"These things that were written in the Scriptures so long ago are to teach us patience and to encourage us, so that we will look forward expectantly to the time when God will conquer sin and death" (Romans 15:4).
Tom had a "short fuse" and frequently exploded in anger when he was disappointed with himself or others. Then he received Christ and began to study the Word of God, obey its commands and walk in the fullness of the Holy Spirit.
His life began to change, gradually at first, until, as he told me recently, it has now been a long time since he has allowed his old nature to express his impatience.
The story is told of an impatient man who prayed and kept praying for God to grant him the virtue he so desperately needed.
"Lord," he prayed, "give me patience, and give it to me now!"
Patience, however, is a virtue that is developmental in nature, to a large degree. It is the result of walking in the fullness and power of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22,23). It develops out of a good heart and a godly attitude (Luke 8:15). It is spawned sometimes during times of tribulation. Remember, it is a fruit of the Spirit.
Paul writes, "If we must keep trusting God for something that hasn't happened yet, it teaches us to wait patiently and confidently" (Romans 8:25).
So patience comes from hope and trust in God. And finally, we learn patience through the study and personal application of God's Word in our lives, as suggested in Romans 15:4, "These things that were written in the Scriptures so long ago are to teach us patience and to encourage us."
TODAY'S ACTION POINT: When delays and seeming denials occur, I will exercise patience, with the help of the indwelling Holy Spirit.
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