In today’s world where everything is a ‘need needed now’, is patience still relevant? I know the bible talks about it but can we be “the head” that we are called to be if we are patient in a world where everyone is in a hurry? There are some seemingly little things God mentions in His word that seem irrelevant or not too important in this present world but form the bedrock of a successful Christian life. Unfortunately, these things are also not often mentioned in church anymore. They are too simple and everyone wants to share new and exciting things forgetting that God is the same yesterday, today and forever. No matter how exciting we want to make Him so that He will be appealing to our audience, He is unchangeable: when we try too hard, we preach another gospel instead of the gospel of Christ which is indeed simple. God is not complicated but we make Him very complicated because our old man is of the devil who is the master of complications and as such, we are used to complications. The man who walks with God is as simple as His God is. Don’t try to complicate Him. We are to be like Him and not the other way round.
2 Corinthians 11: 3 “But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”
This past Tuesday patience was a major part of my Pastor’s sermon and I was deeply blessed. It was good to be reminded that patience, one of those things that form the bedrock of a successful Christian life, is not obsolete in this “microwave world” we live in; because like contentment, it is hardly mentioned even in church. Believers don’t want to hear about contentment and patience so we don’t talk about them anymore. We all want everything now, and mostly because someone else has them, notwithstanding the length of time they took to get them. We also forget that we are all different and made to fulfill different purposes. Furthermore, we forget that even if our purposes are the same, our journeys and timing may be different depending on what we can endure so that the least we can do is appreciate that God is all wise and never confused. He knows what He is doing and has great reasons for the way He elects to do what He does. The sooner we know this the more joy we would have and the more fulfilled our lives will be and the more pleasing we would be to God who desires that we present ourselves to Him acceptable sacrifices albeit living. It would be sad to think that one is a believer only to get to the end and find that they were not acceptable because they lacked patience and/or contentment which I dare to suggest, work together. Contentment aids patience and it comes from inside of a person making the person acceptable to him or self, whilst the person is trusting God for what He has promised. Unless and until a person chooses to be content, there is no forcing the person to be.
1 Timothy 6: 6amp “(And it is, indeed a source of immense profit, for) godliness accompanied with contentment (that contentment which is a sense of inward sufficiency) is great and abundant gain.”
Exodus 13: 12 “When Pharaoh finally let the people go, God did not let them along the main road that runs through Philistine territory, even though that was the shortest route to the Promised Land. God said, ’if the people are faced with a battle, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.”
Unfortunately for the Israelites, God did not tell them why He made the decision to take them on the longer route. We know today because we read the bible and see the reason but I can imagine how bad they must have felt especially if they knew there was a shorter route. We have to learn patience. A lot of us would have truncated our journey to our promised land because we just must go on that shorter route. The Oxford dictionary describes patience as the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious. Attitude is a vital part of waiting. Interestingly, God in His mercy sometimes accommodates us even despite our bad attitude for such is the love of God, but the attitude in itself has the capacity to ruin everything. It is very sad to note that because of our impatience, we develop our own journeys which God will not travel with us. Though as believers, we ought to be able to say with confidence that He knows the way we take, God does not know the way a number of us take yet we are fine with it as long as we arrive at our desired destination. Unfortunately, for it to be success by God’s standard, the way or means is just as important. A number of those ‘little foxes’ that ruin our walk with God like envy, jealousy and such like, are fueled by impatience. If we can only be patient, our time will come. Sometimes, those other people started before us so that God may be unjust in that situation if He put us ahead of them when they have not fallen short.
Job 23: 10 “But he knows the way where I am going. And when he tests me, I will come out as pure as gold.”