Patience in the Bible
Having patience isn’t easy, especially in our “on demand” society. Patience might be one of the most difficult fruits of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5 to achieve.
Bible verses about patience typically revolve around the same theme—trusting God in all circumstances. We often hear the phrase “patience is a virtue,” but if we’re honest, it usually doesn’t feel like a virtue. Instead, patience can seem like a long list of wants or needs that we doubt will ever be fulfilled.
One of our human responses to uncertainty is to force our priorities above God’s. We think that if we could just act in our own strength, we can have what we want. We want to instantly leap to the other side of the transformation, to the end goal, without going through the process.
We might not do this intentionally, but hard circumstances or our heart’s desires can cause us to rush ahead. Difficult situations are uncomfortable, and we don’t want to experience the hard moments. But maybe in those hard moments, God is working.
When we force a transformation, it doesn’t end well. Transformation will happen, but it probably won’t have the result we want. It also won’t be healthy unless it’s in God’s timing.
In Scripture, the association we see with the Hebrew and Greek words we translate as “patience” is the concept of perseverance or steadfastness. This means actively trusting God, even when we face difficult circumstances.
Resistance is the opposite of patience. When we resist God’s plan for our lives, we’re effectively stating that we don’t trust Him enough to wait. Patience is about giving up control. We want to be in control and have what we want when we want it. Fear and frustration enter the picture the moment we stop resting in the fact that we have a faithful God who desires the best for our lives.