(NOTE: This sermon series and devotional series is based on a book by Randy Frazee entitled, “BELIEVE.”
You may choose to download or purchase the book as a supplement to your worship and devotional emails.)
Why is patience so hard?
I don’t know a person who struggles with patience. Even people we know who are “the most patient people on earth” or “have the patience of Job” struggle with patience. They may be better at it or maybe just have had more opportunities to practice patience.
So why is patience so hard? What follow are five reasons. They are not excuses for impatience. They are not trying to make impatience right or sugar coat it…just lay out why patience can be such a struggle for us…especially in America.
- No need to be. Inventions give us things quickly. Want an example? I typed “impatience” into google and I got 104 million results in .46 seconds. Why should I spend time in a library looking up books? Scrolling through microfilm on the topic or even cracking a concordance to find passages that talk about patience or impatience when I can get 104 million pieces of information in less than half a second? Our society prides itself in giving us things faster (think…same day delivery from Amazon, microwaves, drive through restaurants). Innovation comes online every day that make things easier and faster. We are working as a society to remove the need for patience!
- No margin – When our days are so full with work, school, taxi service, tasks, and more we don’t have time to wait. I can’t spare a minute to wait for food. I can’t wait for a person in line in front of me. I can’t wait in traffic. Really everyone should know my agenda and schedule is what is most important today…and move out of my way!
- No results – I diet for a day and the scale is a pound heavier than the day before. I tried to quit smoking for an hour, but had to have smoke because of the stress of not smoking. I’ve studied more than my classmates, but not getting the grade. I’ve worked harder than others, but don’t have the success they do. Our instant gratification society tells us we don’t have to put in the consistent long work to achieve a result…we should have it NOW!
- No response – This is more spiritual in nature. Remember how patience means “long suffering” Sometimes we just get tired of waiting on the Lord. Perhaps we’ve prayed about it for days, months, years…nothing changes. No response leads us to think God doesn’t care, isn’t going to answer or just doesn’t have time for me. Here’s a few examples from the Psalms that tell
Psalm 74:10 How long will the enemy mock you, O God?
Will the foe revile your name forever?
11 Why do you hold back your hand, your right hand?
Take it from the folds of your garment and destroy them!
Psalm 13:1 How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and every day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?
- Finally, impatience comes because I have a sinful nature. My sinful nature is naturally selfish and desires the world to revolve around me at my timing – including God. So we quickly get angry and we don’t want to wait and we certainly don’t want to linger in suffering.
Lord forgive us.
The solution? You’ll have to wait…until tomorrow. But let me give you a hint, patience is a gift of the Spirit because it’s source is the Lord. The Lord’s patience is what will overcome our impatience!
Apply: Which of the five above triggers your impatience most?
Prayer: Lord we ask you to forgive us for our impatience and fill us with patience from your Spirit! AMEN.