Patience is a Virtue

14 Apr

I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him. (Psalm 40:1-3 NIV)

I am not by nature a patient person. I like to decide and start moving. I become quickly frustrated when others don’t jump to it as fast as I do to accomplish a goal. But this passage reminds me that patience is a virtue highly esteemed by God.

When we are not patient, waiting on The Lord, we become impulsive, self-reliant, eager and, often, unwise. Patience requires self-control, a willingness to set aside my timetable for the perfect timing of God. It can be a frustrating thing to do, especially in our fast-paced culture that never slows down.

I think God’s has two main purposes in asking us to be patient: Reliance and Relationship.

First, it reminds us of our dependence on Him. When our desires and objectives are thwarted by His hand, it causes us to acknowledge our lack of control. When things work out the way we planned, we get the credit and gain false assurance of our abilities.

Second, when we exercise patience we have time to reflect. And this is where our relationship with our Heavenly Father is nurtured. Psalm 40 reminds us that He does listen to us and He does respond. Our circumstances may reach pit-level before He acts, but when He reaches down to rescue us, we are in communion with Him and our heart sings.

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