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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Your PATIENCE can be a Virtue

There is an old saying, I’m sure we have all heard in our life time; Patience is a virtue. When hearing this quote one has to ask what is patience? It is the quality of being patient, as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, or irritation. Now I don’t know about you but it has taken a life time for me attain a few of these qualities. It is still a work in progress. Now virtue is moral excellence; goodness; righteousness conformity of one's life and conduct to moral and ethical principles; uprightness; rectitude. Many of you possess attributes of virtue however your misfortunes, pains, or irritation impedes your development of patience. Realize, there is still hope with some effort you can develop endurance which will give you the strength to handle storms, run life’s races, or climb rough mountains. The reward will be for those who wait on the LORD which shall renew your strength; you shall mount up with wings like eagles, you shall run and not be weary, you shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

Why is it hard for people to gain patience or find it a challenge to wait through the storm for their break through? One quick simple answer is society has conditioned us to believe that we can get what we want instantaneously, with no wait. We see and hear the subliminal messages daily from various marketing campaigns; why one should not go home and cook a wholesome meal when you can stop by the grocer and pick up an eight piece meal for only $8.99! Or how about complete meals in a bag that can be cooked in a microwave in less than twenty minutes! Don’t leave out instant coffee, ATM machines, and our favorite fast food restaurants. Personally, I love home cook meals (smile).

How does this affect our living habits and Christian beliefs? It desensitizes us to the point that we expect and look for all aspects of our lives to respond the same way. When we pray we want an answer instantly. You’ve prayed for a break through, jobs, answers from doctors, friends and family members and when there is no response, many have gone as far as to demand God to quickly answer our prayers and when our patience has grown short due to no reply we find it quite appalling causing many to abandon the Father. Remember God is the Father He does not operate on a time schedule regardless as to how bad the situation may appear. According to the word be patient and wait on the Lord; He will turn to you and hear your cry. Psalm 40:1

James 1:3-6 sums up what it takes to strengthen our patience. Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubt is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
One analogy I often quote to describe time and patience; it’s like watching a tree grow you can’t expect to plant a tree today and be capable to bare fruit tomorrow. The Tree has to go through the germination process, sprout, grow, mature and then produce. That course of action takes many years. In comparison, we may have to go through many trials, tribulations, and wavering faith before reaching a level of patience before one can yield fruit or reach the prize!
To bring this story closer to life another great illustration on patience is of a man who watched a caterpillar as it headed into the next development stages of life. This man quietly waited as the transformation of change took place. When the metamorphosis was complete the new butterfly began its break through the chrysalis. Struggling to free its wings the man felt compelled to assist by gently cutting away the casing which liberated the butterfly. Thinking he has done a great deed this man’s impatience created a disaster, the butterfly cannot fly. For you see the great effort it takes a butterfly to break out its part of building wing strength which will enable flight.
Don’t be like the impatient man, Learn from the butterfly by fighting through your obstacles while growing in faith. Make your virtue a necessity; seek God through prayer which will allow you to make the best of a difficult or unsatisfactory situation. You can win in the end keeping your faith growing patience and continue trusting in God!

Tigner Rand
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