The Value of Patience

I am so grateful that Paul prayed that the Holy Spirit would strengthen me through “His glorious might with all the power [I would] need to patiently endure everything with joy” (Colossians 1:11) Okay, that is what he prayed for the believers in Colossae, but I don’t think I am being presumptuous to believe the Holy Spirit has done the same for you and I. I mean, shoot, even the author of the letter to the Hebrew Christians instructed them to “imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised (Hebrews 6:12).

Before I came to the Lord, patience was never one of my strengths. Even Solomon said that “a person’s wisdom yielded patience,” and frankly, if you had known me in my “BC” days, you would have never credited me with possessing any “wisdom.” This includes any human/natural/or book wisdom and certainly no “Divine” wisdom. I was just an insecure and foolish fellow trying to live by my own set of rules.

However, as I have drawn closer to my Father, and allowed the Holy Spirit to work in my life, I have seen Zoe increase and enrich my nature. You know, I use that Greek word, Zoe deliberately, because according to W.E. Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, Zoe refers to

“life as a principle, life in the absolute sense, life as God has it, that which the Father has in Himself, and which He gave to the Incarnate Son to have in Himself (John 5:26), and which the Son manifested in the world (I John 1:2). From this life man has become alienated in consequence of the Fall (Ephesians 4:18), and of this life men become partakers through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (John 3:15) , who becomes its Author to all such as trust in Him (Acts 3:15) , and who is therefore said to be ‘the life‘ of the believer (Colossians 3:4).

You may not understand all that, but what it means is that once we come to the Lord and are “reborn,” we receive the very life and nature of Yahweh! The same life and nature that He had given to Jesus! In other words, we “ain’t” the same crud we used to be! We have been, as one Bible translation renders it, “recreated as a new species of being that never existed before!” (Romans 10:9) (Sure, other people have been reborn into this “newness,” but it was “new” for YOU!

So, as I confessed upfront, patience was never one of my strong points. I freely admit that. However, when I was “reborn,” a seed of patience (along with all of the other manfestations/fruit of this new life) was (were) implanted in my spirit. As I spent time in the Word of God; drew closer to my Father and allowed the Holy Spirit to work in my life, those seeds grew.

And, in the early days of my faith, I remember how difficult it was to wait for the Lord to move in my life (when I clearly knew what He should do, if He only listened to my advice). But, over the decades of living with Him, my patience has matured and even protected me from some foolish mistakes.

In fact, patience has taught me to never jump out ahead of the Lord’s leading. I have learned that He knows more than I do, what is ahead and if I will wait and follow, I can avoid many of the hardships and traps that have been laid along my path. It has taken time, but I have learned to “Be patient and trust the Lord (Psalm 37:7).

Doulos Studies

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