Be Still Know
Hebrews 10.36 NLT
‘Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.’
There is a wonderful prayer which runs, “O God, grant me the courage to change what I can, the patience to endure what I cannot change and the wisdom to know the difference.” In all our lives there are many things which we are powerless to change, and God wants to give us the patience to live with them. That’s far more easily said than done because, as we all know, patience is extremely hard work. We would all like to see an instant removal of the problems and difficulties of life, and the news that we need to live with them is the last thing we want to hear. But the writer to the Hebrews knew that his readers needed to learn the language of patience. We cannot be sure exactly what challenges they were facing although we know that they had to face recurring waves of persecution and they were living in a society that was fundamentally opposed to their Christian values.
John Chrysostom, one of the great leaders of the Early Church, said that patience was the queen of virtues. It is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit and is therefore closely related to all the others. Where you find patience you will find love, joy, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. They all live together because they are all the result of the Holy Spirit taking control of our lives. Without the Holy Spirit’s inspiration and strength, we are on our own and patience is just sheer hard work. But when we live in partnership with the Spirit, he enables us to discover the wonderful gift of patience.
I suspect that you, like me, have learnt most about patience from seeing people live it out. I think of people who’ve lived with disabilities, sick relatives, difficult employment situations and challenging domestic situations. There was nothing they could do to change their situation. They just had to live with it. And I thank God for their resilience, smiles, and positive attitude. Only a miracle could bring about that kind of patience, and we all need to pray for that miracle.
Question: Who has helped you to understand the blessing of patience?
Prayer: Lord God, forgive my impatience and help me in the power of your Holy Spirit to find the wonderful gift of patience. Amen
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