The Virtue of Patience

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant

1 Corinthians 13:4

You’ve likely heard the phrase “patience is a virtue”. Well, in today’s age of instant gratification and always-on-the-go-society, patience is sometimes hard to come by. But it’s a trait that’s vital in our everyday lives as well as our spiritual growth and development.

In 1 John 4:8 (ESV) it says, “anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” And as the opening verse above states—before any other attribute—love is defined by the word patience. Additionally, when we give ourselves to the Lord and allow His Spirit to lead us, we experience the fruit of the Spirit; one of them being patience (Gal 5:22–23).

So it’s hard to argue the significance God has placed on this virtue. Even Jesus had to practice patience with His thick-headed disciples (no disrespect intended). I mean, how many miracles must one man perform before he’s seen as the Son of God? Yet he remained patient with them time and time again.

Like Jesus, we need to practice patience in our everyday lives, too. Whether it be simply putting up with a nuisance, or dealing with boredom, patience gets us through the day. And by definition, when we are patient, we wait for our circumstances to change without voicing petty complaints.

But surely there’s a time when it’s okay to complain? We’re all guilty of it.

In fact, when we are faced with circumstances that feel out of our control and lead to seemingly unfair suffering, it’s okay to complain to God. Think of it as an act of faith. Psalm 142:2 (ESV) reads, “I pour out my complaint before Him; I tell my trouble before Him.” (For an even more stark example, read Psalm 88:15–18) When we tell God about our problems, we’re confirming His power and authority in our lives.

Of course, it doesn’t always feel like He intercedes on our behalf. However, as believers, we must remember that He weaves everything together for our good (Romans 8:28), as hard as it is for us to understand His methods and timing. The difficulties we were promised on this side of Heaven (Romans 8:17) require our patience, which tests our faith, and ultimately leads to spiritual growth and becoming more like Christ.

Reevaluate the struggles in your life from God’s perspective. It will provide clarity and renewed patience to deal with your circumstances.

Today’s author: Mark Henderson—Founder of The Inspired Legacy

Mark is a creative professional with more than 20 years experience in the fields of web design and advertising. He also serves as the chief content officer at The Inspired Legacy, an online ministry dedicated to shining a light on God’s gift of parenthood. The organization aims to inspire and equip fathers to boldly lead their families, love their kids unconditionally, and leave a legacy of grown children that carry on these same traditions. Mark resides in Sioux Falls, South Dakota with his wife, Kimberly. Together, they have three children, two girls, and one boy.

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