Patience & Well-Being
The dictionary defines patience as “the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset”. It’s like the dictionary doesn’t understand our ‘right now’ society of high-speed connectivity and immediate answers from Google or Alexa! In our fast-paced world we expect the best, with little room for problems that cannot be fixed.
Patience is also a recurring theme in the Bible and something God wants us to practice for effectively handling challenges, building capacity and as an exercise in trusting Him.
How does it help in handling challenges?
Scientists have studied patience in people and animals for years. They discovered that patience provides many benefits including increased well-being, more effectively handling conflict, and increased ability to achieve long term goals. In our ‘right now’ society, patience is a major asset.
Why a capacity building exercise?
“Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly.” – Proverbs 14:29 (NIV)
Having patience during challenges usually leads to better outcomes. Increased serotonin levels allow you to stay cool, remain objective, problem solve quickly, and strategize towards better long-term outcomes. You are also able to be more empathetic and gracious where human error is a factor.
Why an exercise in trust?
We like to be in control but ultimately God is in control. As the Bible says, “You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.” – Proverbs 19:21 (NLT)
As you surrender control to Him, you reduce your stress knowing that God is always working on your behalf for your benefit. Nothing is ever wasted or a surprise to Him, even the challenges that disrupt our lives. He already has a plan in place. By employing patience, we learn to pause, give things to God, and consult Him on next steps. With patience, we also find the ability to wait for God’s timing…normally impossible in our fast-paced lifestyle.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you,” says the Lord.” – Jeremiah 29:11-14
Today as you encounter life’s challenges, take time to practice patience:
– Spend some extra time reading your Bible to understand how God works on your behalf.
– When the next challenge shows up, take a moment to pray for patience and clarity.
– Hand over control to God and trust Him to work on your behalf. He always comes through.
We may not be able to determine our future but God can. He created and conducts the universe and also wants to work everything out for your benefit…now and for eternity.