Patience. Trust. Perseverance.
Relax, Sarah – Chill out – Just wait – Be patient!
When my mind is racing, and when I am starting to have a nervous breakdown, these are phrases that I often hear people say to me, but for some reason, they don’t help all that much. Even though they are natural words to help get me to calm down while I am displaying these emotions, they tend to escalate my feelings of anxiousness and impatience instead of diminish them.
Why is this happening, I don’t understand. Why can’t I know what to do right at this moment?
This is what is most likely going through my mind at those times I don’t understand why something is happening, and when I don’t know what to do about it. Or when I am looking ahead at my unknown future and just want to know what is going to happen next.
So during these times, the words “Just be patient, Sarah” usually aren’t as effective as the person saying them wishes them to be (I'm sorry to admit that for those of you that have said this to me - no hard feelings!). Maybe it is because they don’t explain why I need to be patient, the “reward” I will receive by just being patient.
Patience is linked to trust– trusting that God has your life in His hands. The truth is, He has great plans in store for you, so there is no need to worry about what is ahead. For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. – Jeremiah 29:11. But trusting in God’s plan is much easier said than done, for me at least. I found that this second link helped me to understand the importance of patience even more.
Hebrews 10:36 reads, You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. Persevere by definition is “to continue a course of action even in the face of difficulty or with little or no prospect of success.” To me, perseverance requires both patience (“the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset”) and complete trust in God’s mighty power and incredible plan for your life. By persevering through any trial, you will “receive what he has promised.” In other words, you will receive your “reward.” Perseverance is a value of mine: something that is very important to me, influences the decisions I make, and defines my character. Linking perseverance (an attribute I feel pretty strong in) to patience (an attribute I don’t enjoy practicing as much) gives me more confidence that I can be patient. It makes being patient not seem so bad!
To me, linking patience, trust and perseverance together makes sense. It explains the importance of being patient in God’s timing (which is never early or late, but always just right), and trusting in His will when you don’t know all the details.
It explains why in the midst of a trial, all three of these attributes are tested and strengthened.
Patience. Trust. Perseverance. – This week, I challenge you to display all three of these attributes in a new way, whether it is in your relationships, in the midst of a trial you are facing right now, or working them into your day to day activities. May these attributes grow stronger and lead you ever more closer to the presence and will of our Heavenly Father.