S20P8 – The obstacles to faith: impatience

Psalm 130:5
I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.

Exercising patience is probably one of the most universal human struggles. Personally, God continues to work in me in this regard. We can chalk up our impatience to the current world culture that thrives on instant gratification, but the truth is that impatience has been a struggle for humankind for millennia. It was a struggle for Abraham, and it remains a struggle for us. While I cannot give you the magic formula for achieving perfect patience in all situations, there is a key component to patience whose exploration can significantly increase our understanding of this discipline.

At the heart of the persistently patient person is a posture of submission. Waiting is difficult because it forces us to relinquish control over a situation. Sometimes we are waiting for God to fulfill a promise or answer a prayer. Sometimes we must wait for some other party to make the next move. Whether we are waiting on God or another person, we are placed in the same position of having to rely on someone other than ourselves. When we are placed in this position, we might start to brainstorm what we can do to move the situation along. This can lead us to take control of a matter that is not ours to control. In the context of our faith, patience requires that we submit control to God and trust in his faithfulness and perfect timing. When we wait on the Lord we submit to his will.

Being a fruit of the Spirit, we should expect patience to be built in us as we continue this Christian walk. In order for it to be produced, we must encounter that which requires patience. Ultimately, the submission required to walk patiently builds in us the recognition that we are not the ones who are in control. We must submit to God and his will regardless of the waiting that is required. Father, please increase in us the desire to submit to your plan and your purpose, and give us what we need to exercise patience as You require.