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FAITH | The Sunday Conversation with Pastor Luke Okoro: The virtue of patience

PASTOR LUKE OKORO

READINGS: Hebrews 10:35-39. Galatians 5:22-23.

For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. 

For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come , and will not tarry.
Hebrews 10:36-37.

Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation; Continuing instant in prayer; Distributing to the necessity of saints, given to hospitality.  Romans 12:12-13.

If thou faint in the day of adversity thy strength is  small. Proverbs 24:10.

Everything we do in life requires patience. What, however, is the challenge is when we have to exercise more patience in waiting for whatever is the required outcome. This is where patience becomes a virtue.

What is a VIRTUE?

Virtue is that quality of character that makes someone to do what is right,  while avoiding what is wrong —  no matter how appealing, enticing or seeming reasonableness. Virtue is an admirable quality or  behavior or attitude that distinguishes one from others because of its goodness, kindness and moral rectitude. It’s also sexual purity by  keeping to ones sexual partner. It’s moral excellence. To develop any kind of virtue requires rigorous discipline, self denial and  sacrifice. Patience is one of the  results of virtue. In the same way that obedience is.

What, then, is patience?

Patience is to be good – natured,  tolerance in delay or perceived incompetence. Patience makes  you to  show understanding to one not as fast as you are — at work, at home , at play or at learning. Patience is bending over to accommodate a weaker  person in any exchange or call of duty, especially when such  disposition of the weaker person is not intentional –  to cause delay or sabotage.

We are,  therefore,  called  to  have the virtue of patience , as believers.  But it’s  strange today that nobody wants  to be patient, or to show patience in any endeavor. Believers of today are more of the  INSTANT everything, as in the way we have instant foods, , instant drinks ,  instant dresses and instant homes and houses. Nobody wants to wait.  A name like ‘Patience’ has almost  gone extinct  among modern believers. Everybody wants to bear ‘Favor’ , even when the baby came several years after marriage. ( This is not meant to diminish the  miracles associated with such births. Certainly not. )

Yet, God wants us to be patient, and to learn it too. After all, Jesus  Himself was patient to learn carpentry, obediently.  This is  why God included  Patience ( long suffering) as  part of the fruit of the spirit which believers  are blessed with —  among the nine fruit of the spirit . Patience is a  fruit every believer must strive to have . Why?

The believer must learn patience because we are dealing with a SOVEREIGN God, who does things by Himself. God doesn’t require the instructions of mortal men to do whatever He wants to do. He told Moses that he should tell Pharaoh that I AM .. has sent him.  He doesn’t need to prove anything for man to either believe or trust or obey Him. He’s a finality God. We can’t command God to obey us, despite the profession of our  faith.  So dealing with him requires so much patience, sometimes, tending towards  Long Suffering — which is  its  extreme situation.  Galatians 5:22-23.

In Psalms 37::7, we are encouraged to wait patiently on the LORD. And to do it without fretting, complaining or grudging.  We must also do it without  the comparing of  ourselves with others, : how God had dealt with our friends, other believers ; Or  even wicked people around us.

The Bible says such comparisons are foolish to undertake. God is Sovereign. And He commands us to wait upon Him without fretting.

Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him. Fret not  thyself because of him who prospereth in his ways, because of the man  who bringeth  wicked devices to pass. Psalms 37:7.

The believer must not lose sight of the fact that we are still flesh and blood. Therefore, with limited knowledge of what is; what isn’t; or what is to come? Only God has answers to these issues of life no matter how prophetic or revealing in spirit  we are with God, as His children .
So when a believer begins to be faster than God, it’s because they lack understanding that ” we are still in flesh no matter how spiritual we think we are”.

The believer needs patience to checkmate personal recklessness. We have instances of Ministers of God cursing people because they lack patience. But for the fact that all our prayers go through Jesus, many believers would have used impatient actions and words to kill everybody around them . Remember Prophet Elijah who called lions to eat up the kids who abused him. Thank God for Jesus.

Besides, the Bible tells us not to  faint in the day of adversity or to yield to temptation. Patience is the ant- dote for the day of adversity and temptation. Imagine if Paul lacked patience with the Corinthians with all their provocation?

But for patience, Paul would have failed to groom young Timothy and Titus who became first Bishops of the churches in Ephesus and Crete, respectively. How patient are you with the youth believers  around you? We are to be patient in tribulation, or temptation or adversity. Running out of patience is a sign of weakness in strength and capacity and faith in God to uphold us. Proverbs 24:10.

Patience makes us better human beings. A patient husband, a patient wife , a patient employee or  a patient employer  is most likely to obtain better results and rewards by any means possible , than the impatient opposites.

Similarly, a patient child with the parents;
A patient student with studies and teachers;
A patient brother or sister  with  fellow siblings;
A patient friend with other friends;
A patient neighbor among others, will gain better results , and happier too in the long run. Even if you are being persecuted in these relationships,  we are encouraged as believers to show patience.. .’ patient in tribulation’.

Patience also makes you relate better with God.
You need patience to pray and pray deep.
You need patience to study God’s word.
You need patience to meditate upon God’s word.
You need patience to WAIT upon the LORD in fasting.
You need patience to hear from God . Or for God to speak to you.

Every element of relationship between man and God demands patience. That was where Saul missed it when he made that horrible sacrifice that denied his heritage the  kingship of Israel.

Today, several people have turned themselves enemies of God because they felt God was too late in coming in their  expectations . There are several believers whose faith have waxed  cold because of impatience with God. Very few want to have the patience of Job or Joseph or Daniel or father Abraham. Yet we all know these men became heroes of  faith because they patiently waited for God’s deliverance.

But more importantly is the fact that you need patience to ENTER through the NARROW gate of eternity with Jesus Christ. Consider that Jesus promised to return to take us home over 2,000 years ago. He’s yet to return. John 14:1-2.

No wonder the Scripture is  true when it made Paul to urge the believer thus: Cast not away  therefore  your confidence , which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of  patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. Hebrews 10:35-36. Be patient to make Heaven.

God bless. Happy Sunday.

Pastor OKORO, a revivalist and marriage counselor, can be reached on 08051000462.
All Bible references are from KJV.

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