What if the sacrifice of developing patience, came with a far greater reward? I think it does and in this post, I would like to explain how.
Patience is almost a lost “art” in our generation. And yet, it’s never been easier to get what we want–fast.
We expect our coffee served just the way we like it; we want our car serviced ‘yesterday,’ and our internet connection, computers, and phones can’t be fast enough.
Could it be, the less we exercise patience, the more it’s required of us? According to Scripture, developing patience strengthens character and makes us better for the experience.
Knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing (James 1:3-4, NKJV).
Patience, I need it now!
It is never too late to discover the power of the word of God and the potential it has to transform lives.
I have a story which demonstrates how having a little patience strengthened my faith. Psalm 40 once changed the course of my life and revealed the direction I desperately needed during a difficult time. This familiar section of Scripture still represents comfort and serves as a reminder of an experience which took place years ago.
In my Bible, the title under Psalm 40 says “Faith Persevering in Trial.” If someone were not currently in the midst of a storm, this section of Scripture might be easy to overlooked.
I first discovered Psalm 40 (verses 1-3) during a time of uncertainty surrounding both my business and family income. One door had closed, and another had not yet opened. I was stuck and didn’t know what to do next. As a single mother of two young children, I desperately needed guidance and direction. However, life produced no answers.
Then one day…
Early one morning as I prayed and searched the pages of my Bible, I looked for something—anything that might help. Psalm 40 captured my attention. So I read, reread, and prayed this section of Scripture for several weeks. Then one day, a friend asked for help on a business transaction which would require a weekend of my time and a road trip to a city about 200 miles away. I gladly accepted the opportunity, eager to help her and excited about the chance to get out of town and forget my predicament.
I waited patiently for the Lord, and he inclined to me, and heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth—Praise to our God; many will see it and fear, and will trust in the Lord (Psalm 40:1-3, NKJV).
All things work together for good
The opportunity involved a significant financial investment on her part. So we worked late into the evening hours Friday and all day Saturday. Late that afternoon, we made an offer to the seller’s broker who promised to present our offer to his client. On Sunday, our work was complete and with no guarantee our efforts would yield the outcome we desired, we packed our bags and headed for home. We drove in silence with nothing left to say after a weekend of hard work and the resolve that we had done our best. We were at highway speed, about an hour out of town when my phone rang. It was the broker we had met the night before. He spoke quickly, with excitement as he congratulated us on a deal ‘well done.’ He said the seller had accepted our offer “as-is” with no contingencies!
As I relayed the details of our conversation to my friend who had been driving, something outside her window, suddenly caught my eye. There it was. On a hillside, hundreds of yards from the highway in oversized white letters, I saw: PSALM 40.
My friend never saw it, in fact, I do not even remember mentioning it to her. All I could do was think about the text and wonder whether I had seen it after all. To this day I still don’t know.
However, I know this: the commission I earned that weekend represented nearly six months of living expenses. It was also the income and direction I had been desperately seeking. James says the testing of our faith produces patience (v. 1:3). I do not know how much patience I practiced in that season. However, my faith certainly grew as a result.
God often works “behind the scenes,” however often it’s not until later that we recognize what He has done. Share a time when you were patient, and God showed up on your behalf.