As I think about having patience, I think about it in 2 ways. First, I can show patience by not getting angry and keeping my emotions under control. Second, patience is about waiting for the future and what God has planned for us.
Both of these definitions of patience fit with Bible teaching. In the context of the fruit of the spirit, both understandings also fit. Today, I’m looking at the second definition having patience to wait for God’s best.
Be patient therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. Behold, the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient over it, until it receives the early and late rain. 8 You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.James 5:7-8
As Christians, we have many times in our lives that we must be patient. The verses here in James are reminding us to patiently wait for the coming of the Lord. It’s been almost 2,000 years since this verse in James was written. In human thinking, 2,000 years is a long time to wait and be patient.
If I had to guess, you are probably waiting for God in some other area of your life, too. You may be praying for your children, but not seeing the changes you are praying for. Or you may have an health issue that you are praying for healing or relief from pain. You might have a personal request that seems to go unanswered.
Just as we are waiting patiently for the return of Jesus, we also wait for answers to our prayers. James gives us the example of farmers waiting for their harvest watching and caring for the harvest until it matures.
Remember, farmers don’t plant seeds one day and get an amazing harvest the next day. They wait for weeks and months for the harvest to fully mature. As a gardener, I understand this verse. I planted flowers a few weeks ago, and every day I check the plants, looking for new growth or problems that need to be fixed. Patience is a process.
As you pray and wait patiently, I want you to know you are not alone. Your request is unique to you, but patiently waiting is not. I am praying and waiting for God to answer my requests just as you are. I don’t know how long it will be before God answers. Until God answers, I just continue doing what I know is right. I stay on mission.
No matter what you are praying for today, remember that God has purpose and plan in your wait. It may not be until years later you look back and see how patiently waiting on the Lord has changed you and how he faithfully brought you to where you are now and where he wants you to go. His timing may not be your timing. But his timing is perfect. As you, wait thank God for allowing to you to further develop the fruit of the spirit, patience.