“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience”. James 1:2-3
Patience seems to be at an all time low nowadays. People are blowing their car horn if someone doesn’t immediately start to move after the light turns green. Road rage is more common. People start to vent to the customer behind them when the cashier is seemingly slow. They start fidgeting in their pews, looking at the time when they think the preacher is carrying on too long. (I hope that preacher wasn’t me lol). There was even a commercial years ago supporting impatience, and the people in it said “It’s my money, and I need it now!!!” We have changed into a “now” society, but God wants us to have patience. Patience? Why? I want faith, and I want it now! Why do I have to wait?
So why is it so important to God that we have patience, because patience takes time to cultivate, and it’s so easy to quickly lose? Simply, because He is patient. Look at how long he put up with some of us when we were rebellious, rejecting Him, refusing to accept His love and guidance. How can we show the love of God and exhibit His patience to this “now” world, when we ourselves want our loved ones saved? Now! Our bills paid. Now! Our bodies healed. Now! A new job. Now! Successful career. Now!
Years ago I was unhappy where I was working at because I was passed over for advancement. I really thought God’s plan fell through (yes, that was my young, immature Christian thinking sad to admit) and there was no chance to get elevated. So I started looking for other employment. On my way to an interview, I was turning right onto a street with a double turning lane and my car somehow mysteriously slid into the car beside me. It was almost like my car took control of itself and just got away from me. I missed my interview needless to say because of the wreck, and two weeks later I got that promotion at the same job that overlooked me before. Even though I didn’t pass the faith test, God stepped in and taught me patience the hard way. The testing of our faith produces patience as James wrote in our scripture. I have learned not to rush God and let Him move in His timing. Just as He was patient with me, I need to be with Him.
Do we not know in our Spirit that the trials serve a purpose, and we are challenged to react to them with joy? To where we can say, “thank you Lord for another opportunity for You to work in our lives. Thank You for the trials and the tests. For learning by them, they help us to produce this patience that You have modeled towards us”.
Elder Steve Smith