Patience from God
But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one. And we are confident in the Lord that you are doing and will continue to do the things we commanded you. May the Lord lead your hearts into a full understanding and expression of the love of God and the patient endurance that comes from Christ. 2 Thessalonians 3:3-5
There’s a bumper sticker that says, “Lord, give me patience…and I want it right now.” This is contrary to the prayer offered by the apostle Paul for Christians in Thessalonica. From the text, Paul expressed in his prayer for Christians that the Lord would lead their “hearts into a full understanding and expression of the love of God and the patient endurance that comes from Christ.” In this prayer, Paul raises the bar on how Christians should live the life they have in Christ. Most people will claim that if they possess patience it would be manifested in very limited ways. It is a virtue that seemed to be difficult to possess. There is an expression that describes a person that possesses patience that says, “That man has the patience of Job.” Once you read the life of Job in the Scriptures, you will be amazed how he endured life by being patient. It seemed that his patience was very unusual and impossible to have. Yet, when Paul offered his prayer, it showed that patience in the life of a Christian is achievable. Christians have a model of what patience looked like through the life of Christ written from God’s word. The Lord Jesus Christ left His followers a model to follow. Christ did not only model patience but also He is the Source of patience. He is the One who can give Christians the ability to manifest patience. “May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus” (Romans 15:5). You cannot just learn patience by practicing it constantly but through your regular fellowship with Christ and learning from His word. It is the result of having the life of Christ in you and allowing the Holy Spirit produce His fruit through you. “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23). Once you pursue and grow in your life in Christ, He will take you to great heights and to a life beyond your expectations.