We often here that “Patience is a virtue.” but what is patience? How can one define patience? A friend of mine posted recently on her Facebook profile – “To be patient is to trust in God’s timing!” and I couldn’t agree with her more. This brings to question, the need to define “impatience” then – so, what is impatience?
The Bible informs us that God is patient towards us and is not slack in his promise to return, so that no one may perish but that all may be saved (2 Peter 3:9). In fact, the King James Version of the Bible renders the word “patience” as “longsuffering”. Come to think of it, longsuffering is a compound word made up of the words ‘long’ and the other ‘suffering’. The word ‘long’ is indicative of the element of TIME and the word ‘suffering’ is indicative of the element of TESTING. To be patient is to be tested over time. Abraham, the Father of Faith was tested over time and we know of two occasions specifically. One was to trust in God, for a year, regarding the promise of his own son but Abraham failed that test as he was impatient and not trusting in God’s timing and thus had Ishmael with his concubine, Hagar. On the second occasion, Abraham was tested for three days (for that was the length of the journey to the place of sacrifice) regarding the sacrifice of his only son and he passed this test by not holding back his beloved son from God, as he was patient in trusting that at the time that God had ordained, God will come through and provide the needed sacrifice that would be acceptable to God. As a father, I can only imagine how testing and how long those three days would have seemed, as Abraham trekked his way with Isaac, his son, to Moriah to sacrifice his own son in response to God’s command.
Points to ponder:
To be patient is to be tested over time and trust that at God’s ordained time, all things according to his word shall come to pass. If that wait seems long, don’t lose heart, but be patient, for though it may seem slow, steadily and surely the answer is coming (Habakkuk 2:3). If the wait seems hard and you are suffering, don’t lose heart, but be patient, for in the end suffering (persecution) produces perseverance that leads to perfection (James 1:2-4). To be patient is to trust in God’s timing but to be impatient is to not trust in God at all. I choose to be patient … What do you want to be – Patient or Impatient?
Habakkuk 2:3 (NLT)
3 This vision is for a future time. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed.
James 1:2-4 (KJV)
2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
2 Peter 3: 9 (KJV)
9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.