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Developing Patience - Part 1

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
April 23, 2024 12:00 am

Developing Patience - Part 1

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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April 23, 2024 12:00 am

Patience is cultivated over time and grows as a result of your faith and perseverance through hardship.

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Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Tuesday, April 23rd. You may have heard someone say, practice makes perfect. On today's podcast, we are reminded that the same can be true of developing patience. Patience is one of those qualities all of us need in our life. And yet it's one of those qualities that oftentimes is very, very difficult for us to live out and to exercise. It's not only a quality we need, it is one of the most powerful qualities a person can have in life, because it affects every single aspect of our life. It affects your relationship with people, your relationship to God. It affects your finances.

It affects every decision in your life. And oftentimes we don't realize just how powerful, how important the quality of patience is in a person's life. And this is the fourth message in our series, The Power of Patience.

And the title of this message today is simply this, and that is developing patience. And I want you to turn, if you will, to Colossians chapter three. And I just want us to read a couple of verses that we've read before, but just to remind you of what he says again and again here, that it isn't just something that we arrive at the moment we are saved or that we're born with or some trait that's naturally there. It is a trait, our quality, our characteristic in our life that we have to develop.

And so Paul says in this third chapter of Colossians, beginning in verse 12, he says, So as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another, forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone, just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Notice what he says, he says, we have to put it on. Now what does he mean by that? Simply this, that we have a personal responsibility when it comes to patience.

That is, when he says put it on, that means to clothe yourself with it, be enveloped by it, wrap it around yourself. And I think about what the writer of Proverbs says. He says, put kindness and truthfulness about your neck. Don't let them escape you. That is, patience is one of those qualities we desperately need because it affects every single aspect of our life.

And what I want to do in this message is simply this. I want us to talk about how to develop patience in order that you and I may make wise, timely, listen, profitable decisions in our life, so that we'll be able to build strong, lasting, loving relationships in our life, so that we'll be able to enjoy the favor of God, and so we'll also be able to enjoy, listen, being happy with ourselves. If you're not patient, you can't be happy with yourself. If you're not patient, you're not going to have the favor of God because you're going to always be stepping out in front of what He wants you to do, or behind.

And certainly you'll not make wise, timely, profitable decisions because you'll be out of sync with the will and purpose of God. And you won't be able to build, listen, strong, loving, lasting relationships because strong, loving, lasting relationships involve our patience. So how do we do it?

What do we do to develop those kind of relationships and that kind of patience? So let's begin. And I want to begin by saying first of all, and these are simple helps, and let me just say this. If you'll jot these down and read them over and examine them, I guarantee you, if you will do it honestly, prayerfully, God will begin to change the way you think. And the way you think as it begins to change, you're going to find yourself more patient. You're going to find yourself maturing in your Christian life, getting along with other people better, being able to handle those things that have caused you frustration, anxiety, and oftentimes anger, much, much better. Now, here's the first one.

Let me just say this also. You can cover, you can just umbrella everything I'm going to say with prayer because naturally we want to pray, but let me just say it up front. You don't become patient by praying for it. Somebody says, well, that's the way I want to be patient. Doesn't God say in His Word, didn't Jesus say asking it shall be given you, seeking ye shall find, knocking it shall be opened to you, then does not not also include patience. Well, it includes patience except for this. There's not a single verse in the Bible says that if you pray for patience, you'll get it. I'm going to show you just a few moments, the ways patience becomes a reality in your life. Naturally, we're to pray for God to help us in all these different aspects. But you're going to see as we talk about the ways to develop patience, we certainly need to pray about each one of them. But just to simply say, well, I believe that if I pray hard enough, long enough, strong enough, and if I pray loud enough and cry enough and fast and pray enough, God's going to make me patient.

No, He's not. That isn't the way patience is developed. It is this awesome power in your life.

So how do we develop it? The first thing I want to mention is this. To recognize difficulties are opportunities in disguise to help us develop patience. When difficulty and hardship and tribulation and trial and gossip and accusation all the rest comes to you, what's your first response? Are you willing to say, are you able to say, thank you, Father, it's time to be growing. I doubt it.

If we're honest, I doubt if that's our response. And it's amazing how we have developed ideas about the Christian life that are totally unscriptural, that do not fit God's plan and purpose for life and do not fit the teachings of God's Word. And when somebody says to you, well, listen, if you're living a godly life and you're trusting God and you're living by faith and listen, you're not going to have all these trials and tribulations and difficulties and persecutions in life. You're not going to have all this stuff in your life. And life is going to have some ease, comfort, and pleasure. You're not going to have all this. Where is that in the Bible?

It's not in there. And so if somebody tells you if you're going through a hard time, it's your problem and either that you've let the devil in your life or you've done this or you've done that, not necessarily. If you're going to discover patience and listen, if you're going to develop patience in your life, recognize these things as this and opportunities for God to do something awesome in your life. So that's number one. The second thing I'd mention is this. Accept the fact that you have a personal responsibility to develop patience in your life.

What did we read a few moments ago? He says, put it on. Now what He means by that is this. I have a personal responsibility to develop, to pursue the quality, the characteristic, the attribute of patience in my life.

I have that responsibility. And therefore, I can't expect just to pray or just to ask God or just to believe that somehow if I do my best, I'm going to be patient in life. Because listen, it runs against who we are. We came into this world with an old sinful nature. And so therefore, we didn't come into the world with this awesome trait of patience. And that is true from the time we are born all the way through our life. We still have to deal with it. Will there come a time in our life when we become more patient?

That certainly ought to be true. The longer we live, and we will respond to things in the right way, then we should become more patient with ourselves, with each other, and with God. But we have to accept the fact that listen, it isn't something that comes easy. And it takes effort. And it takes time.

And it takes energy. And therefore, we have to accept the fact that it is something we have to work at, which leads me to the third thing, and that's this. Accept the fact that you're human. We have to accept the fact that we're human, that we make mistakes, that we become impatient, that there are areas of weakness in our life.

And therefore, because that's true, we have to do what? That it's going to, the fact that it's going to take time, energy, and effort to develop patience. Now, think about it, time, effort, and energy.

So what you have to ask is this. Do I want this awesome, powerful characteristic in my life enough to give it some time? And to give it the effort and the energy that's necessary?

Those three things are all a part of it. Because we don't mature in life, listen, unless there's energy, effort, and time. Because it is human nature to do what? It's human nature to drift. And so people oftentimes waste years of their life because they just sort of drift along.

Watch this, letting circumstances influence and govern. Listen, their life and years go by, time goes by, and because they gave their spiritual life no energy, no effort, and no time, somehow many believers have the idea, well, if I get saved, that should be it. Listen, when you trusted Jesus Christ as your Savior, you know what happens? You were born again. That is, you began a brand new life.

Now look what you had in your past. Sins, habits, acts of disobedience, your whole thought pattern was different. Your behavior was different.

Everything about you was different. This is why Paul says, therefore, if any man be in Christ or any woman be in Christ, they're a new creature. All things have passed away, all things have become new. That doesn't mean that all of a sudden you shed all the bad habits. You shed all the wrong thinking.

You took off all the erroneous ideas that you had, and now that you think totally different about every single thing, instantly, absolutely, quickly, it's all over. That's not the way it is. That's why he says grow in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. This is why Paul says put away those things in the past. Even as believers we have to put it away.

And put on what? Put on kindness and gentleness and humility and patience. We have a personal responsibility. It takes effort and time and energy to do so. Now any time you and I begin to think about change, we're going to meet resistance. You think about habits in your life. Any time, for example, that you have some habit in your life, it takes time to change a habit. And you see, sometimes people see the habit, they recognize it, but they don't want to take the effort or the time or the energy to change it.

So the question is this. Do you want, do you desire to be the kind of person in which, listen, you know how to build strong, lasting, loving relationships? Do you want to be able to make wise, listen, profitable, timely decisions in your life?

Do you want to live in the favor of God? And do you want to learn to be happy with yourself? Then you have to be willing to change. And if you're going to develop patience in life, you're going to have to change.

And what you have to deal with is you have to deal with the resistance, because old habits are hard to break. And I think about the people, for example, who have grown up in life, been to church years and years in their life, and they've heard this. You're saved, but you can be lost. You sin again, you can be lost. Saved by the grace of God, but you can be lost.

If you're going to remain saved, you've got to do the following things. And so then somebody comes along and talks about the work of Jesus at the cross, His atoning sacrifice, and defines what grace is all about. And they begin to understand, they hear the truth, that you're saved by the grace of God through faith, that not of yourselves.

It is the gift of God, not of works, lest any person should boast. And they begin, they begin to sort of grasp the idea that salvation is once and for all. And now that I'm born again by the grace of God, my name is written in the Lamb's Book of Life. And sin doesn't make me any longer unsaved, but now that I'm a believer, those things that were part of my life, God now begins to sand and to sift and to sculpture in my life. And because I commit a sin once, I'm saved doesn't mean I'm lost again. Well, you see, if you've been taught that all of your life, and somebody comes along and says, you're free to live in the grace and mercy of God. Somebody says, well, but that means if I live in the freedom, then what? They are so used to feeling uptight and feeling, oh my goodness, I haven't pleased God today. And what's going to happen? What's going to happen if I said, you know what? All of a sudden you start feeling freedom, they can't stand it.

They don't even know how to experience and enjoy the freedom of God. Why? Because this habit of erroneous thinking, that's just one. If you're going to have patience in your life, you have to deal with the resistance that is there as a result of bad habits, wrong thinking, the way you have acted before when something comes along and what happens, something doesn't suit you, you blare back, you defend yourself, and somebody tries to explain something you don't want to hear, you just want to hear your perspective and forget it. And what happens is you have to break it. It's very difficult sometimes to break that.

And so that's why we said effort, energy, and time. And so what it boils down to is this, do I care enough? Do I want this powerful element in my life that affects my relationship to God and to others and my decisions and my happiness and the favor of God?

Do I want that enough or do I not care? Then I think about the bumper sticker that we've seen years and years ago, please be patient with me, God is not finished with me yet. And I want to add yet, yet, yet, yet, yet, because you know what? We never get to the place in life that He just gives up on us. Listen, we give up on each other, He never gives up on us. Thank God He doesn't give up on us. He's there, listen, to understand us, forgive us, to do what? To grow us up. And think about this, when He looked at most of us, probably when He saw us in the rough, only God would say, I can change that. Because most of us would have looked at us and said, Oh God, this is going to be beyond you. No, He sees, listen, listen, watch this carefully, He sees what you are, but He loves us for what we're going to become.

He sees you the way you are, but He loves you because He knows what you can become. And so He's not finished with us yet. And I think about the fact that anybody can explode. Anybody can explode in difficult situations and circumstances. Listen, when somebody messes up, and the heat's on you, and they're the one who started the fire. Anybody can respond in a negative fashion. But listen, when you respond with kindness and love and gentleness and understanding, you know what happens?

You have this awesome testimony. It is a witness and a signal. It is a sign that you're growing and that you're maturing in life. Anybody can blare back.

Anybody can act ugly, no matter who they are. But when you've begun to learn to be patient, notice what happens. You have an awesome sense of quietness inside of you, no matter who's blaring about what. And yet sometimes we're not patient. We don't even want to be because something inside of us wants to defend ourselves.

That's what we've been used to doing, defending ourselves. And I want you to think about it in this light. Beautiful symphonies are not written overnight.

Masterpieces, for example, of art are not painted overnight. These things come with time. They come with energy.

They come with effort. You think about this. How many of us have times in our life when we want to have been understood clearly? We wanted someone to listen to us and just hear us for the first time. We wanted someone to just accept us the way we are with our weaknesses and frailties. We wanted just to feel loved by somebody. Listen carefully. You can't ever give someone enough, no matter what you have to give them, that will take the place of the value in their life as with being understood, listened to, cared for, accepted and loved.

There's nothing to match it. And oftentimes people say, well, you know, I don't know how God could use me. I don't have this education. I can't speak. I can't sing.

I can't do these things. Did you know what? The most valuable thing you can give somebody is your time, your understanding, your love, your being willing to listen very carefully, intently, uninterruptedly. Somehow deep down inside that registers so deeply within the other person's life. Sometimes that's all people need. I think about how many young people whose parents have never expressed genuine understanding, who've never taken time to listen to them carefully. They say, well, you know what?

You'll grow up. That's not what they need to hear. They need to hear. They need to feel my parents understand me. They listen to me. They care for me. They love me. They accept me. And all of us, no matter who we are as adults, that's the way we want to feel.

We want to be heard, accepted, loved, listened to, cared for. And so many times people have the idea, well, you know, if you have it all together, then they're going to talk to you. And I can think about a time in my own life, the most difficult time in my life, people would say to me that I never met before.

Well, it's in the airport or the grocery store. You're Dr. Stanley? Yes. I usually couldn't listen to you. I didn't like you. Thank you very much. Because that's the only thing I knew to say.

Well, thank you very much. And then they would explain that they would say, I figured you had it all together, that you didn't have any needs. You didn't know what pain was like. You didn't know what hurt was like. Now I know that you understand what pain is like, what loneliness is like, what rejection is like, what misunderstanding is like. Now I know that you understand that. Now I can listen to you.

Do you know what? Everybody wants to feel like there's somebody who listens to them, understands them, will love them and accept them no matter what. And you see, if you and I are going to develop patients in our life, it takes time. It takes energy. It takes effort.

And we have to work at it. Thank you for listening to part one of Developing Patients. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or In Touch Ministries, stop by InTouch.org. This podcast is a presentation of In Touch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-04-23 02:56:14 / 2024-04-23 03:04:10 / 8

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