October 23, 2017

A Growing Patience Grows Character

Written by Boyd Bailey

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – October 23, 2017

When the way is rough, your patience has a chance to grow. So let it grow, and don’t try to squirm out of your problems. For when your patience is finally in full bloom, then you will be ready for anything, strong in character, full and complete. James 1:3-4, The Living Bible

I am not very patient waiting in my car at an intersection where the red light is obviously out of sync with the time of day—no cars can be seen in either direction, but I sit, sedentary. It’s one thing to lose my patience with an inanimate traffic signal, but a whole other matter to learn how to persevere through life when sorrow steals my joy or success distracts me from needing Jesus. Patience is the Lord’s call for my character to not merely engage in passive endurance but in active perseverance. As my capacity for patience grows, my character grows complete in Christ.

James writes to a group of Jesus followers, a minority culture of faith living among a majority who persecuted Christians for their beliefs. These trials revealed the genuineness of their faith, just as an exam exposes a student’s true knowledge and understanding, so God’s life tests reveal the reality of our real relationship with Christ. A growing faith joyfully sees a problem as an opportunity to develop a more complete character and deepen our trust in God. The readers of James’ letter were learning how patience could grow their capacity to persevere.

“You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised” (Hebrews 10:36).

What problem are you facing that invites you into a patient faith? A financial hurdle? A relational misunderstanding? A health challenge? An uncertain future? An unwanted change? By faith, seek to see your sorrow as hard, but beautiful, difficult, but determined, sad, but glad in God. Wasted pain does not obtain a growing capacity for grace, but pain channeled into patience blooms into an exotic faith like the flower of paradise with the sweet taste of nectar. Even if a wound never heals or is not forgotten, you bow broken with an imperfect faith perfected by patient trust.

Your patience is not meant to merely engage in passive endurance, but active perseverance. Be before the Lord, then you are prepared to do for the Lord. The tension between trusting and tenacity keeps your heart humble and your will submitted to your Savior Jesus. So, seek to serve while you wait on God’s best. Be your very best by staying engaged in hard conversations, growing in grace through rough relationships and leaning into generosity during lean times. See problems as a path to grow your patience and develop your character. Wait in hope for the Lord!

“We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in you” (Psalm 33:20-22).

 

Prayer

Heavenly Father, grow my patience so my hope is complete in You, in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Application

What person or situation requires my steady patience knowing God is working out His plan?

Related Reading

Psalm 27:14, 130:5; Isaiah 30:18; Romans 5:3; James 5:11

Post/Tweet today

Patience is the Lord’s call for our character to not merely engage in passive endurance, but active perseverance. #WisdomHunters #growingpatience

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