Day 12

Patience for the Long Haul

from the James reading plan


James 5:7-20, Joel 2:23, Matthew 5:33-37, Hebrews 11:32-40, 1 Peter 4:7-11

BY Andrea Lucado

Scripture Reading: James 5:7-20, Joel 2:23, Matthew 5:33-37, Hebrews 11:32-40, 1 Peter 4:7-11

When I see the word “patience” listed in Galatians 5, along with the other fruit of the Spirit, I groan. I’m reading happily along with love, joy, and peace, and then… patience. Ugh.

I know I’m not patient. Watch me try to fold a fitted sheet. But patience, as talked about in the Bible, is much more than remaining calm in the midst of fitted-sheet frustration.

Take the new believers in the book of James as an example. These people were Jews recently converted to Christianity. Because of their new beliefs, they were rejected by their own people. They were persecuted by everyone around them, and James tells them to do what?

“You also must be patient.”
– James 5:8

The Greek word often used for patience in Scripture is makrothumeo, which means… well, it means words that make me uncomfortable, such as:

Longsuffering
Slowness in avenging wrongs
Steadfastness
Forbearance.

Patience is much deeper than something you practice when someone is hogging the bathroom. Patience—the longsuffering kind of patience—is something that arises when real trial strikes.

A few months ago, my own longsuffering was tested. I wish I could tell you I turned to God, fully trusting Him during this dark time, but no. Instead, I shook my fist, and I shook it hard. I was angry at God, and I tried desperately to escape the anxiety and darkness by my own means.

You could say I was the opposite of longsuffering. I was short-suffering, tiny-suffering, microscopic-suffering. I realized in those few months that my pain threshold is nearly nonexistent and, even still, I know most of you reading this have weathered much worse. My life was not bearing the fruit of patience because somewhere deep down inside of me I didn’t trust my God. And somewhere even deeper inside of me, I had lost hope and convinced myself I was alone.

But there’s an amazing thing about the word longsuffering in the New Testament: it is almost always an instruction given in the context of hope.

Romans 8 says, “For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together with labor pains until now. . . We ourselves who have the Spirit as the firstfruits—we also groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for adoption, the redemption of our bodies” (vv. 22-23).

And in Galatians 6:9, we’re told, “So we must not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don’t give up.”

We groan. But we don’t give up. Better still, we do not wait without hope!

We do not wait in vain. We wait for our God—the God who has promised and secured our full redemption through Jesus Christ.

May we do the same for each other in the face of our trials. Let’s practice longsuffering together. Let’s look at our lives with an eye to that glorious day in the future when suffering is but a long, forgotten memory of this earth.

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Post Comments (54)

54 thoughts on "Patience for the Long Haul"

  1. Jennifer says:

    I’m in the season of waiting and being patient. I’m glad I read this devo. Being patient means there is hope. When you’re patient, you’re trusting God for the outcome. I pray to God that I am steadfast in my faith with Jesus.

  2. Lakiesha says:

    Okay I’m connivced. Let’s put it to action.

  3. Jode says:

    This study has been such a blessing for me. I am struggling with patience. I am struggling to keep my eyes on God and then out of no where the enemy stabs with full force and I fall. I end up angry and say the wrong things to the person I so want to have Jesus in his life, my brother. It is all circumstances and I know that. I also know that my foundation is God. I am hanging on to God for dear life and thankfully I have 2 hands because I find myself letting go with one now and then to swat the devil away. I don’t want to let go, I want to let God. I guess now that I have that picture, of myself letting go of God so that I can take a swing, in my head the next time my reaction will be to grab on to God tighter and let Him to the fighting. I need only be still….
    Thank you for this study, I can’t tell you what a help it is in this season of learning more about my savior and my weaknesses. God bless you!

    1. Zoe says:

      Jode that was so eloquent and insightful. I lift you up to God right now in prayer. He will continue to show you his paths. You are on the right track. I agree, God also bless the women of SRT! My life would not have been the same without it. Grateful for this ministry.

  4. Jo says:

    Thank you for this devotional. We have sons and would love a daughter as well. I am praying for patience and a grateful heart whether or not the Lord says “yes” or “no” to my deep desire.

  5. Laurie says:

    Longsuffering. That definition gives patience new meaning for me. It not only being able to wait but to do it without grumbling.

  6. Beth says:

    This daily reading truly shows God’s presence during the time to be “patient”. My husband and I have been trying to start a family and each month is a disappointment. We were optimistic this month and even in this time of waiting our faith has grown stronger. This morning I woke up and took the pregnancy test and saw the too familiar ‘negative’ sign. My immediate reaction is anger, sadness, jealousy, sense of entitlement, and discouragement. Even in my suffering, God is here… within this daily reading passage. To remind me to trust…something I do not do very well. I tend to try and take actions into my own hands. During this time I cannot do this on my own. This was a reminder of ‘hope’ in my time of patience…to trust the One who has perfect timing.

    1. She Reads Truth says:

      Praying for you in this, Beth. Asking the Lord to continue to provide you with patience and trust in Him and His perfect plan. So grateful for you, friend.

      – Stormye

  7. Krista says:

    Asking for prayers for patience in my marriage. It’s been tremendously challenging over the past few years and I sometimes feel my disconnected husband will never fully return to me or to God. Thank you.

    1. She Reads Truth says:

      Praying for you, Krista. Asking the Lord to redeem what is broken and to connect you and your husband.

      – Stormye

  8. Stephanie says:

    Andrea, thank you for your encouraging words. It’s as if God has answered my burning questions through the scripture passages and your devotional. Incredible!

    1. Rileigh says:

      Thanks for writing such an eaat-to-undersysnd article on this topic.

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