‘Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains.’ – James 5.7From Sam Lomas:
I don’t know about you, but when someone tells me to be patient, I often feel like banging my head against a wall and exclaiming “YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND!”.
It’s easy to encourage patience, it’s much harder to actually be patient.
One thing I am certain of, is that over recent months, many of us have had to practice patience whether we would have liked to or not. Patience with our government; with our church leaders; with our family etc. When we have a deep longing for something to happen, the ability to be patient is crucial.
Perhaps you are currently longing for something right now. Maybe it’s to do with the ongoing coronavirus outbreak and you long for the day when normality returns. Or it could be that you are waiting for something to take place before you can move forwards.
I found myself in conversation with someone recently and as we were chatting, what became clear was the need for both of us to be patient. Together we were reminded that patience is a fruit of the Spirit and something that the Lord can help us grow in and become better at. But how and why does the Holy Spirit grow patience within us? Here are four ways the Holy Spirit is working through our patience:
- He strengthens us physically, emotionally and spiritually to persevere.
- In times of waiting, He gives us a greater understanding of who Jesus is. Through this, our attitude towards the thing we long for is challenged and re-shaped.
- He helps us see and understand the blessings found in the waiting. This means our waiting can become life-giving as we see the beauty in our present circumstances.
- He shows us the main thing all believers are waiting for: the day when Jesus returns as King.
In the verse above, James, Jesus’ half brother, is instructing believers to be patient in their longing for the return of Jesus. James uses the example of a farmer who must wait for their land to yield a valuable crop. Applying this imagery, we are to wait patiently for the right time. If we rush too soon, then the true value of our crop will be spoilt.
Whatever the aspect of your life that is requiring you to be more patient is, why not spend a moment in prayer now. Ask the Holy Spirit to increase your patience regarding [x x x x]. Allow Him to re-shape your heart and attitude towards the things you long for and the time spent waiting.