S224P4 – At work within us: patience

Jam. 1:2-4

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

Some people say that the best things are worth waiting for, but she was not one of those people.  For her, life was too short to waste any amount of time.  When she wanted something done, she wanted it done well and done quickly.  When weighing whether a project was worth undertaking or an event was worth attending, she measured whether she thought she would receive a good return on her time investment.  As some people are stingy with money, she was stingy with time.  What she failed to understand was that some things come at a higher price because they are worth it.  Those who are not willing to invest the time will not reap the rewards.

One reason why patience is such a critical character trait for us to develop is that it forces us to really pay attention to what we are enduring.  The funny thing is that, as we go through the process of developing patience, patience itself is doing its own work in us.  When the pain we endure happens so quickly that we barely have time to process it, we can lose sight of the value of the trial.  When God allows the trial to go on for so much longer than we ever would want, it forces us to evaluate the process.  That is when we are obliged to make the time for growth, which is necessary for our spirits.  If the spirit is not growing, it is the flesh that gets stronger.

There are some people who will skimp on everything.  They fail to see any value worth the cost in anything.  While there is nothing wrong with being shrewd and getting a deal when you can, the truth is that many wonderful things in this life cannot be obtained with a discount or by a shortcut.  They require an investment from those who are willing to pay the cost.  Spiritual growth is one of those things.  If we do not invest, we cannot glean a return.  To gain patience we must be willing to wait for patience to do its good work in us.  Father, thank You for the growth in the pain and for making us stop, wait, and learn the value in the trial.