Patience is a virtue, or is it?
We manage to be confronted with so many decisions, so many dilemmas and so many situations that we are programmed as problem solvers. We are set to automatically search for the answer, provide the solution and move on that simply waiting something out is foreign to our being. Patience has become a word no one likes because our world does not have time for it. Patience is no longer a virtue, but a burden to a world that is rushing to solve everything, even if the solution is not the right one. What about if we just simply stepped back and asked our God for His opinion, and just merely waited for the answer? This particular option seems so distant, so foreign to our innermost being. Even typing this right now, imagining myself actually doing this is contrary to my usual response, my normal way of doing things. But our God wants us to “wait.”
James gives this advice. “But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” James 1:4(NKJV) When God speaks to us, it may not be what we want to hear. He may not be giving us the response we anticipated so we simply ignore Him. We feel that we cannot wait, or that the solution does not fit our lifestyle, so we move on. A.W. Tozer says this about it; “We respond: ‘No Lord, please excuse me. That sounds like fanaticism—and I would have to give up some things!’ So we refuse His desire, even though we want all the benefits of His cross.” I can speak from personal experience with this one, because I have often refused God’s blessings simply because I was not willing to make the changes required of them. Trust me, you do not want to refuse a blessing because you feel it will mean making a change. I have since learned to listen when and where God speaks, and I wait. I wait for Him to make it so. The waiting can be the toughest part, having to suffer through things because you know that any solution you have is not God’s way of fixing it. God will fix things, but in God’s time, and on His schedule. The world operates on a different schedule, a different calendar.
James goes on to say this; “Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted by God’; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.”
When we lose patience with our God, evil steps in and takes over. We are “drawn away” by our own desires and led down the path of resistance, resistance to the cross. I would rather wait an extra minute, day, week or even years so that God’s blessings can take the place of this resistance.
“in the world, not of the world”