Patience, or a lack of it, spills over into every aspect of our life. For example, when you’re waiting for an elevator that doesn’t come quickly, do you repeatedly push the button? Or if you’re stuck in a grocery line that’s not moving, do you wait calmly or inwardly grumble about how poorly managed the store is?
Although to some degree our temperaments may determine our ability to wait, the kind of patience God wants Christians to have is that which is produced by the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23). Apart from Him, we will naturally become impatient when people frustrate us or circumstances aren’t to our liking.
The spiritual fruit of patience allows us to say, I’m willing to let go of immediate gratification and wait for the Lord to supply. It’s an inner quietness and trust that comes from God alone. This doesn’t mean we’ll never feel pressure or stress, but when we release our expectations to the Lord, He will calm our heart and mind.
David understood this. While waiting to become king, he had several opportunities to kill Saul, the nation’s current ruler. By refusing to take advantage of the situation, David demonstrated patience and faith in God’s timing (1 Samuel 24:10-11; 1 Samuel 26:10-11).
Patience is a matter of trust in God. Are you willing to release your expectations for both the small and large events in your life? Can you acknowledge that the Lord’s timing is more trustworthy than your own? If so, you’re on your way to being a truly patient person.