The Virtue of Patience
By George Stroh
July 19, 2021
You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. (James 5:8)
Like every virtuous characteristic, we are not born with much patience. Just try asking young children to wait patiently for... well, anything they want right now! Hopefully, as we get older and more mature, we learn to be more patient. But even most adults are rather impatient. This is not surprising because the wisdom of the world, that which is earthly, natural, and demonic, considers patience, not as a character virtue, but rather as a character weakness. We are told that you can't get ahead in this world by being patient.
True godly patience is part of the fruit of the Spirit and ought to be characteristic of those who are born again Christians; But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience... (Galatians 5:22) When things are going our way it is, of course, easy to be patient. But even as Christians who have been given the fruit of the Spirit, we are sometimes impatient with others when we are wronged and impatient when things are not going our way.
Here is a sobering reminder for you and me regarding the importance of being patient. God is sovereign, meaning that He is in total control of all things including our various trails, sufferings, disappointments, and frustrations. So when we become impatient, we are ultimately being impatient with God; The Lord has established His throne in the heavens, and His sovereignty rules over all. (Psalm 103:19) The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps. (Proverbs 16:9)
Patience is a godly virtue. Remember how patient God has been with us. Should we not also be patient with others and especially patient with Him; Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him... (Psalm 37:7) I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined to me and heard my cry. (Psalm 40:1)