"But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing." - James 1:4
In our culture, patience is becoming less and less common. We’re an instant gratification society, so when things don’t go according to our timetable or plans, we get frustrated and sometimes angry. How many times have coaches lost their tempers when athletes failed to make the right plays or the right decisions?
Biblical patience is a much-needed virtue these days, and certainly a reflection of where we are in our Christian walk. A verse well-loved by athletes is Isaiah 40:31: “Those who trust in the LORD will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not faint.” The key word in the truth of this promise is trust. Trusting and waiting on the Lord go hand in hand, and the exercise of both produces patience for every area of life. One Christian author defines patience as “that calm and unruffled temper with which the good man bears the evils of life, whether they proceed from persons or things. It also manifests itself in a sweet submission to the providential appointments of God and fortitude in the presence of the duties and conflicts of life.”
How do we develop godly patience? By looking to Jesus Christ, who exhibited great patience and kindness toward His disciples and who does the same with us today. Instead of giving us the punishment we deserve for our sins, He gives us forgiveness by taking our sins to the cross. Instead of condemnation, He gives us grace. His patience with us creates patience in us, which we can then demonstrate to our athletes, families, coworkers, and friends.
1. What aspects of your life try your patience?
2. How do you react when things don’t go according to your plans?
3. How can you demonstrate better patience with your players, friends, and family?
Extra Reading: Proverbs 16:32; 19:11; Romans 15:4–5; 2 Timothy 4:1–5
Merciful God, help me to wait on You today as You create in me an eternal perspective. Amen.