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Learning Patience

I have been reflecting, out of necessity, on what it means to be a patient person. My ability to be patient correlates with the level of hope and trust I can place in the God who hears my patients (and often impatient) cries. Interestingly enough, Psalm 40:1 (“I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry") seems to insinuate that it isn't our inpatient attention-getters that get God's attention... but that God turns himself to those who wait patiently. I want to be a person like this. Below are some of my recent reflections on 'patience.'

1) Patient facts that are worth waiting to understand...

· A definition: “Patience is the ability to absorb strain and stress without complaint and to be left undisturbed by obstacles, delays or failures.”
· We are to be characterized by love - of which patience is a significant part! (1 Cor. 13:4,5)
· One of the gifts of walking in the Spirit is patience (Gal 5:22)
· Patience is part of a process that leads to hope. (Romans 5:3-5, 2 Peter 1:5-9)
· There is an intimate link between patience and trust (Psalm 37:7)

2) Diagnosing the (im)patient… What is it that makes me impatient?

· Have you tried to guess the blank spaces below?
· Is it Spiritual Immaturity? (Hebrews 5:14)
· Is it my selfishness and lack of grace? (1 Thessalonians 5:14-15)
· Is it because I see an injustice that seems unfair? (Psalm 37:1)
· Is it envy or jealousy? (James 5:8-9)
· Is it because I am materially motivated? (Col 3:1)
· Is it because I have bought into the secular lie? (Phil 4:11)
· Is it because I am insensitive to God’s attempts to sanctify me? (James 1:2-4)

3) Psalm 40 – a clinic for Patience

· Patience gets God’s attention (vs1)
· Impatience often puts us in precarious places! (vs2)
· Patience brings stability (vs2)
· Patience is important so people can see who God is. (vs3)
· Trust is the foundation of patience (vs4)
· Patience feeds humility… which keeps us out of the spotlight. (vs4)
· God’s planned birthed of our patience is better than what our impatient plans birth! (vs5)
· There is no substitute for patient… you can’t barter yourself out of it! (vs6)
· Put God’s agenda first (vs8)
· Speak boldly of God’s purpose during your frustration (vs9 & 10)
· Don’t let sin rob you of patience (vs12)
· It’s OK to ask God to hurry up sometimes. (vs14)
Wait Patiently.

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