Cultivating Patience

Instead of acting abruptly, through anger or intimidation, patience would have us act through persuasion and the law. Patience would have us wait: until more of us are persuaded, until falsities are exposed in illuminating ways, until it is God's time to act. Patience is followed by victory, but the point of patience is that we have to wait, and we will be equipped to do it in peace and joy.

Patience with other people is as important as patience for the outcome we want. Impatient speakers and writers won't be persuasive to people who are uncertain or who hold directly opposing views. God cares the most about how we interact with people; where there is heart-felt love—and therefore patience—He overlooks ideological confusion and imperfect knowledge every time.

Many of us can bear witness to God's faithfulness from our personal stories. But I also believe that America and the world have for some time now been spared the consequences of our foolishness. The hammer hasn't fallen, in spite of all the doomsday predictions, and I believe we are seeing the hand of God staying what we perceive as inevitable—because He is patient with us, not wanting anyone to perish, but all to come to repentance. God will help us right our course if we will turn to Him, with patience and trust.

Patience is worthwhile because our God is not a God of defeat or despair. While His Spirit lives in us on earth, His promises will be kept. Patience doesn't always feel peaceful and serene inside—sometimes it seems like waiting will kill us—but it is powerful nonetheless. It makes us stronger, wiser, and more prepared for the blessings God wants to bestow on us.

8/19/2012 4:00:00 AM
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    About J. E. Dyer
    J.E. Dyer is a retired Naval intelligence officer and evangelical Christian. She retired in 2004 and blogs from the Inland Empire of southern California. She writes for Commentary's CONTENTIONS blog, Hot Air's Green Room, and her own blog, The Optimistic Conservative. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.