Patience During Growth

Cristina Bahre   -  

Naturally, we can be very selfish and impatient people. We feel entitled to receive desirable things at the very moment we want them. Sometimes, when we don’t get what we want at the very moment we want it, we become misguided by emotion, forgetting to respond with patience or even kindness.

God guides His followers to practice patience when He sanctifies and molds us. At times, the process of sanctification is brutal and perhaps too slow for our liking, but when we remain faithful in Him, He promises great hope in love, to be made sinless and made righteous in Him. “We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.” (Romans 6:6 ESV). Although, growing in faith through Jesus Christ may be painful or perhaps overwhelming, we remain confident in Him to continue shedding away the old because He has begun in us the regeneration of life. “And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6 ESV).

Practicing patience warrants the ability to remain faithful in Christ and strengthens our awareness in our conduct towards ourselves and others. We cannot forget that in our sanctification in Christ, we are also bringing Him glory. As believers, it is our responsibility to mirror Jesus Christ to help lead others from darkness and into His light. We aren’t capable of providing the good news without His guidance, which is why we must remain steadfast in His truth, even if we are facing great difficulty or delay in our walk with Christ. In this world we live daily with troubles, and non-guarantees; however, with Christ we know His spirit is guaranteed to guide us and hold us steady. “Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us. God has put His seal on us and given His spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.” (2 Corinthians 1:21-22 ESV).

Following Christ and remaining obedient to His will requires discipline and of course, patience. And without Christ, we derail and lose ourselves in our emotions, misleading us to rely on things of this earth to fulfill our desires. However, the truth is this leaves us wanting more material items, desiring more justice on those who hurt us, and thirsting for more ways to satisfy our cravings from this earth because we are misled by emotion and not led by Jesus Christ. God never promised an easy life. He knows we will run into trials and hardship, but He does promise that if we submit to true sanctification in Him, we will encounter love, joy, and even strength. “Consider it as pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that testing of your faith produces perseverance.” (James 1:2-3 NIV). And it is only through Christ that we can encounter such things. He promises to never leave us, no matter how challenging or heartbreaking the circumstance. As believers, we stay the course and remain obedient to God according to His will. Sometimes, that may look like waiting a bit longer for a loved one to come to know Christ, it may look like having a hard conversation with someone or setting healthy boundaries or limiting time with someone. Sometimes, it may even look like accepting that the thing you prayed for will not happen, or it may even be grieving the loss of a loved one, or it may look like starting a new job you are nervous about or uncertain about. Perhaps it may even look like not being able to conceive and have children of your own. Whatever the trial or hardship, we must stay the course and trust in His will for us. “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NIV). God knows what He’s doing for us, and as He molds us into His image, His sanctification in us grows stronger.

God knows us better than we know ourselves, and in this way, He pursues us and never leads us astray. We are never alone in our hardships and our growing in sanctification. God is with us always. He presents us with opportunities to overcome such barriers and He also provides us with the tools needed to overcome those difficult barriers. And each time we trust in Him, we grow in His wisdom and His love. Nothing is impossible with Christ. I pray we continue bringing Him glory and trusting in His will. May He continue pursuing us and shaping us.