Devotional on Patience

Patience is defined as the ability to endure difficult circumstances. Patience may involve perseverance in the face of delay, tolerance of provocation without responding in disrespect, anger, or forbearance when under strain, especially when faced with longer-term difficulties or being able to wait for a long amount of time without getting irritated or bored.

According to the artisans, patience is the ability to wait for something you hope for a long time without being discouraged. This might include waiting for the transformation of behavior of a child who has been unruly for so many years, but through prayer and faith in God, you persevere or it could include any other kind of suffering you have to endure. 

Patience is listed as the fourth fruit of the Holy Spirit as we read in Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance (or patience), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.”

The majority of the artisans feel patience is a virtue they need to work on daily because they face situations that test their patience in big and small ways. During their quiet time or even in one- on-one time with them, they always tell me they ask God for more patience.

Some of the things that test their patience include a maid who fails to do her job effectively, a partner who comes home late and drunk all the time, gossip, a colleague who was supposed to clean the workshop or dishes and didn't do it or even an insult and these are only a few things they shared.

One of the artisans shared with us how last year her mum got so sick, despite the medication she was given and she wasn’t getting better at all, which discouraged her. She found herself crying out to God for help and patience for her healing. She was so thankful when He answered her prayers and healed her.

It is easy to have patience when everything is going our way. The true test of patience comes when our rights are violated, such as when we are treated unfairly or when we have to wait for the outcome we are hoping for. Most of us feel we have a right to be upset in the face of irritations and trials and impatience seems to us like holy anger.  It's a fruit of the Holy Spirit and all followers of Christ should seek to have it. It reveals our faith in God’s timing, His unlimited power, and love. 1 Thessalonians 5:14 urges us to, “warn those who are disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, and be patient with everyone.”

If we look at Job’s example, his entire world collapsed when he lost his children. He was left with his nagging wife who urged him to curse God and die and his friends who blamed him for all the suffering in his life.

Look at how Job answered God in Job 42:1-6, "I’m convinced; You can do anything and everything. Nothing and no one can upset your plans. You asked, ‘Who is this muddying the waters ignorantly confusing the issue, second-guessing my purposes?’ I admit it. I was the one. I babbled on about things far beyond me and made small talk about wonders way over my head."