What is it?
Why should I have it?
Whenever I hear the word patience I always seem to get a picture of a young child being told “no” or “wait”, and the child then turns to stomp his foot in frustration and cross his arms with a horrid frown. You may laugh, cause I do. I don’t know why I seem to picture patience in my head like that. Perhaps, to a certain degree, I was that child growing up.
It also seems that whenever the little phrase “patience is a virtue” is mentioned around adults, you hear a lot of groaning. It’s kinda funny, but why do we do that? Why does patience seem to cause those reactions? Maybe it’s because it means we have to wait, and we all hate to wait. I’m at the front of the line on this one! Or it means we must just grit our teeth and bear on just to get through.
I was reading through 2 Peter 1 recently, and in verse 6, it mentions adding to our faith patience. It’s in there along with faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, kindness and love. I decided to look up the Greek definition of the word and this is what I found.
cheerful (or hopeful) endurance, constancy: – enduring, patience, patient continuance (waiting).
Wow! Cheerful endurance? Hopeful endurance? Enduring?
So, it not only means waiting, but enduring with cheer. Being hopeful while enduring. I like that. It’s not just gritting our teeth and hoping to get through without blowing up at something or someone. It’s being cheerful and hopeful through it.
So now when I think of praying for patience, I can think of a cheerful endurance! Being patient doesn’t have to have a gloomy thought attached to it if we view it this way. It’s hopeful endurance through pain or annoyances. It’s cheerful endurance with your children or siblings or with just people in general. And most of all a hopeful and cheerful endurance for the life to come in eternity with Christ. There we will have no need of patience any longer, because we’ll be home!
I would like more patience in my life!
How do we learn patience? How do we get this joyful endurance? Well, it comes from “the trying of our faith”.
“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.” James 1:2-3
Although trials, hardship, and anxiety are things we never want to experience, it seems to be the way we learn joyful endurance. That’s why he said to count it all joy! It’s working for our good if we throw ourselves on Christ and shout for joy! Hard to do sometimes? Yes! Seems strange to leap for joy when we are tempted or in the heat of a battle? Yes! But we do it anyways because God’s ways are above ours!
What are your thoughts on patience? What comes to your mind when you think of being patient? I’d love to hear your thoughts below!