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Psalm 126; Ephesians 4:2; 1 Thess 5:14

How often God must look down on us, hurrying and beseeching and pushing to get our way. He must smile and say to Himself, “Oh child, if you could only see what I have planned for you. Don’t rush it.”

The pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem sang His praises because they were in the midst of great blessings. God had answered years of prayers and heartache with joy.

Years. There is the key word.

When I read the story of the Israelites wandering the desert for 40 years, I often cringe inside thinking, “Wow. Many people then didn’t even live to 40, they spent their entire lives in the desert.” And yet, leader after leader showed up, obeyed God’s direction, and steered them to a place where they could rejoice and give thanks for what generations had longed for. God had a plan in the middle of what they all thought was a giant mess. He was patient with their sins because He knew if they could hold on, what He had in store would be worth it.

It simply took much longer than anyone else thought.

We are surrounded by deserts in our own lives all the time. Each of us faces reasons to become impatient, to be short with each other. In Ephesians, Paul writes, “…be patient with each other…” (Ephesians 4:2 NLT) and of all virtues, this tends to be one where I struggle the most. I can give God a few weeks, if I’m feeling generous maybe months, to work things out for me. People in my life? That needs to be almost instant.

Both cause me to stumble with my ability to love and my faith in God. My timing isn’t His. It shouldn’t be pushed on others. I need to praise Him in the desert, where my patience finds faith and clings to it when I can’t imagine what is taking so long.

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46 thoughts on "patience"

  1. Regina says:

    Love this. Prompted me to pray for God to change those feelings and actions I have that dishonor his faithfulness to me

  2. Vieve says:

    Hello! I don’t want to be nitpicky because I really love what you’re doing and think you’re doing a GREAT job! Seriously, you’re a blessing. But I just wanted to point out that when you wrote that you cringe thinking, “Wow. Many people then didn’t even live to 40,” it implies that the average life expectancy was less than 40, and that’s far from true. The average life expectancy for Hebrews then was probably about 70, maybe even longer at that time (and many OT characters lived past 100). And the Israelites who set off into the desert didn’t not make it into the promise land because they died. They didn’t get to go in because their lack of faith. That’s why God kept them wandering until that generation died off. It probably seems silly to get hung up on a seemingly small point like this, but I’ve noticed other inaccuracies like this in previous entries and felt the need to mention it because when people are reading these devotionals on YouVersion, they’re expecting a certain degree of expertise and accuracy. Whenever I catch errors like this (and huge grammatical errors), it can be distracting and make it difficult to trust what’s being said. I end up reading very carefully, making sure that I’m not being led astray or misinformed. Of course, it’s my responsibility to know what God’s word says and not yours to tell me what it says. I just wanted to offer a little conatructive criticism so that She Reads Truth can continue to thrive and improve. Thank you for what you do!

    1. Jesyka says:

      Thanks for pointing that out! Sorry for the confusion. :)

  3. Amylee says:

    These verses from 1 Thes really spoke to me this morning: "We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. 14And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. 15See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. 16Rejoice always, 17pray without ceasing, 18give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19Do not quench the Spirit. 20Do not despise prophecies, 21but test everything; hold fast what is good. 22Abstain from every form of evil."

    It reminded me of how great my need for Jesus is, to cleanse my sins. These verses are jam packed with commands, how often to I fail in these commands, how great is my need for Jesus to forgive me, cleanse me, and help me to walk more in His path each and ever day!

  4. Needed this so badly. Me & my boyfriend of almost a year have spent half that time apart due to travel. This year I’m going to Russia & am having to leave him behind. Because of our separations, when we ARE together, we tend to push our boundaries physically. So we’re having to be patient for two very important things. God’s timing is PERFECT. Anyone reading this, please also keep both of us in yo ut prayers

  5. SarahE says:

    I struggle so m6ch to be patient with others. I constantly find myself mentally (and verbally) critiquing others. My focus for Lent has been to be more patient and try to see others as God sees them… it has been an epic fail. Thanks for the reminder and encouragement!

  6. LaurenC_ says:

    So many thoughts on this post that I don’t know how to condense them all into one comment. So I’ll just say Amen & thank you for SRT. The spirit of our Lord is really at work in me & I’m so grateful.

  7. Ebee says:

    "I need to praise Him in the desert!" This is so true for my life right now. Been somewhat secretly battling debilitating medical stuff for over a year. Patience is one of the hardest parts. My whole life is ahead of me and God has great plans for my life! Have to hold on to the promises! Persevere thru this time and come out even stronger on the other side. Thank You for this devotion and your comments today!

  8. Lauren says:

    I find myself praying for patience far too many times while in the midst of being completely impatient. Sure, that's a good time to pray for the much needed patience in the moment. But, shouldn't I be praying for patience more frequently than that? For patience before situations arise? This is what God is showing me today, through this scripture and everyone's posts. By my impatience (mostly, by my and my husband's current living situation) I am not trusting in His timing or His plan. Lord, you know my heart. You know my frustrations. You know my impatience. Please take form me my frustration and impatience, I lay them at your feet. I want to FULLY trust in Your plan and Your timing. And despite the frustrations with our current situation, I thank you. Amen.

    "Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord." Psalms 27:14 NIV

  9. Ellen MR says:

    Margie, I just have to say your post is speaking volumes to me…my son is really putting me thru the grinder and that is the #1 reason I pray for patience! Again, it is hard for me not to force a solution, but I know better now. I need to find more joy in my heart, and realize this may take a lot longer… I know it’s not to just upset me, he’s struggling really hard… Thank you!

    1. Margie says:

      Ellen, my prayers are with you. Raising children are not for the faint of heart. The verse I really claimed during those years was, Jerimiah 29:11- For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. I knew The Lord was with my son as he was with me. Take care & God bless,

  10. Kristi says:

    I’ve been in a season of waiting, of preparing for years now. And as The Lord is just now ready to launch me into something far bigger than myself, He keeps drawing me back to the book of Romans.

    Romans 8:22-25: speaks of waiting in comparison to being pregnant. And as we wait, our expectation grows-just like we wait for the impending arrival of a child’s birth. There are pains and often it’s uncomfortable, but the reward is beautiful and so worth the wait! Sometimes it just takes a change of perspective to find & gain patience.

  11. Ellen MR says:

    Boy, I could write the book on impatience!! Ugh!
    All too often I have forced an end or a “solution”
    because I am too impatient. Not very proud of that, but there it is. “My timing isn’t His. It shouldn’t be pushed on others.” How true is that?! I don’t like to be pushed, why would anyone else want to be pushed? Especially God. That is who I’m ultimately pushing because I simply can’t wait and have a little patience. And that’s why my contrived solutions backfire. It is not His timing! As some of you have pointed out before, meddling just might deny me or someone else the opportunity for growth or learning which was intended- in HIS timing. I’m a little slow on the uptake sometimes, but I’m getting it.. I guess I’ll continue to ask Him for patience! Its been at the top of “The List” for a loong time, lol!
    Brandi, beautiful post!
    Rhonda, Thank you for your prayers! I’m glad your daughters overcame and are doing well! :)
    Lauren L, your post blessed me yesterday and continues today!
    Many Blessings and gratitude for my Sisters today! Thank you Lord!

  12. ~ Grace and Peace says:

    Hi, my name is Impatience, it's nice to meet you. :)

    Needless to say, I felt this devo spoke to me. My greatest problem is not being patient. But God is teaching me to work with Him according to His timeline. For years I prayed for my husband to come to the Lord. When God didn't answer fast enough, I schemed and manipulated. Nothing worked. Then after 6 years, he said he accepted Jesus as his Savior. On my birthday! Rejoice! Rejoice! I thought this is it, he's going to start going to church, join a Men's Bible Study, be the spiritual leader of our family and on and on and on.

    That was in 2009.

    It took more years for him to finally live out that profession of faith. He is still not where I expect him to be but God has worked in his heart and I see changes. Good changes. For the better. Like only God can do.

    Anyway, here's my take on the Psalm for today:

    "Psalm 126:3 The Lord hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad."

    There are days when I forget that. I take for granted the things that the Lord has done for me. At the very heart of it, He provided a Savior. He has freed me from the captivity of sin. Romans 6:16-19 says it beautifully:

    "Doesn’t it make sense that if you sign yourself over as a slave, you will have to obey your master? The question before you is, What will be your master? Will it be sin—which will lead to certain death—or obedience—which will lead to a right and reconciled life? Thank God that your slavery to sin has ended and that in your new freedom you pledged your heartfelt obedience to that teaching which was passed on to you. The beauty of your new situation is this: now that you are free from sin, you are free to serve a different master, God’s redeeming justice.

    Forgive me for using casual language to compensate for your natural weakness of human understanding. I want to be perfectly clear. In the same way you gave your bodily members away as slaves to corrupt and lawless living and found yourselves deeper in your unruly lives, now devote your members as slaves to right and reconciled lives so you will find yourselves deeper in holy living." (The Voice translation)

    If I'm having a really bad day and can't find anything to be thankful for – I need to fall back on these verses. I AM FREE! No longer a slave to sin. I just need to remember that – and live like it.

    Have a blessed day, sisters.

  13. Sarah Wood says:

    Psalm 126 is becoming my anthem for this season in life! As my husband & I pursue adopting our two little children from Africa, I have wavered in my belief that God can give me joy in the waiting. I've read this passage countless times and I became struck by the idea of being restored. In order for something to be restored, it often goes through a painful process of being taken apart, throwing broken parts away, being ground down, and THEN finally put back together. The final product is beautiful & better than what it was before. The result is joy & thanksgiving! How much greater joy would I have at the end of the process, if I was joyful during it too! My prayer for this season is that I would rest in the peace of God and rejoice in the truth that He is working on my heart to transform me more and more like Christ so that the world could have a better picture of the awesome power and grace of our God!

  14. Madeline says:

    What a great reminder, the Israelites had to wait 40 years and it was totally worth it! So good to remember. I pray we all lean on his word and grow in patience.

  15. Carolynmimi says:

    Praying for patience brings more opportunities to develop the fruit of "long suffering". Clinging to the vine for dear life, letting the nourishment of the Word flow when my insides are twisted, so a trickle barely seeps through, reading how my dear sisters struggle through, these work to slowly allow green leaves appear, then the flower and at last fruit…season after season, opportunity after opportunity. Long describes any period of waiting, but through my life, I have realized that to hurry God (as if I could) or take charge ( more like: "CHARGE!") fails on more levels than I could mention. Still patience grows, year after year, the fruit develops…better the years I don't pluck it from the vine green.

  16. Margie says:

    One of the gifts The Lord has given me is patience. My husband, of almost 32 years in July, has commented often on this blessing the Lord has given me. As far back as I can remember, I have always been this way. Yet, The Lord in his beautiful way, never wants to see us stay where we are at; He's constantly growing us. I think our children test us in this area more than any other =). What The Lord has grown in me is….patience when you see your child choosing a path that can lead them to much heartache, pain or even death. That's the journey The Lord took me on 15 years ago. The Lord taught me that during that time with our son, which by the way, which lasted over a course of over 9 years; patience in a whole deeper level. I learned how to patiently love our son. Patiently getting up every morning not knowing how long all of this may last and yet getting through the day with joy in my heart. Patiently accepting that our situation may never change, and that I needed to trust The Lord. I remember one morning as my husband and I were lying in bed and I was weeping, I thought to myself, how can I get through another day of this intense sadness. As I got out of bed to ready myself for the day it hit me! The Lord had been preparing us for this difficult season of our lives. I had been blessed with such a wonderful, loving husband whom I adored. I had taken another job and was placed in an office with one of the most amazing woman of faith I'd ever known. Each day she would lock our doors shortly after I got to work and would pray for me and our situation. I was deeply involved in fitness (which I never had been before) so I was working out each day and releasing a lot of emotional tension as well. As I reflected that morning as I got out of bed, I thanked The Lord for our situation….it seems so odd as I write that down, but it is true. I expressed that although I didn't know the outcome The Lord would provide, I would patiently trust HIM. I learned true patience through deep suffering which has allowed me to come alongside side others on their journeys and offer them hope. Our son is 28 now and doing well. He has given us one of the greatest blessings! A granddaughter! Thank you Lord for all of the blessings you've given me. I pray that each one of these sisters in Christ feel your ever presence in their lives as they grow in your precious words.

  17. megpadill says:

    "Because of your love." This caught my attention because. I don't over look faults too easily. I might not say anything but I definitely see them and they are always on the forefront of my mind when interacting with that person. But then the bible says to overlook them…not because they aren't there or they aren't real, but overlook them, make allowances for them BECAUSE OF YOUR LOVE. Then I had to ask myself what love or loves are we talking about and I think there are 3. Love from God put in our hearts, love for ourselves, and love for that person. Really what's important is that I love that person wholeheartedly and sincerely. That person needs love as much as I need to give it. That's what love does…it forgives, it understands, it overlooks and I think that's where spontaneous patience sprouts from.

    1. Lauren says:

      Awesome perspective, thank you!

  18. Sherry_H says:

    Pretend you don't see this post! I just set up an account and I wanted to try it. Carry on…

  19. Candacejo says:

    Jaime I will finish that thought for you…MY husband says I have NO patience whatsoever! Lol! Truly I struggle with the waiting on God part and reading all of your stories this morning I thought of Joseph in the Old Testament, he had 21 years of peaks and valleys! His jealous brothers sold him into slavery and Potiphar's wife tried to seduce him so he spends years in prison for something he didn't do. Genesis 39:19.

    His view was limited but God's view was full and perfect. He had a plan to use Joseph to save all of Egypt! The link between his view and God's view was FAITH and that produced the patience he needed to wait on God and and trust His timing.

    "And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope." Romans 5:3, 4 NKJV

  20. Allison says:

    Patience is a biggie for me….I pray for patience every day. I don't know what it is, but I'm the most impatient when it comes to my family. Not necessarily my husbands, friends, or coworkers, but my parents and my sister. I'm not sure if there's some deeper issue that surfaces as impatience, but it has been a long struggle. It seems like every time I call home or go home, I can literally feel my anxiety rising and my impatience beginning to develop. And the worst part is that I know this! I recognize it and see it coming and try and tell myself to just chill…there's no reason to be short with them, be quicker to anger, or to feel that I need to tell them my opinion more so than I would normally. Not sure, sisters…it's a struggle and I pray for patience constantly! Today's post was a good reminder that maybe God's plan for my family (or me) isn't worked out yet….maybe all the faults/negatives I see in my family are merely God at work. I need to be patient and let God do His thing. Praying for patience….

    1. Allison says:

      ** Typo….it should be "husband," not "husbands" haha oops!!

    2. Lauren says:

      Allison, I can definitely relate to impatience with family, especially with my parents. I live about 4 hours from my parents and probably get to see them every 1-2 months. But, my mom and I talk all the time on the phone. I find myself getting impatient when she calls right when I'm in the middle of something (which I feel is all the time) and she is just talking away. I become short, disinterested and the call usually ends with my mom saying "well, I can tell your busy, I'll let you go." It makes me feel terrible. And, like you, I realize exactly what I'm doing. Lately, I've been trying so hard to just put my pen down, my phone down, the tv paused, whatever I'm doing just stop, so I can give her a few minutes, uninterrupted. And I realize, I'm so thankful that my mom is still here that we can talk, that she can just call to "chat" on her long drive home, that she feels like she can call me to ask me to pray for something. Although our relationship has been through the wringer, I'm thankful for where it is now and where it's going. Lord, give me more patience. More patience for my parents who are aging and becoming forgetful and have side conversations while I'm sitting on the phone with one of them. More patience. Praying for patience for you as well..

  21. Sherry says:

    Oh I SO lack patience! It's a struggle to wait for what He has in store for me, even though I know it will be more amazing than any instant thing of the world. Like Cecile said, this age we live in is one of instant everything… internet, Google, email, text messaging, and such… it gets us used to instant gratification. I pray that I will learn to be patient in The Lord.

  22. JuneBug says:

    Oh so true! In the middle of the desert, it doesn't make sense. But when I reach the "promised land" I can look back at my desert experience and laugh, praising God for all that He's brought me through. Like He said He would. Were it not for the times in captivity, my freedom would not have tasted so sweet. I can just imagine the Israelites…the overwhelming joy as they discover that their time wandering is over. God kept His promise. And He keeps His promise to us also. He is faithful. Thank you Lord!

  23. jesusgirl71 says:

    Kari, thanks for posting that devotion.

  24. jesusgirl71 says:

    “My timing isn’t his; it shouldn’t be pushed on others.” Ouch! This spoke to me so much today. I am probably the most impatient person I know. Impatient at work, impatient with my husband when I wished he’d make the point he’s trying to make, impatient with customers because oh man do I really have to go through explaining this for the umpteenth time or walking them through this or that when it is going to take more time than I would like. Lord, I need patience ina big way!

  25. Jaime says:

    This is AWESOME! My husband for several reasons. 1) Learning to trust God's timing has been my biggest challenge/theme this year. God is so FAITHFUL. I just got a job I've been waiting on forever. But it wasn't the right time. He knew the plans he had for me, but I couldn't see it. He has slowly been teaching me that He is my provision, my truth, my security, my identity, and all I need. 2) The Passion 2013 album just came out, and yesterday and today I've been obsessed with a song called "The Lord our God." Tell me the Holy Spirit is not speaking to me with this… here are the lyrics:

    Promise-maker, Promise-keeper
    You finish what you begin
    Our provision through the desert
    You see it through till the end
    You see it through till the end
    The Lord our God is ever faithful
    Never changes through the ages
    From this darkness you will lead us
    And forever we will say you're the Lord our God
    In the silence, in the waiting
    Still we can know you are good
    All your plans are for your glory
    Yes, we can know you are good
    The Lord our God is ever faithful
    Never changes through the ages
    From this darkness you will lead us
    And forever we will say you're the Lord our God
    We won't move without you, we won't move without you
    Your the light of all and all that we need, You're everything
    (Repeat "The Lord our God" chorus over and over)

    I mean, hello Holy Spirit! Anyway, everyone should go check out this song b/c it is the musical version of today's post. Praise God for being THE promise-keeper that loves us!!! I pray that all of you ladies are blessed by this today!

    1. Jaime says:

      Also, I don't know why that top part says "my husband for several reasons. I think I was starting a thought and forgot to change it! Oops!

    2. JuneBug says:

      Beautiful lyrics! Thanks for sharing Jaime! I'm going to check out that song ASAP! It's funny…I can so relate to starting a sentence, then BOOM! I'm lead in a totally different direction. Lol! Oh and…I'm celebrating the new job with you too today!

  26. LeahTvt says:

    “Years. There is the key word.”

    My husband & I have been in a wilderness experience (involving a huge financial mess & marital heartache/conflict/trials) for a number of years now. Seems patience is THE fruit being developed and grown. But I’m realizing all the others–peace, joy, gentleness, kindness, faithfulness, goodness, self control & of course love–are all going through growth spurts of varying degeees, as well. Ouch, ouch, ouch! Growth has been painful! Praying always to be content, grateful, thankful, and cooperative while we grow. Have a blessed day, sisters!

    1. Kelsi says:

      WOW!!! Key word: cooperative. When we aren't , we prolong the process!!!

  27. Brandi says:

    I loved this! Yesterday I found myself feeling discouraged and impatient waiting on releif and a diagnosis in regard to health issues I've been struggling with for several months now. But God keeps reminding me that He is Sovereign! He is in control! He sees the end from the beginning! Nothing surprises Him or catches Him off guard. He forms me in my mothers womb and he knows exactly what the issue is with my health and when He is ready for me to know then I will. But I too want to rejoice in this place I am in right now. I don't want to be impatient or grumble or worry. I want to sing praises in my desert because He is right there with me, providing for my every need, guiding me by a cloud and by fire and that is more than enough for me. Even if this is all there is. . .me and the Father in the desert, that is enough, but it isn't all there is! He has a home waiting me when I am done with this journey where I can see Him face to face and live in constant praise! So my desert may be enough for me, but He wants more for me, He has more for me! Thank You Father for Your awesome love and grace! Thank You for directing my steps! I praise You because my joy in You is my strength! Thank You for being my ever-present Help! Thank You for Your faithfulness and for never leaving me alone! I love You with all that I am and all that I have! In Jesus wonderful name, Amen!

    1. Candacejo says:

      Beautiful Brandi!

      1. Sue :-) says:

        Perfect …God’s will and our journey we take with him! I love this!

    2. Ashley W says:

      Wow! Thank you for your encouraging words. It is amazing how God provides encouragement for us when we meed it most. As I sit here typing this I'm preparing for yet another test on my stomach, with hope to diagnosis an ailment I've been struggling with for 18 months. So many times I've thought I can't handle the pain another day, but somehow God has given me the strength. he has provided for me in every way, yet I keep begging him to hurry up and heal me. I have said countless prayers today that this test will give me the answers I'm looking for, but after reading your words I've decided to truly give my ailment to The Lord and trust that He will reveal the answers to me in His time. For His plan for my life is far greater than I can imagine so I need to be thankful for this valley because it has made me grow in faith and cling to God more than ever.

  28. Kelsi says:

    Joyce Meyer said once that the majority of our lives are spent waiting. It is so true! We receive a promise and then wait again. It's amazing that even with all of the waiting and even though He continues to come through for us, patience never comes naturally. We must be deliberate about trusting God and being patient. Patience isn't merely waiting. We will wait for as long as it takes. We cannot rush His will or His plans. Patience as I was told once, is waiting with the RIGHT attitude.

    1. Kelsi says:

      And we CERTAINLY need His SUPERNATURAL help doing these things that don't come naturally to us. We can't do it without Him.

  29. Kari says:

    When bad things happen in our lives, we sit up and pay attention. None of us likes pain and it quickly takes our focus, motivating us to do all we can to ease it. Quite often it is a painful experience that makes us turn to God and helps us to remember to call on him.

    When good things happen to us, it is easy to take them in our stride, to enjoy them and move on. Pleasant events in our lives can have less inclination to turn us toward God than the nasty ones. Yet these good times should be the ones where we feel inspired to turn to God in praise and to love him more and more.

    When some of the Jews returned from captivity, the psalmist wrote, "The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy." (Psa 126:3) Returning from captivity might not be an every day occurrence for most of us, but we have numerous reasons we can rejoice. Perhaps one of the most important reasons is the freedom from the captivity of sin we have been granted in Christ.

    Let's not let God's blessings pass us by unnoticed, but let's rejoice in them, giving glory and thanks to God for his love toward us.

    I read this in: , and wanted to share it with you all, because its so true

  30. Ingrid says:

    Patience, patience, patience Lord i need more and more each day, as i go through these learning process in my life, Lord help me to not forget the path that you take me on through these journey.

  31. Cecile says:

    Patience is one of the fruits of the spirit that I struggle with. We are a generation of everything fast and instant. But with God we need to stay calm and confident and let him work his wonders in our life. He will do more than what we ever can think or imagine. Be patient and give God time to work.

  32. Ibukun says:

    Ephesians 4:2 really speaks to me this morning because heaven knows I am not patient or ready to bear anyone’s faults in love. God has been taking me along a path to learn patience with Him and with people in my life. It’s difficult for me because before I became a Christian, I thought “you do good, I’m gquick to praise you. You do something stupid, why shouldn’t I give you the 3rd degree?” But God’s been showing me that He doesn’t appreciate my short fuse and He wants me to cut people some slack. And to WAIT for Him to act (I’ve been trusting Him concerning my finances for a long while now) through devotions, verses, everything in this season of my life, He’s teaching patience, endurance.

  33. Maria says:

    His timing is something I'm learning to trust as I stumble through a rough patch in my career right now. While I do get caught up in my "woe is me" mood from time to time, I also get so excited when I think of the plans he has for me how amazing they will be. I know that it will all come together in the end…but yes, the being patient part is what is most challenging.