Is there a secret to learning patience?
From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Q: Patience is not one of my virtues and it for sure isn’t my husband’s greatest strength. This causes tension to mount at times. Is there a secret to learning this attribute? — S.I.
A: Most people struggle in the area of having patience, especially with others. But it is important to consider the needs and thoughts of others, especially in marriage, particularly when things are out of our control. But we must also guard against selfishness. Patience is not simply “teeth-clenched” endurance. It is an attitude of expectation.
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 (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.
“Be patient,” the Bible says, “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.
We must pray in every aspect of life, asking the Lord to grant us wisdom and patience. It will be a marvelous testimony to others.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)
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