by Dr. Charles Stanley
Monday November 15, 2004
The Powerful Attribute of Patience
When you walk up to an elevator and see that the up button is lit, do you ever push it anyway? Or when you are stuck in a grocery line that will not move, do you every think how poorly managed the store is? Our patience, or lack of it, spills over onto every aspect of our lives.
Patience is not a natural trait that some possess at birth. Likewise, it is not a gift from God that we can pray to request. No, patience is available only through the Holy Spirit. Apart from Him, we will have a difficult time developing this awesome quality.
The nature of patience is such that it allows us to say, I'm willing to let go of immediate gratification and wait for God to supply. We experience an inner quietness that can come from Him alone. That doesn't mean we will never feel pressure or stress. Sometimes the need to persist in working toward our goals is almost overwhelming, but God can calm our heart.
It's important to realize that patience cannot be developed apart from other godly characteristics. In considering the life of David, we can see that this is true. While waiting to be made king by God's hand, David had several chances to kill Saul, the nation's current ruler. By refusing to take advantage of the opportunity, David demonstrated discernment, wisdom, love, and faith in God's timing. (1 Samuel 24:10-11; 26:10-11) Patience is available only as part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit. (Galatians 5:22-23) So to demonstrate this important characteristic, we must surrender our lives to Him.
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