt the same way many times?
Bearing pains or trials calmly or without complaint
Manifesting forbearance under provocation or strain
Not hasty or impetuous
Steadfast despite opposition, difficulty, or adversity
Why is having patience so difficult?
Random answers might be: it’s no fun, it is uncomfortable, it requires character and maturity, it is opposite of our culture – and it’s true! We live in an “instant” society. We can have things “instantly.” We have a great need for “Instant Gratification.” Patience is difficult to develop when we live in such an “instant gratification” world. In “The Psychology of Instant Gratification and How It Will Revolutionize Your Marketing,” an article published June 24, 2014, in Entrepreneur Magazine – we find this definition:
Instant gratification is the desire to experience pleasure or fulfillment without delay or deferment. Basically, it's when you want it; and you want it now.
Instant gratification is the opposite of what we've been taught and try too hard to practice —
The article goes on to talk about: “Instant gratification and the ‘pleasure principle.’”
“In most psychological models, humans are believed to act upon the “pleasure principle.” The pleasure principle is basically the driving force that compels human beings to gratify their needs, wants, and urges. These needs, wants, and urges can be as basic as the need to breathe, eat, or drink. But they can be as complex as the “need” for an iPhone 6 or some other cool new product.”
When we, as human beings, can’t gratify our needs, wants, and urges… quickly, we experience stress. Listen to this next statement from this article:
“When we don’t get fulfillment, our psychological response is anxiety or tension.”
And, who wants to worry or be uptight?
David – a man after God’s own heart! David would often complain and be moody and be very impatient – after all he was human! But always, in the end, for David – he trusted and obeyed – end was forced to be patient!
Psalm 37:7 – “Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes.”
In the presence of the Lord there is peace. Patience brings understanding… Patience allows you to hope!
Psalm 27:14 – “Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.”
As you develop this very important characteristic in your life, remember… God is patient with you.
Be Patient With God
2 Peter 3:8-9 – “But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. 9 The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.”
Why be patient with God? God has patience for you. God waited for you to accept His Gift. If you haven’t accepted it – He is still waiting.
And, as far as God not operating within your time table? Remember, time is irrelevant to God, but a relationship with you is completely relevant to Him.
Patience with our fellow man? Wow – how hard is that? Let’s look at one of our O.T. heroes to see an example of extreme patience!
Genesis 29:16-20 -
16 Now Laban had two daughters. The older daughter was named Leah, and the younger one was Rachel. 17 There was no sparkle in Leah’s eyes,[a] but Rachel had a beautiful figure and a lovely face. 18 Since Jacob was in love with Rachel, he told her father, “I’ll work for you for seven years if you’ll give me Rachel, your younger daughter, as my wife.” 19 “Agreed!” Laban replied. “I’d rather give her to you than to anyone else. Stay and work with me.” 20 So Jacob worked seven years to pay for Rachel. But his love for her was so strong that it seemed to him but a few days.
Be Patient With Your Circumstances
Most generally, when we are impatient with our life – our circumstances – with the “cards” we’ve been dealt, it’s because we are pursuing selfish desires instead of allowing the Holy Spirit to direct us. Living life and allowing the Holy Spirit to be the “agent” of patience gives us a chance to have the “Gifts of the Holy Spirit” alive and well in our lives.
When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. 22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
Patience – what a wonderful thing to possess…
Ask the Lord for help with your patience quotient – He loves to give good gifts to His children!
“George Mueller, the founder of a great Christian orphanage work in England in the 1800’s, was a powerful man of prayer. He knew the importance of keeping at prayer even when the answer seemed delayed. When he was young he began praying that two of his friends might be saved. He prayed for them for more than sixty years. One of the men was converted shortly before his death at what was probably the last service Mueller held. The other was saved within a year of his death.”
What do you think would have happened had Mueller given up?
Source: James Montgomery Boice. The Parables of Jesus. Chicago: Moody Press, 1983. p. 158