Develop endurance – involved
James 1: 1-4
When people trust me to pray for patience, I often ask what else they are doing to get a calm and gentle heart. Patience is not so much something believers receive as an attribute that they develop over time and experience.
Think of patience as a muscle that you have to use to see how it builds. To this end, believers should see difficulties as an opportunity to develop their patience. The human instinct is to cry out to God in confusion when the tribulation knocks. We blame. We resist. We complain. What we don't do is say, "Thank you, Father – it is time to grow in patience!" Humans are not trained to think that way, but the Bible says that this is how Christians should respond.
James tells us to view trials as joy (1: 2). But we often fail, don't we? From a human point of view, it is unnatural to praise the Lord for his tribulation. However, this makes sense for believers if they hold on to God's promise that good will come out of need (Rom 8:28). We do not wait for the Lord in vain. We can praise him for the solution he will bring, the life he will change, or the spiritual fruit he will develop in us.
Accepting hardship as a means of growth is a radical concept in this world. Even more extreme is the believer who praises the Lord for the storm. But God's followers have cause for joy. Tribulation increases our patience so that we can hold tight to His promises and wait for His timing.
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Used with permission from In Touch Ministries, Inc. © 2019 All rights reserved.
Originally published April 24, 2021.