Patience vs. Impatience

“Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.” James 5:11

The above verse is just one of several verses that I have read recently – all dealing with patience. Yesterday, part of my reading was James 1:2-4 – “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” 

The other day, I read – “For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.” Hebrews 10:36

No, these verses are not new to me…I’ve read them many times. But, as I read and reread those first verses in the book of James yesterday morning, I just stopped and thought about the phrase “let patience have her perfect work”. In my Bible, above that phrase, I have written – “stop fighting!”  For God to say “let patience…” indicates our human nature to resist.

If we are to “let patience”….if we are to allow patience to work in us, I think it would be a good thing to understand what patience is as well as what it is not. Can you guess what I did yesterday morning? Another little word study! 🙂

patience – “1) The suffering of afflictions, pain, toil, calamity, provocation or other evil, with a calm, unruffled temper; endurance without murmuring or fretfulness. Patience may spring from constitutional fortitude, from a kind of heroic pride, or from christian submission to the divine will. 2) A calm temper which bears evils without murmuring or discontent. 3) The act or quality of waiting long for justice or expected good without discontent. 4) Perseverance; constancy in labor or exertion. 5) The quality of bearing offenses and injuries without anger or revenge.”

I don’t know about you, but I find that phrase “without discontent” rather convicting.

Here are some synonyms for patience:

synonyms – composure, diligence, endurance, fortitude, grit, humility, moderation, perseverance, persistence, poise, restraint, self-control, tolerance, backbone, calmness, constancy, guts, submission

I went ahead and scrolled down to see the listed antonyms for patience. Are you ready for this?

antonyms – agitation, arousal, cowardice, idleness, indifference, indolence, laziness, lethargy, weakness, fear, resistance, frustration, impatience, intolerance

Can anyone say, “OH ME!”

And now, the definition of impatience:

impatience – “Uneasiness under pain or suffering; not enduring pain with composure; restlessness occasioned by suffering positive evil, or the absence of expected good. Impatience is not rage, nor absolute inability to bear pain; but it implies want of fortitude, or of its exercise. It usually springs from irritability of temper.”

synonyms – anger, annoyance, anxiety, eagerness, edginess, excitement, nervousness, restlessness, uneasiness, agitation, fretfulness, hastiness, irritability, rashness

antonyms (a couple of these really stood out to me) – calmness, contentment, enjoyment, happiness, JOY, PEACE, control, endurance, forbearance, patience, waiting

This little word study, along with the verses mentioned at the beginning of this post, have really given me some food for thought the last few days. Is God waiting for me to stop resisting and “let patience have her perfect work”?

“We must let it have its perfect work. Do nothing to limit it nor to weaken it; but let it have its full scope: if one affliction come upon the heels of another, and a train of them are drawn upon us, yet let patience go on till its work is perfected. When we bear all that God appoints, and as long as he appoints, and with a humble obedient eye to him, and when we not only bear troubles, but rejoice in them, then patience hath its perfect work. (3.) When the work of patience is complete, then the Christian is entire, and nothing will be wanting: it will furnish us with all that is necessary for our Christian race and warfare, and will enable us to persevere to the end, and then its work will be ended, and crowned with glory.” ~ Matthew Henry

Who’s Driving Out Who?

“But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell.” Numbers 33:55

A sobering reminder this morning in the above verse. From Matthew Henry’s commentary:

“Let us hear this, and fear. If we do not drive sin out, sin will drive us out; if we be not the death of our lusts, our lusts will be the death of our souls.” ~ Matthew Henry

Today, who or what is in control of our lives? Are we actively driving out sin in our lives? Are we fleeing temptations? Are we resisting Satan’s lures with the Word of God? Or, are we allowing sin to drive us down a path of destruction?

Today, “who’s driving out who” in our lives?

Faith – Samuel Chadwick

Not long after I completed my word study yesterday, (explained in my previous post), I read the following in a little book entitled “God Listens to the Crying Heart in the Secret Place” by Samuel Chadwick.

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Faith is explained by its opposite. Doubt is double-minded and unstable. Like a troubled sea, it is driven by the force of the wind and tossed by the surge of the deep; it is at the mercy of a double motion of oscillation and undulation. Internal conditions disturb, and external circumstances drive. Such a man gets nothing because he is not of one mind and a two-minded man is unstable in all his ways.

Ships go East and ships go West

Whatever the winds that blow;

The set of the sail; and not the gale,

Settles the way that we go.

Faith sets the sails.

Faith vs. Doubt

“But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.” James 1:6,7 

I was sharing something with a dear sis yesterday and thought I would do a post on it – in hopes that it will be a blessing to someone this morning.

Yesterday morning, in the midst of taking some things to the Lord, my heart’s desire was to better understand “faith”. During that time, the Lord seemed to impress my heart to do a little word study on “faith” and “doubt” and here is what I came up with:

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FAITH

Belief; the assent of the mind to the truth of what is declared by another; resting on his authority and veracity, without other evidence; the judgment that what another states or testifies is the truth.

synonyms – acceptance; belief; confidence; conviction; hope; assurance; certainty; surety

DOUBT

To waver or fluctuate in opinion; to hesitate; to be in suspense; to be in uncertainty; to be undetermined; to fear; to be apprehensive; to suspect; to fill with fear.

synonyms – apprehension; confusion; disbelief; distrust; fear; hesitancy; misgiving; skepticism; suspicion; uncertainty, wavering

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I printed the above and posted it in a visible place where I have my devotions – to serve as a continual reminder and even a tool for self-examination:

“TODAY, do I have FAITH in God? Do I have complete confidence in His Word? Am I resting on His promises? Am I certain that He will do what He said?”

OR…

“TODAY, am I apprehensive? Am I wavering on God’s promises? Do I feel confused? Am I fearful of the future? Am I skeptical of God’s ability?”

I’m just going to be honest right here. Yesterday, as I typed those synonyms for “doubt”, my heart was convicted. Oh, may we be continually reminded that we serve a FAITHFUL God Who is in complete control of our circumstances! We can fully trust Him! Will we choose to do so?

“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Hebrews 11:6

Prayer – Corrie ten Boom

The following reminder, by Corrie ten Boom (survivor of the Holocaust), was a blessing to me this morning – I trust it will be to you as well.

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How important are our prayers in God’s eyes? Do you know that not one of our prayers is lost? Your prayers – for your son, your daughter, your mother, your father, your friend, or whoever you prayed for – are so costly in God’s eyes that they are stored in heaven.

“And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.” Revelation 8:3

Lord, forgive me that I have underestimated my intercessions. I prayed to You in Jesus’ name, and therefore they are so precious. Hallelujah!  ~ Corrie ten Boom

The Fruit of the Spirit

“And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;” Ephesians 5:18 

To be filled with the Holy Spirit is not a suggestion for Christians but rather a command, as we see in the above verse. It was A.W. Tozer who said, “The Spirit-filled life is not a special, deluxe edition of Christianity. It is part and parcel of the total plan of God for His people.”

As with any duty of a Christian, in order to strive for the spirit-filled life, one must first get a better understanding of what God’s Word is speaking. Galatians 5:22,23 gives us a description of the fruit that will be present in a spirit-filled believer:

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”

As the girls and I talked about these verses the other day, we took a closer look at each virtue listed and then, I encouraged them to follow my example and copy the words down along with the comments that follow them.

love“to God especially, and to one another for his sake”

joy“by which may be understood cheerfulness in conversation with our friends, or rather a constant delight in God”

peace“with God and conscience, or a peaceableness of temper and behaviour towards others”

longsuffering“patience to defer anger, and a contentedness to bear injuries”

gentleness“such a sweetness of temper, and especially towards our inferiors, as disposes us to be affable and courteous, and easy to be entreated when any have wronged us”

goodness“(kindness, beneficence), which shows itself in a readiness to do good to all as we have opportunity”

faith “fidelity, justice, and honesty, in what we profess and promise to others”

meekness“wherewith to govern our passions and resentments, so as not to be easily provoked, and, when we are so, to be soon pacified”

temperance – “in meat and drink, and other enjoyments of life, so as not to be excessive and immoderate in the use of them”

(taken from Matthew Henry’s Whole Bible Commentary)  

The list is a lot to remember, isn’t it? But, if it is God’s will for us to be filled with the Holy Spirit then we can be assured that He will help us…if that is our heart’s desire.

Psalm 145:4 – A Thought For The Unmarried

“One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts.” Psalm 145:4

I have the above verse up on our living room wall for it is one of many prayers of mine for our family. I was reminded of the verse this morning…

We have our lil’ buddy, Luke, with us for a few days – we always enjoy it when he comes to Nanna’s and Poppa’s house! This morning, he and Aunt Bethany were having a little conversation about “rain storms”. Luke told her that he was afraid of the thunder…but then he quickly added “But God will take care of us”. He then told her his “w” verse he had learned – “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.” Psalm 56:3 Well now, when Aunt Bethany heard that, she had to tell him how Nanna had taught her that very same verse when she was a little girl!

What took place at our house this morning was just an example of God’s plan for Christian families – that one generation would pass on their faith in God to the next generation…and that that generation would in turn pass on their faith to the next generation…and so on…and so on.

Just recently, we received a phone call from a very excited lil’ buddy. As I said, “Hello”, that little voice on the other end said something like, “Hey Nanna….I got SAVED tonight!” Can I tell you how that thrilled this Nanna’s heart? I went on to tell our Clay that Nanna had been praying for him!

Again, that is God’s plan for families and if we are saved, it should be our earnest prayer – faith passed on from one generation to the next…to the next…to the next, etc.

You know, there are many reasons why the Bible instructs Christians not to be unequally yoked together with unbelievers:

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” II Corinthians 6:14 

The above verse speaks of lack of fellowship as a reason not to marry an unbeliever, but in Nehemiah we read of another reason to avoid an unequal yoke:

“In those days also saw I Jews that had married wives of Ashdod, of Ammon, and of Moab: And their children spake half in the speech of Ashdod, and could not speak in the Jews’ language, but according to the language of each people.” Nehemiah 13:23,24

The children of the Jews who had married heathen wives were not being brought up to speak the Jews’ language. A portion of Matthew Henry’s comments on this passage serve as a good reminder to Christians who are considering marriage:

“If either parent be ungodly, corrupt nature will incline the children to take after that one; which is a strong reason why Christians should not be unequally yoked.” ~ Matthew Henry

Did you see that? When a Christian marries an unbeliever…if that unbelieving spouse doesn’t repent, get saved and begin living for the Lord, the natural inclination of the children of that union will be to follow after the ungodly parent. What a heartbreak for the godly parent!

If you, as an unmarried believer, are reading this and your utmost desire is to have a Christian home and pass your faith on to your children, please be careful! Please be prayerful! If it is God’s will for you to marry, He is able to give you a mate with whom you can teach and train the next generation according to GOD’S WORD! Be patient. Wait on God. Trust Him.

“Give ear, O my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old: Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done. For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children: That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children: That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments: And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not stedfast with God.” Psalm 78:1-7 

Is Your All On The Altar?

The girls have been working on a piano/flute duet of the following hymn and as a result, the words have been running through my mind on and off for days. Is MY all on the altar? Does the Holy Spirit control MY heart? Are MY body and soul yielded to Him?

You have longed for sweet peace,
And for faith to increase,
And have earnestly, fervently prayed;
But you cannot have rest,
Or be perfectly blest,
Until all on the altar is laid.

Is your all on the altar of sacrifice laid?
Your heart does the Spirit control?
You can only be blest,
And have peace and sweet rest,
As you yield Him your body and soul.

Would you walk with the Lord,
In the light of His word,
And have peace and contentment alway?
You must do His sweet will,
To be free from all ill,
On the altar your all you must lay.

Oh, we never can know
What the Lord will bestow
Of the blessings for which we have prayed,
Till our body and soul
He doth fully control,
And our all on the altar is laid.

Who can tell all the love
He will send from above,
And how happy our hearts will be made;
Of the fellowship sweet
We shall share at His feet,
When our all on the altar is laid.

(Elisha A. Hoffman)

Compassion

“Also thou shalt not oppress a stranger: for ye know the heart of a stranger, seeing ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.” Exodus 23:9

The above verse – in a list of various laws and ordinances to the Children of Israel – caught my attention this morning.  The phrase “ye know the heart of a stranger” brought to my memory the times that the Lord has allowed me to experience some things in order to “know the heart” of others going through that same experience and thus have compassion on them.

What about you, this morning? Has the Lord allowed you to experience some trying times? Are you in a season of suffering at this very moment? There is a purpose for this time in your life. A portion of Matthew Henry’s comments on the above verse are as follows:

You know the heart of a stranger; you know something of the griefs and fears of a stranger by sad experience, and therefore, being delivered, can the more easily put your souls into their souls’ stead.” ~ Matthew Henry

Be assured – if you keep your heart tender during this season of your life, it is no telling what opportunities the Lord will give you to speak a word of encouragement and thus make a difference in another person’s life!

“And of some have compassion, making a difference:” Jude 22