From the very beginning, God has shown patience with people. All the way back in the garden, when Adam and Eve first chose their own way instead of God’s, God started His plan to give all of us a chance to come back to Him. And time and again, God is patient with us when we make daily choices that separate us from Him. He waits for us to turn back to Him.
As a fruit of the Spirit, patience is a foundational way that we reflect God’s character. When we show patience, we are less likely to hurt our relationships with others. We are more likely to trust that God has something better for us in the future.
Patience is waiting until later for what you want now. Waiting isn’t always easy. When having patience seems too difficult, the Lord will give us strength to wait. At its core, patience is fueled by faith. We trust that what we’re waiting for is best for us.
But patience is more than just waiting. It’s also about our attitude while we wait. A patient person can wait with joy even when the situation might be stressful or anxious. A patient person avoids searching or settling for a quick fix.
The monthly memory verse is: “Wait for the Lord. Be strong and don’t lose hope. Wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:14, NIrV Sometimes it feels too hard to be strong while we wait, but our trust in God gives us the strength to wait well.
In Week One’s Bible story, Esau comes in from hunting and is very hungry (Genesis 25:24-34). Because he can’t wait, Esau ends up trading his entire inheritance for a full stomach. Our Bottom Line is: When you think you can’t wait, think twice. Don’t give up what’s best for something immediate.
In Week Two’s Bible story, the Israelites grew impatient waiting for Moses to finish meeting with God (Exodus 32:1-35) and asked Aaron to build an idol for them. Our Bottom Line is: When you think you can’t wait, don’t forget what’s true. God had put Moses in charge of the Israelites and led them out of slavery. But in a moment of impatience, they forgot everything they’d experienced.
In Week Three’s Bible story, Hannah wants to become a mother but is waiting for a baby (1 Samuel 1:9–2:1). Even through the sadness of her prayers, God gives her the strength to wait until the time is right. Our Bottom Line is: When you think you can’t wait, tell God about it. God wants us to talk to Him when we’re facing a difficult time.
In Week Four’s biblical principle, we learn the wisdom of being patient (Proverbs 14:29). Our Bottom Line is: When you think you can’t wait, don’t lose your cool. We can work hard to keep control of our words, actions, and attitudes while we wait. That way we can avoid doing something we might regret.
For God, it seems as though patience is all about relationships with people. Even after we sinned, He still pursued us. He waited time after time for people to repent and work to make things right. Something He still does today.
By Jessica McKee ©2013 The reThink Group. All rights reserved. www.ThinkOrange.com
*Used by permission.