The Power of Patience Part 1
Why choosing the wait matters to your spiritual growth
I most definitely love quick things. I love efficient and convenient, but what I have seen throughout Scripture, experienced in my own life and observed in the lives of others, are the ways of God are nothing like I normally want it to be. His ways are actually very slow – or it feels like anyway. It’s the opposite of what we want. It’s human nature to want things fast.
One big, deciding factor of where we choose to eat is not just how good it sounds, but the wait time. When you hear there’s a long wait time to your favorite place, you begin to compromise for other restaurants down the street that would have never even been on your list. But because of the little wait time you say, “Count me in; I’m going to go there.”
When people ask, “How do you do mom life?” My answer is “grocery delivery.” There’s nothing wrong with efficiency and getting good at those parenting hacks to make things simpler and more efficient. But we have to renew our minds to think that God’s ways are not like the ways of the world.
God’s ways are not so easy, so fast, so quick.
It’s easy to allow the expectations of being quick and fast to permeate into every area of our lives. Like I said, “Grocery delivery.” I can have everything I need. I can even put in little notes of my pickiness of produce or whatever it might be and pick it up that day.
That’s just not the way God works. It takes time. Nobody truly loves to be patient. But if you look through the Bible, the need and the reward for patience is far more prevalent than the need for speed.
The word quick is there. In Psalms 119:60. It says to be quick to obey God’s commands (paraphrased). Be quick to:
- Obey what He has said in His written Word.
- Worship and praise.
- Give and forgive.
So quick is definitely in the Bible. James 1:19 says to “be quick to listen” (ESV). But soon after that He says “be slow to speak and slow to get angry” (ESV). There’s the turtle again. Psalm 130:5 says, “my soul waits.”
The Bible illuminates the strength of slow, the strength of patience.
Ecclesiastes 7:8 says, “Finishing is better than starting. Patience is better than pride” (NLT). Patience is better than arrogance. It’s more fun at times to start something than it is to finish something. As I was reading this Scripture, I thought, This is probably where we got the idea it matters how you end a thing. It may not take a whole lot of patience to start something, but it absolutely takes patience to carry something to the end.
Gotta Love God’s Timing
I believe in hearing the voice of God outside of the written Word for the specific direction and things that are on your heart. It takes a process of hearing and discerning the voice of God. And God confirms it in multiple ways, but sometimes in our own unwillingness to wait on the Lord, we move forward with arrogance because we say, “I have heard from God.”
The first characteristic of love is patience. “Love is patient” (1 Corinthians 13:4: ESV). We can be patient with other people, but what about God? Are we patient with Him?
I love God and the plans He has for me. I love the timing of God in my life so much. So, I’m choosing to trust Him. I’m choosing to walk out my love for God by being patient. I’m choosing to be patient and wait on the Lord. Because the truth is, when I’m navigating life and walking it out in wisdom and discernment, I’m leaning into the voice of God. As I’m waiting on the Lord, being slow in His presence of God and not in a rush, I am way more submitted, more open handed with the things that God has spoken to me. Why? Because God is patience, love is patience.
God is patience.
When you take something that you’ve heard from God and bring it to His presence, you can become more patient, more at peace and more submitted to His leadership. You find the patience you need in the presence of God because He’s patient. He settles your soul.
As a maturing believer, anything that we are called to be or do really starts with patience, waiting on the Lord. And that comes from fellowship.
I looked up the word waiting in the dictionary – waiting is serving or in attendance. Someone, a waiting daughter or son of God, serving in attendance to His written Word. I want to be in attendance and present, serving my Heavenly Father, on my knees, grounded in the present.
Hearing and discerning the voice of God isn’t always easy, but I have found more times than not, it’s about the process and preparation connected to hearing the voice of God.
It’s not just about the Word of God, but how we carry it.
Proverbs is full of wisdom on how patience impacts the way we carry out the word of God. Proverbs always illuminates wisdom for me.
“Patience leads to abundant understanding, but impatience leads to stupid mistakes” (Proverbs 14:29 CEB). How many of us blame others for our stupid mistakes? We lack discipline and being patient. If we need more understanding, it could mean that we need to respond to the discipline of patience and waiting – and again, who wants to do that?
“Three cheers for patience,” says no one! No one loves patience, but it’s required.
It’s a human default to look for shortcuts. My husband, Paul and I are both guilty of it. You see the traffic and then all of a sudden, you’re looking for another way out.
Why do we look for shortcuts?
- I want it now.
- I’m tired of waiting.
- I don’t believe God will do it.
Our ability or inability to wait on God’s timing reveals how much we truly trust Him.
- How much I actually trust that His timing is better?
- Do I truly believe that His timing is better?
- How much am I willing to wait?
- Do I truly believe that He will defend me?
- Do I truly believe that He will provide?
- How much am I willing to obey?
- How much am I willing to wait?
- How much are we willing to weigh all those reasons for shortcuts are valid?
We need the endurance to fulfill the assignments of God on our lives and also to finish strong until the day we step into eternity. And not just us personally, God wants our families to finish strong. He wants your business to finish strong. He wants your legacy to finish strong. He wants your influence to be sustained.
Shortcuts cut down on time, but when it comes to the Kingdom of God, they cut out the character and the necessary development needed to sustain us to be able to finish strong. Throughout the Bible, we read about people who were promoted with more influence and more leadership. God used many people to do great things.
Everything the heroes of faith in Hebrews 11 did in the name of Jesus was through faith and patience. It’s not just about hearing the word of God; it’s how we carry the word of God. It’s how we conduct our composure while we wait.
What Waiting Looks Like
I’m not talking about waiting, like lazily, or wandering around aimlessly, like I do when I’m shopping. I’m talking about waiting attentively on God and the people in front of me, serving my kids, serving my family, serving the church. I am attentive in the presence of God on my knees, aware of the needs and the plans He has for me.
God gave a dream of leadership to Joseph (Genesis 37 – 44). He was then sold into slavery and put into prison, an accumulation of about 13 years of his life. And then another 10 years passed before the dreams of his family actually came to pass. I’m sure he wasn’t perfect in the process. I’m sure he had his moments of impatience and doubt, questioning if he really heard from God.
But he continued to choose patience in the process. You can see what he chose by how the hand of God continued to stay on him. Joseph was patient through affliction, false accusation and abandonment. He kept his trust in God. It was his faith in God and who God is that allowed him to have faith and patience in what God spoke to him.
A huge key to being patient is having faith that God is who He says He is. He’s a good and faithful God. If we served a God who is shaky, who always changed their mind, like my three-year-old decides what he wants to eat today or tomorrow. One day, he likes pizza the next day he doesn’t. But that’s not God. We don’t serve a God who constantly changes His character and His mind. He’s always good.
Patience is a foundational pillar in our walk of faith. In the next blog, The Power of Patience Part 2, we will dive deeper into the profound benefits that patience can bring into our lives.
As a dynamic speaker, Ashley Daugherty has a passion for people to know Jesus and have a life-changing encounter with Him. Ashley and her husband, Paul, lead a thriving community of believers at Victory Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with a mission to connect people to God and each other, equip them to fulfill their God-given purpose, and empower the church to reach out locally and globally with God’s love. In addition to her ministry work, Ashley is a devoted wife and mother of five. Follow Pastor Ashley on Insta. https://www.instagram.com/ashleyhopedaugherty/?hl=en