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Posts Tagged ‘self-control’

Patience can be defined as the state of endurance under difficult circumstances, which can mean persevering in the face of delay or provocation without acting on annoyance/anger in a negative way; or exhibiting forbearance when under strain, especially when faced with longer-term difficulties. Patience is the level of endurance one can take before negativity. It is also used to refer to the character trait of being steadfast.

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You will all have heard that “Patience is a virtue.” We’re all familiar with that cliché, and many of us know that patience is listed by Paul in Galatians 5:22-23 as among the fruit of the Spirit. So there’s no disputing that the Christian ought to be patient. But as with most of the virtues, the biblical writers assume that we know what patience is and don’t give an explicit definition. But do we? Could you define patience if you were asked? And, to make things more tricky, could you do so without simply citing examples of patience? Starting with the basic definition of patience as “waiting without complaint”.

Jesus is clearly the model of patience with other people. Notice that Jesus’ refusal to complain about his irritating disciples can be described as an exercise of self-control. Surely he would have been justified in blistering them with insults. It’s worth noting that his omniscience guaranteed that every possible joke and embarrassing remark was at his disposal on any particular occasion. This makes his self-control even more admirable. Also, his refusal to complain involves humility, the conscious decision to lower himself by not exercising his right, as the holy man he was, to judge and dismiss his friends because of their faults. We might even say this is a form of mercy. Finally, Jesus’ refusal to complain about his disciples is generous. In spite of their vice and thick-headedness, he remained no less committed to them and served them increasingly as their failures became more outstanding.

So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land​… – Ezekiel 22:30

Sitting, walking, and standing are the three postures of the believer. As we assume those positions, we engage with heaven in the unfolding of God’s purposes on the earth. We rest in the finished work of the cross but we must also walk according to the call we’ve received and stand firm in his promises if we are to see his kingdom come. Being patient is to stand, either with someone or in their place.

May you this week stand and embrace the gift of patience, the humility of self-control, and may this fill you with hope as you stand wherever you are, in whatever situation you are in.

Stand in the Gap

These words of hope and life
Are here today for you
Be encouraged that your prayers
Were answered before your knew

You know that God goes ahead
As you make plans within your heart
Your footsteps are all crafted
Like a sculptor chisels art

So as God removes the pieces
Of the tears of patience past
Just remember that slowly
In God’s time can be so fast

So in your words remember Him
As you keep your heart so safe
And may the Author always be the
Perfector of your Faith

These words bloom like the rose
Are yours to trim and tend
May their beauty make you smile
Just like an honoured friend

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