Patience: Busy People and a Patient God – by Brady Tarr
“And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.”
(1 Thessalonians 5:14)
I don’t know about you, but when I hear the word patience and am reminded that it is supposed to be evident in my life as a Christian, I get a little nervous because I don’t have to spend much time evaluating my life to realize that I am often not a patient person.I think that if we are honest with ourselves and each other we will all have to admit that we are tempted to be impatient in a society where things never get done as quickly as we would like for them to.
What are some examples of things that we often blame our impatience on?Here are a few examples:
1. Getting the results back from the LSAT
2. Hearing whether or not we were accepted into the law school you wanted to go to
3. Waiting to get grades back after tests
4. Waiting to get a job
5. Waiting to meet your spouse and get married
6. Waiting to argue your case in court
7. Waiting on a judge or jury to give a verdict
8. When a veteran attorney has to train a new attorney
9. Waiting on your spouse to get home after work
10. Waiting on your children to do what you ask
11. The wait to pay off student loans, a car, or a house
12. The wait for warm weather to come
13. Treating others with impatience who sin against me…remember how Christ treats us
How would you define patience?
For a Christian, patience can be defined as the capacity to endure hardship, difficulty, or inconvenience without complaint because of the Christian’s faith in and reliance on God.I think that we can all agree that patience is hard, but just because patience is hard and is sometimes misperceived as weakness does not mean that Christians should not pursue patience through our prayers, thoughts, and actions.
What is the importance of Patience?
1. We are commanded to be patient (1 Thess. 5:14)
2. Patience is a Fruit of the Spirit which should be evident in the lives of Christians (Gal. 5:22-23)
3. Impatience is sin against God (Ps. 51:3-4)
What causes impatience?Would it be correct to say that other people, our circumstances, our pride, our envy, or even ourselves are the cause of our impatience at different time.No, impatience is most fundamentally rooted in a lack of faith in Jesus Christ.All the other things mentioned are secondary factors that we often give as excuses for our impatience/lack of faith in God.
The Example of Patience (James 5:10-11; Rom. 15:5-6)
In light of the fact that impatience is a sin that all Christians are guilty of and/or tempted by, I think a helpful thing for each of us to do is think about how Christ exemplified patience and how we can apply the things we learn from his example.The first thing we must remember is that Christ’s desire was not for his will to be done, but His Father’s.Jesus was patient in submitting to whatever would bring God the most glory.
Is our impatience a result of our desire to glorify God or to in some way glorify ourselves?We need to pray on a daily basis for God to help us see our work, actions, speech, thoughts, and circumstances in light of God’s glory and not our own.
Second, many of you are attorneys who I trust want justice to be done in accordance to the law (Micah 6:8).We all know that sometimes no matter how hard we work, justice is not done in our eyes.However troubling injustice is to all of us, God is at work in all things to bring himself glory whether we fully comprehend how a certain situation glorifies him or not. Jesus left us an example of remaining faithful even though he suffered under injustice after injustice, and God was glorified through his death, burial, and resurrection.Jesus’ patient endurance and faith in God accomplished the salvation of all those who would repent of their sin and put their faith in Jesus Christ.
When we understand that God is at work in all things to bring himself glory, we can understand one of the statements that Sam Ericcson was known for saying after losing a case that he had initially thought would be better to win… He would say “party when you win and party when you lose” because God’s glory/purpose is being accomplished either way.Sam was a great man and left a legacy of a life of faithfulness that we can emulate.
When injustice is done in a case of yours or on a test of yours is your goal to respond to that injustice with a patient faith that glorifies God in light of the fact that he is in control of all things?
Third, we all need to look at the example of Jesus’ response to the supreme injustice he endured.He responded with a forgiving (Luke 23:34) and patient faithfulness to God because his hope was not in the law, in people, or his own strength; his patient faith was in God the Father.
When our spouse, friends, or foes sin against us, we need to be mindful of the amazing patience and mercy that God has toward us each day when we sin against him.With forgiveness in mind, we must seek to treat others as Christ is treating us.
The Obedience of Patience (Lam. 3:24-26)
We must seek to follow Christ’s example and put our faith in God and be patient for him to accomplish his will.When we give in to the temptation that we all face to be impatient, we allow ourselves to become nearsighted and consumed with things that are but a vapor in light of eternity instead of being farsighted and consumed with God’s eternal glory and the hope that we, as Christians, have to come.A patient Christian is farsighted which means that no matter what joys or trials we encounter or tests of our patience we encounter, we must look for, long for, and pray for that glorious day when Christ returns and sin will be no more!Hallelujah what a Savior… Come Lord Jesus Come!
Father, please cause our minds and thoughts to be consumed with a reverent awe of you and the work of salvation that you accomplished through Jesus Christ. May you help us where we are weak in our faith against sin and unbelief. Thank you for your grace and patience with us. Help us to forgive in such a way that models how we have been/are forgiven by you as undeserving sinners. Amen.
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