Ask God for patience
Published 8:20 am Friday, January 6, 2023
From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Dear Rev. Graham: I’ve heard the phrase “patience is a virtue.” That is a virtue I’m not sure I can attain. I’m a doer and don’t have a lot of patience in waiting for things to happen. I make them happen! Is that so bad? — I.P.
Dear I.P.: Patience speaks of a person’s steadfastness when irritated or experiencing conflict. Enduring ill-treatment without anger or retaliation is a fruit of the Spirit, referred to in Scripture as self-control (see Galatians 5:22-23). Our lives are to be characterized by patience, important in developing stable character and integrity. This is why God allows difficulties, inconveniences, trials, and even suffering to come our way for a specific purpose: they help develop the right attitude for the growth of patience in our lives.
Most people will admit that patience isn’t their greatest strength. But it is important to consider the needs and thoughts of others, particularly when things are out of our control. But we must also guard against selfishness. Patience is not simply “teeth-clenched” endurance. It is an attitude of expectation.
“Be patient,” the Bible tells us. “See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth. … You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand” (James 5:7-8). The farmer patiently watches his barren ground because he knows there will be results. He has patience in his labors because there will be products of his labor. As we strive to live for the Lord, we must exhibit patience knowing that our obedience to Him will result in good fruits that He will accept in eternity. When we ask God for patience — and then use it in every aspect of life — it will be a marvelous testimony to others.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)