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The Powerful Attribute of Patience

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
April 18, 2024 12:00 am

The Powerful Attribute of Patience

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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April 18, 2024 12:00 am

Dr. Stanley teaches how to develop an inner quietness that endures through stressful times.

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Welcome to the InTouch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Thursday, April 18th. On this day last year, Dr. Charles Stanley entered the glorious presence of Jesus Christ. Marking the memory of this day, here is InTouch CEO, Philip Bowen. It is so hard to believe it's already been a year since Dr. Stanley went home to be with the Lord.

There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about him and miss him deeply, as I'm sure you do. It seems like just yesterday he and I were praying together for you, as we so often would, that the words the Lord had given him to preach would help you walk in God's will and grow closer to him. Many have wondered, what will InTouch Ministries continue to do? We're going to keep broadcasting Dr. Stanley's messages, proclaiming the Word of God like he would, as quickly, clearly, and irresistibly as possible to the ends of the earth. We're going to honor Dr. Stanley's legacy by seeking out new ways to proclaim the Gospel. And we're going to keep fighting all of our battles on our knees, obeying God and leaving all of the consequences to him. Thank you for staying with InTouch as we continue leading people around the world into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ without compromising the Word.

Dr. Stanley's calling remains our calling, and I'm so grateful it remains yours as well. I wonder how often you and I may miss the promises of God in our lives somehow if you and I would just think back how many times God has told us to wait. We felt we ought to wait, but somehow deep down inside we didn't want to wait, and we just moved ahead, stepped ahead, and somehow got impatient and it didn't work. Well, I want us to understand what patience is really all about. And as we go through this whole series, all the way to the patience of God, I think it'll help you to understand better how very important this particular characteristic is in your life.

So, let's think about the whole idea of what it is and to define it. If you were to pick up a dictionary, for example, you would read patience is what? Patience is that calm response to stress, not anger, not frustration, not getting upset.

It is a very calm, uncomplaining response to stress or some annoyance in your life. Now, if you look in the New Testament, for example, in the Scripture you'll find about thirty times in the New Testament patient or patiently as you found. Then about five times in the Old Testament, two wonderful passages of Scripture that probably a lot of us already know. In the thirty-seventh Psalm of the seventh verse, he says, Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him.

And in the fortieth chapter of the Psalms in the first verse, I waited patiently for the Lord, and He inclined to me and heard my cry. So, as you and I think about patience and we think about, well, now, isn't patience just, and sometimes it's very difficult for us to define. It's interesting in the Scriptures, New Testament, there are two basic words for patience. And the two Greek words, one of them is hupomene, which simply means, and the emphasis is, to persevere, to wait, to persist, that is, don't give up and don't yield under pressure. The other word, macrothemia, which simply means to wait also, but the word oftentimes is translated long-suffering. And the reason I mention those two is this, that oftentimes in the different translations, there will be words that we have memorized and we've learned these Scriptures all during the years and somehow another translation comes along and we say, well, what does that word mean? Well, in the New American Standard, which is what we use, it's always translated patience.

But sometimes, for example, in the New King, in the King James Version, you oftentimes see the word long-suffering. It's just a different word, meaning patience, that is, we suffer longer, we wait longer, we delay in what we expect. And so, simply to say to you that if you and I had to define patience, as simply as we can, it is willingness, it's the will to wait. The will to wait is what patience is all about. It's the will to suffer delay when we want something, when we think God has said He's going to do thus and so, when we're praying and we have a particular prayer request, it is the will to wait. The willingness to wait upon God, the willingness to suffer some particular delay in our life without irritation, without frustration, without getting angry because impatience is very clearly directed and oftentimes related to anger and some other aspects of life, which we'll get into in one of the other messages. So, we're talking about the will to wait. And oftentimes that is very, very difficult. Now, patience is not a natural trait.

That is, you and I don't come into this world with the gift, we would sometimes say, or the capacity to be patient. And so, it's not a trait. It's something we develop. It's not a trait.

It's something we develop and that's very difficult for some people to understand. It's not a matter of being indifferent. It's not being indifferent to the situation because you can be very concerned about the situation and still when you develop patience, you can be patient. It's not, for example, a matter of just being weak and saying, well, you know what, I just don't want to handle that.

I don't feel adequate to handle that and so I'm just going to walk away. Patience is not weakness. It's not indifference. It's not a trait. And it's not a matter of simply avoiding adversity. You're not being quiet and calm because you're afraid of adversity. That's not what patience is all about.

Neither is it a gift. And oftentimes people say, well, you know, I've been praying for God to give me patience. Well, let me ask you, how many of you have become patient as a result of asking God to make you patient?

Well, I can answer that. Not any of you because patience is not a gift. Somebody says, well, what about Galatians chapter five verse twenty-two? Doesn't the Bible say the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience and so forth?

Yes, He does. The fruit of the Spirit, not a gift. Because you see, apart from the Holy Spirit, you and I will have a very difficult time developing the awesome quality and characteristic of patience. It is a very important aspect of our life. In fact, you can't think of a single area of your life, single aspect of your life in which patience to some degree is not required at some time or the other.

And so therefore, it isn't just a matter of being a gift. It's something we have to develop in our life. Nor does it mean that you never get angry. Somebody says, well, if you were being patient, you wouldn't get angry.

Well, there are times in our life when righteous indignation is the right thing. You see somebody being abused and misused in the wrong way or treated wrongly. And sometimes we have to become very firm and very strong. And sometimes you may get a little angry at your children because of what they're doing.

They need to see that you don't just put up with things and that you just don't back off and let them get their way. Now, let's go just a step further and say, okay, then explain to me what would be some examples of being patient. Well, I'm patient when I can calmly tolerate. When I can calmly tolerate some difficulty or some hardship or some delay that might cause me confusion and some annoyance in my life, and I can calmly respond to that, then I'm exercising patience. Then it means also that I have the ability to let go, listen, to let go some need for immediate gratification.

And this is what gets a lot of people in trouble. They do not have the capacity to be able to wait for God to give them what He has in mind. And so, patience says, I'm willing to let go my need of immediate gratification and I'm willing to wait for God to supply. Sometimes people want to, they want to get rich quickly. They want sex now before marriage. They want this. They want that.

They want it beforehand. And patience says, I'm willing to let go whatever it is I want or think I need until God's timing. It also means my calm acceptance of what God wants to give me in my life and when He wants to give it.

It also means my calm acceptance of what God may choose not to give. And so, there's a calmness. There's an inner quietness that is a part of patience. It doesn't mean that we don't feel the pressure. It doesn't mean we don't feel the stress. It doesn't mean we don't feel, for example, the need to persist. But it says that we calmly, quietly, and see that comes in degrees.

And you're not going to always be as calm and always be as quiet. But we develop that. We develop that because we see God at work in our lives in these different situations and circumstances.

And over and over again we realize what? That waiting for Him in His timing and His way is the wisest the best and the most profitable way. What is patience? The willingness to wait. The willingness to wait for God's timing. The willingness to wait for God's way. The willingness to wait for God's plan. The willingness to wait for God's purpose to get it all done. Now, thirteen reasons for saying patience is a powerful attribute. It's a powerful attribute, a powerful characteristic that we should all be seeking in our life.

And the first one is this. It is essential to life of obedience to God. You cannot obey God. You will not obey God if you're not patient. Because you see, sometimes God gives us exactly what He wants us to know. But then we have to wait for His timing.

Obedience to God is absolutely essential. The second thing is this. It's a vital element in every good relationship. If you're married, I don't have to tell you, you have to be patient with her or with Him, right?

Only the women said right. We have to be patient with each other. You can't have any decent relationship if you don't want to be patient. If you always got to have your way and your timing, it's got to be the way you want it, then you know what?

You're not going to ever have a loving relationship with anybody. It's absolutely essential to good relationships. The third thing is this. That it gains respect in the lives of other people. When people see us being patient and waiting upon the Lord, and they see us oftentimes maybe abused or criticized or gossiped about or persecuted in some fashion, we don't fight back. We don't blare back. We don't get angry. What happens? It builds their faith.

It helps end them in their Christian life to realize, well, you know what? I don't have to blow my stack. I don't have to lose my temper. That I too can learn to be wise and respond the right way. A fourth thing is this. It's a strong form of protection.

Now watch this. Sometimes people who want to get married, they want to get married right now. They're not willing to wait to find out what the other person's all about, what's really deep down inside that place of theirs, what they're really like.

In other words, what baggage are they bringing into this marriage? In other words, we'll fix all that later. Well, you don't get fixed by it. You get frustrated by it.

And so that's not the way it works. And so what happens is it's a strong form of protection. Listen, any time God is saying to you, wait, He's loving you enough to protect you from something this is not the right, it's not going to turn out right at this moment. So we have to be careful. Then of course, it's very important that we are patient to recognize, listen, the value of timing in decision making. Listen, in every war, timing is absolutely essential. In financial decisions, timing's absolutely essential. And so, timing is absolutely essential in every decision we make.

There are times when you can sit down with your children and teach them an awesome lesson. There are some times they're not going to listen to one thing you say. So, if you're going to have good timing, you've got to have patience. It's also, listen, it's essential to settling disputes. If you're going to settle any kind of argument or dispute, you've got to be patient. You've got to be patient.

Let the other person tell you what they think, why they think it, blow their stacks, say whatever they want to say, give you all their excuses, all their rationalizations, all their reasoning. In other words, you've got to be patient to listen. And see, one of the aspects of our lives that we don't oftentimes think about when it comes to this is sometimes God wants to say something to us and we want to get on with life. We are too impatient to wait and listen to Him. Very important that you and I understand that decisions oftentimes we're going to settle disputes, we have to learn to wait.

Then of course, it is absolutely essential to persevering in prayer. We come to Him and we make a request. Most of us are going to ask God for whatever it is and we'd like to have it when?

We want it either now or we preferred it yesterday. And so what happens is, listen, if you'll think about how many times you've begun to pray about things and then you quit in about two weeks. And it may have been that God was going to give you exactly what you asked for and you know what He's doing?

He's getting the circumstances ready. Sometimes we make requests that God's getting the circumstances out here ready and because we pray a couple of weeks or three weeks or a month or so and it doesn't happen, then we give up and say it wasn't God's will, just forget it, I'm going to quit praying. And we miss the blessing of God. It's absolutely essential to be patient when we're praying because sometimes it's going to require a lot of praying and sometimes it's going to require a long period of time. And then I think also it's probably one of the keys in whether you and I succeed or fail in life. If we learn to be patient and wait. And so the key to success and failure in our life is to be patient, to wait for God's timing to get us ready, get the circumstances ready, get the people ready.

And then God says, here's what I want to provide for your life. Likewise, it creates a sense of stability in our life. If you have developed patience in your life, there is a sense of quiet stability. Things that will bother some people will not even bother you.

Things that will trouble them, cause them to be upset, get angry, frustrated, anxious about life, you won't feel that way at all. Why? Because you've learned to be patient. You've learned to realize that God is in control of your life.

Listen to this. He's in control of your life and He said He causes all things to work together for good to those who love Him, to those who call according to His purpose. If I believe He's in absolute control and I believe that He's working everything for my good, I'm going to be willing to wait.

Willing to wait. Then also it enables us to endure suffering. Now suffering can come in lots of fashions. It can be emotional suffering, physical suffering, material suffering. Patience enables us to suffer through. It enables us, listen, to walk through difficult trying circumstances without losing our faith, losing hope, reacting in a way that oftentimes would ruin and wreck our testimony, or cause us to begin to stray from the Lord because we're not patient for God to act in the way that we thought He ought to. Enables us to endure suffering. You just, you're there, you can't fix it, and here's what you have to do. Finally, you have to say, I give up and I surrender.

Then of course it's always to say it's essential to peace and joy and contentment in our life. A person who is just almost it looks like by nature and personality just impatient, they're not happy, they're not content. Listen, they can't ever get enough. They can't ever do enough. They can't ever accomplish enough.

They can't ever sit in their words. Nothing's ever quite enough. There's no peace and joy and contentment and happiness in a person's life who is a person who is continually being impatient. And then of course, listen to this, this is so important. Patience allows me to see God at work. One of the most awesome lessons of life is to see God at work. Let's face it, all of us see what happens when people don't wait for God. We see that. But do you ever stop to think about and look to see what happens when we do, trust Him and wait upon Him? It allows us to see God at work.

And then the last thing I'd mention is this. And that is that patience is an attribute of God. He's patient. Think about how patient He's been with all of us down through these years. How many times He'd forgiven us? How many times have we told Him what we were going to do and we didn't do it? And how many times have we told Him what we were never going to do again and we didn't in a way? How many times have we said, well, I forgive Him, Lord, but. And we walk away and He forgives us and finally He gets our attention. All that I've given you thirteen reasons why we say that patience is a powerful attribute.

It affects every single aspect of your life. Now, if you're wise, here's what you'll do. You'll take this list because this week you're going to need it. And God's going to, He's going to challenge you and what you have to do, if you'll just read these over and just say, okay, Lord, now, you said it's essential to being obedient to you. And I'm being really tested, God.

I'm really feeling the temptation here. And do I want to indulge myself now because I'm afraid I might lose this or am I going to wait for you? I guarantee you God will give you enough experiences in the week to start putting some of this together.

Because listen, listen carefully. The more patient you and I are, the more God can trust us with. And Father, how grateful we are that You're patient with us. And we want You to teach us how to develop this character quality in our life in such a fashion that we become more valuable to the kingdom. We become a better witness and testimony to others. There's a sense of joy and peace and happiness and contentment in our life that we've never known before. And we can watch You work in ways that thrill us and succeed in areas in which we fail. And so we pray the Holy Spirit will write these principles deeply upon our heart, knowing that we must practice them, confess our failure points in which we fail. Let's stand right back up again and keep moving, learning, applying, and watching You do Your awesome work in our life. In Jesus' name we pray, amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-04-18 02:16:55 / 2024-04-18 02:25:20 / 8

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