Question – “Would you describe yourself as a patient person – and what are some recent incidents in your life that would prove that you are either patient or impatient?” Patience is the ability to endure trouble without complaining, and the ability to calmly tolerate delay, confusion or inefficiency. Patience is the ability to wait calmly, and it also refers to steadiness, endurance or perseverance in performing a task. Are you a patient person – and if not, why not? We develop patience in our lives by daily walking with the Lord, trusting in the Lord, and believing the promises of the Lord. We also develop patience towards others by “putting ourselves in their shoes” before we respond to their mistakes or inefficiency.
Second Question – “What are the benefits of patience in our lives?” The Bible teaches that patience brings maturity into our lives. James 1:4 reads, “Perseverance (patience) must finish its course so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” Patience also brings victory to our lives. James 1:12 reads, “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life . . .” Thirdly, patience also brings prosperity into our lives. James 5:7-8 reads: “Be patient . . . until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.” James was saying patience enables us to prosper and “reap good crops.” Finally, patience brings tranquility to our lives. James 5:10-11 reads: “As an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered.” Patience brings great benefits to our lives
Third Question – “Would you describe yourself as a ‘self-controlled individual’ – and what are some recent incidents in your life that would demonstrate your proficiency for or lack of self-control?” If you have a continuing problem with any of the “works of the flesh” that are mentioned in Galatians 5:19-23 in conjunction with the “fruit of the Spirit,” then you probably struggle with self-control. A lack of self-control oftentimes brings defeat, discouragement and disaster to our lives. We develop self-control by admitting that we have a problem with it, believing that we can be changed, challenging our feelings, distancing ourselves from temptation, eradicating our past mistakes, finding an accountability partner and giving the Holy Spirit complete control of our lives (Ephesians 5:18). Self-control really comes from being “filled with the Spirit” and allowing the Holy Spirit to direct our actions, attitudes and ambitions on a daily basis. Living a Spirit-controlled, self-controlled life also brings maturity, victory, prosperity and tranquility to our lives.
As you pray today: 1) Pray for the Lord to show you areas of your life where you struggle with impatience and/or self-control, and ask Him to forgive you and deliver from any strongholds or struggles in those areas; 2) Pray for the Lord to fill you with His Spirit, so that you may experience and express patience and self-control in your life today; and 3) Pray for the Lord to give you opportunities to express to others the benefits and building blocks for developing patience and self-control in their lives. Impatience and a lack of self-control are “works of the flesh,” but patience and self-control are “works of the Spirit.” We will always have better and blessed lives when we are “walking in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16-26)!