Devotional: Patience

May you be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience, with joy (Colossians 1:11 HCSB)

  • Patience-the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.
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FreeImages.com/John De Boer

A Google search of the word “patience” brought up the above results. I know and understand what the word means, but I’m not always able to define it. This definition is good at explaining what it is, but not how to be patient.

For me, I find I have patience for some aspects of my life more so than others.

Easy Not Easy
Stand in line to buy groceries. Waiting for my kids to get ready to go somewhere.
Waiting for dinner to cook. Waiting for my husband to get the Christmas tree down.
Waiting for a break in the conversation so I can say something. Waiting for a hard situation to resolve itself.

Interesting, it looks like I have less patience with things on a more personal level. So, how do I have patience when I find myself in these situations? Well, if it’s something I can take care of by myself, I always do, but my second course of action should be to pray. Such a Christian answer, don’t you think? But, let’s be honest. It is the only way to find peace in situations that require patience.

Added to praying, reading scripture.

I have two different Bible apps I like to use for different reasons and sometimes I use them both together. Using a keyword search for “patience” today, it showed eighteen verses with the word “patience”. Five of those verses are found in the Old Testament. The rest are found in the New Testament. Then there was one suggested reading. What’s interesting is the suggested reading didn’t have the word “patience” at all. Yet, it is the very essence of “patience.” It is found in James 1:2-8:

Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.

Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith without doubting. For the doubter is like the surging sea, driven and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. An indecisive man is unstable in all his ways.

And there it is, the reason for trials; to teach us to be patient and to grow in maturity.

Knowing all of this doesn’t make it easier, I’m sorry to say. Only through constant prayer and reading the Bible do we continue to find our way. Sometimes it helps to talk to other Christians. Doing so helps to share the burden. They start praying for you. The more people praying for you, the better; strength in numbers and all that.

Lord, I pray that you will help me to have joy in every stage of my life. Give me endurance to become the person you want me to be.

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