This is a promise in essence if not in form. We have need of patience, and here we see the way of getting it. It is only by enduring that we learn to endure, even as by swimming men learn to swim. You could not learn that art on dry land, nor learn patience without trouble. Is it not worth while to suffer tribulation for the sake of gaining that beautiful equanimity of mind which quietly acquiesces in all the will of God?
Yet our text sets forth a singular fact, which is not according to nature but is supernatural. Tribulation in and of itself worketh petulance, unbelief, and rebellion. It is only by the sacred alchemy of grace that it is made to work in us patience. We do not thresh the wheat to lay the dust: yet the Rail of tribulation does this upon God’s floor. We do not toss a man about in order to give him rest, and yet so the Lord dealeth with His children. Truly this is not the manner of man but greatly redounds to the glory of our all-wise God.
Oh, for grace to let my trials bless me! Why should I wish to stay their gracious operation? Lord, I ask Thee to remove my affliction, but I beseech Thee ten times more to remove my impatience. Precious Lord Jesus, with Thy cross engrave the image of Thy patience on my heart.
From the Faith’s Checkbook Mobile Devotional Android app – http://www.LookingUpwardApps.com/fcb
I wasn’t going to add to these devotionals, but my friend Terry commented on this and I felt that it needed to have a thought added to it. So here goes…
Being a mom, I know that there are many things that I have to be persistant in teaching my children. When they say, “Mom, I want to ride a bike”, or “Mom, I want to swim”, without teaching them how it is rare that they will be able to do so without getting hurt in some way, or even drowning. So I take the time to teach them until they are masterful at it. Right now Jk is in the process of learning to skate on inline skates. Now I’m the clumsiest person on earth, but my husband and his sister were amazing ice skaters and roller skaters. His sister in fact, use to skate in ice skating shows. But when it comes to the patience to teach Jk, I tend to have more experience in that having been through it with 4 girls already. When I’m having a good day I will go on their nightly dog walks so Jk can skate. Her fear of getting hurt has been a problem holding her back, and Dad being the military guy he is responds with the “buck up and go with no fear”, which doesn’t do much but make her more nervous. When I go, I walk beside her, letting her hold my hand when she first starts out, and then walking beside her until her confidence grows. I don’t allow her to say “I can’t”, and I have told all my girls that those are the worse words you can use because you already set yourself up for defeat. It doesn’t mean I don’t understand their struggle in doing things, in fact I know because I went through it myself as a child growing up. I know though that they need to feel that I am right there by them through the struggle of learning, and that I will do my best to keep them free from harm.
That is how it is when we ask God for things like patience. Just like our children have things that they need to be taught, there are things that we ask God for that can only come through the learning process, and patience is one of those. There are only 2 things that God gives us that we need that don’t have to be learned and that is his mercy and his love, because those he gives freely to any who ask for them. But there are many other things we ask for that just as any parent God has to teach us to have. If we ask to learn to pray, we have to read the Bible and find out how Jesus taught us to pray and then to practice it by making it a daily thing. If we need patience, then be sure that we will be given things to be patient through. If we ask for wisdom, then we need to go to the book where God shared his wisdom for us…the Bible, and then we need to practice making decisions based on that wisdom. Sure this is a time when Satan likes to attack us because he knows our resolve is easily challenged because we are humans and weak. That is why it is important for us to remember that even in these times of testing, God is right beside us preparing to pick us up should we fall, and we need to hold onto his hand until we have made it through. This is our confidence, our hope, and what will get us through those times when our patience is tried…that God is always there like our Heavenly Father to encourage us, hold us up, and see us through to Victory in Him.