From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Q: Patience is a virtue, we’re told, but it seems like other people take advantage of patient people; people who let others walk all over them. Is this what the Bible teaches? — P.V.
A: Learning patience is not easy for most. The Bible calls patience an attribute of God and we are to pray for it and practice it with the strength that God gives us. While it is important to consider the needs and the thoughts of others, it doesn’t mean that people should let others take advantage of them. But we must also guard against selfishness. Patience is not simply “teeth-clenched” endurance. It is an attitude of expectation.
The Bible says, “Be patient…. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth…. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand” (James 5:7-8). The farmer patiently watches his barren ground because he knows there will be results. He has patience in his labors because there will be products of his labor. As we strive to live for the Lord, we must exhibit patience knowing that our obedience to Him will result in good fruits that He will accept in eternity.
Patience also speaks of a person’s steadfastness when irritated or experiencing conflict. Enduring ill-treatment without anger or retaliation is a fruit of the spirit, referred to in Scripture as self-control (see Galatians 5:23). Our lives are to be characterized by patience, for it is important in developing stable character and integrity. This is why God allows difficulties, inconveniences, trials, and even suffering to come our way for a specific purpose: they help develop the right attitude for the growth of patience in our lives.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)
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