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Developing Patience - Part 2

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
April 24, 2024 12:00 am

Developing Patience - Part 2

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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April 24, 2024 12:00 am

Will you trust God to turn your difficulties into opportunities to develop patience?


Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Wednesday, April 24th. The Holy Spirit gives patience to believers, but we also have a responsibility in expressing it. Today's podcast explains how you can cooperate with the Spirit of God in stressful times. 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. And it's interesting throughout Scripture, it's very evident that it isn't something that God just drops down into our life. We didn't come into this world with patience.

It's not a trait that He gave us at birth. It is something we have to develop in life. And it's interesting through Scripture that we see the consequences of those who exercise patience and those who would not exercise patience.

It is a very powerful aspect of the Christian's life. And what we have to ask is, how do we develop patience in our life? The first thing I want to mention is this, to recognize difficulties or opportunities in disguise to help us develop patience.

Now what happens usually when you and I hit some difficulty or some problem? First thing we want to say is, Hey God, why is this happening to me? Why couldn't this have been straightened out? Lord what's going on here? Why didn't you answer my prayer? I don't deserve this.

Why did you allow that? You see, oftentimes we forget the fact, we forget God's purpose in our life. God's purpose in our life is not ease, comfort and pleasure. God's purpose in our life is to grow us up. To mature us, He says He predestined, He pre-planned beforehand that every single one of His children, every saved person would do what, would be conformed to the likeness of His Son. So instead of looking at difficulties and hardships the way He would have us to, we first of all want to blame somebody, blame ourselves, blame God, blame it on the devil.

Whatever the circumstance may be, we want to avoid these things because they interfere with our plans and our happiness and our peace and our joy. But if you're going to develop patience, what you have to recognize, you have to recognize these difficulties in conflict and persecution, tribulation, listen, recognize them as opportunities that God has provided in our life to help us to develop patience. Is that easy?

No. Now Paul says put it on, but he didn't say it was easy. If you're going to discover patience, and listen, if you're going to develop patience in your life, recognize these things as, listen, 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. I have a personal responsibility to develop, to pursue the quality, the characteristic, the attribute of patience in my life.

I have that responsibility. 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. 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, there is a new creature. Old things have passed away, old 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. A fourth thing is this, and that is to be quick, listen, be quick to accept and forgive yourself when you become impatient. Be quick to listen, to accept yourself and forgive yourself.

We're all going to make mistakes, so here's what happens. We can either have a pity party, blame ourselves, and just stop right there, or we can accept the fact, listen, I made a mistake, rather impatient with that person, forgive myself, accept myself, I'm still in the process of growing, and move on in life. Don't get mired up in the fact that you make a mistake.

Don't get mired up in the fact that there is an incident or a time when you were impatient with that person. You ask them to forgive you, and you forgive yourself. Now listen, somebody says, but they're not forgiving. Remember this, you're not responsible for somebody's response to your asking them to forgive you. Many people don't forgive.

You know what? They don't forgive themselves. You and I have to learn to forgive ourselves, and we also have to learn, listen, to forgive other people. If I'm going to develop patience, I must be willing to forgive myself, recognize that I'm in the process of learning and growing, and not hold it against myself, which will hinder me from my spiritual growth. Another thing is this, and that is when you and I are thinking about developing patience and what we have to deal with in life is this. We have to remember that patience is the fruit of the Spirit, but I want to describe that and explain what that means. When you and I trusted Jesus Christ as our personal Savior, the Holy Spirit came into our life, sealed us as a child of God, and now indwells us, and He has many, many works for us, one of which is to teach us, to instruct us, to comfort us, and all the rest. That is to enable us to do whatever God requires of us, and He's certainly in the process of growing us up.

But here's what that means. It means that as a result of the Holy Spirit living within me, and I rely upon Him, depend upon Him, trust in Him to teach me and enable me, then I can grow. It does not mean that now because I'm a Christian and because I have the Holy Spirit living within me that I'm naturally now going to be patient. You say, well, but doesn't He say, Galatians 5, 22, but the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, along with gentleness and kindness and so forth. Isn't that the fruit of the Spirit? It is the fruit of the Spirit, not the gift of the Spirit, the fruit of the Spirit.

That is, it is the fruit, watch this, it is the fruit. It is the result of my yielding to, surrendering to, relying upon, obeying the promptings of the Holy Spirit. For example, if you are in conversation with someone and that person is being very accusative about something that is not true and loud and making it very difficult for you for the moment, you have within you the capacity to ask the Holy Spirit to help you, enable you at that moment to be quiet, not to respond, to listen carefully, to be understanding. You have the gift of the Holy Spirit, not the gift of patience, the gift of the Holy Spirit to enable you at that moment, but listen, if you don't rely upon Him, you don't trust Him, you don't call upon Him, you know what happens?

You're going to just respond in the flesh. So to say that patience is the fruit of the Spirit also means that I have a responsibility to take advantage of the moment, rely upon Him, trust in Him, believe what He says that He will enable me at every situation, every circumstance to be able to respond in the right fashion. So therefore, to develop patience, yes indeed it means I must learn to rely upon this gift of the Holy Spirit who lives within me to enable me, strengthen me at that moment to be quiet.

I need to be quiet, encouraging when I can be encouraging, correct when I need to correct. And so if I see Him in that light, then I can understand what it means that the Holy Spirit, the fruit of His work in my life is indeed patience. Now I've said all of that to come to this very important one and that's this. When you think about those things that develop, patience in our life, patience is developed through trials in our life. Now this is a part we don't like, trials in our life. And I want to give you a couple of passages of Scripture and I want us to spend a little time here. Look if you will in James, James chapter one, then I want us to turn to Romans chapter five and hear two passages of Scripture that I think if you'll get a hold of this simple truth here, that patience is developed through trials, tribulation, heartache, difficulty, you name it.

That's the way it is developed. Now listen to what he says, James chapter one. And if you don't understand this and you don't realize what he's saying here, it'll never happen in your life, listen. He says in verse two of James chapter one, consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials.

How many of you do that? Just count it all joy. Praise the Lord, I'm undergoing this trial. Hallelujah to God, glory to God. Tribulation's increasing and I'm thanking Him for it.

No, you know why? The natural thing is to complain, moan, groan and ask God, why is He letting it happen? That's not what He says now. Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. And let patience have its perfect result, maturing result, so that you may be perfect or mature and complete, lacking in nothing. Listen, the only way, the only way I am going to rejoice and thank God and consider it some kind of joy that I'm undergoing this tribulation, trial, heartache, difficulty, accusations, gossip or whatever it might be, the only way I'm going to be able to consider this with joy and thank God is that I know something good's coming out of it. Here's what He says, count it all joy when?

When I know and understand that this test is going to produce patience, the powerful quality of patience in my life. Well go back, if you will, turn back to Romans chapter five and listen to what He says. Romans chapter five and just the first few verses of this chapter. Listen to Romans chapter five beginning in verse one, therefore, now the reason He says therefore is because the first four chapters are all based on how God's grace and goodness and love and mercy has saved us and so He says, therefore, having been justified or declared no longer guilty by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand and we exult or we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Now watch this, and not only this, but we also rejoice in our tribulation, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance, same Greek word, or patience, and patience, proven character and proven character, hope. Now I want you to think about something that's very important here. God says in order to develop patience within us, one of those qualities, many of the qualities, in order to develop the kind of qualities that make us Christ-like and that make us useful for God.

The kind of relationships and the kind of circumstances that develop these awesome qualities within us, listen, they come as a result of difficulty, hardship, pain, trials, and tribulations. So how many of us rejoice over that? Probably none of us really rejoice over it, but once we have a second thought, God, You're in control. God, You're allowing this in my life for a reason.

You can mark this down. We have two passages of Scripture that are very, very clear, unmistakably clear that God uses tribulations, trials, difficulty, hardship in order for the purpose, listen, He says, knowing this, knowing this, that these things are the purpose of building into our lives perseverance. We don't give up. Perseverance we're willing to wait. Perseverance we hang in there no matter what. Those qualities are built into our life how?

Tribulation, trials, difficulty, hardship, and pain. Now you say, well, you don't know who I live with, I understand that. You don't know the circumstances where I work, I understand that.

But this much I do know. God's viewpoint is this, I want to mature you. I want to grow you up into the likeness of my Son. And in all to do that, I must sand off the rough spaces. I must sift and sand. And sometimes I must be able to chip away. And sometimes I must sculpture away. And sometimes I must prune away those situations and circumstances in your life that have brought about things that don't belong there. I have to take them away.

How do I take them? I have to get your attention. How do I get your attention? Difficulty, hardship, pain, trial, tribulations, which drive us to God. What causes us to mature in Him?

The things that we don't like. In a world of hardship, difficulty, trial, pain and tribulation, God in those circumstances gives us opportunities to do what? To mature. Listen to this, our maturity equips us to serve Him. Our maturity makes us look like Him. Our maturity is growing us up into Christ's likeness. We look more like ambassadors of Jesus Christ. We look more like the Son of God.

Why? Because the tribulation and the trials and the heartaches develop within us those characteristics that make us Godly. And then, for example, patience is developed as a result of our faith.

And notice what I said, that not that patience comes as a result of faith, but listen, our faith and our patience are intermingled. Now watch this, as we go through difficult hardships and pains in our life, as we face these trials in our life, what happens? We face them confidently and we face them faithfully and what happens? We see how God answers our prayer, how He takes us through these things.

Then we begin to see how we're maturing. We begin to see how God is building our faith and strengthening our faith because as He takes us through these things and our faith begins to build, then what happens? We become more patient because you know why?

We know He's going to work it out. We've seen Him do it before and so as we grow in our patience, our faith is stronger. And as our faith gets stronger, our patience becomes, listen, more evident because we're so absolutely convinced that God is adequate, we'll trust Him, we'll wait for Him, we'll be patient, we'll rely upon Him no matter what. Then of course, I think about this last one and I want you to be sure you jot this down because this is so very important, the development of patience in our life. And I look at it and think about it this way, patience develops in proportion to my belief that God is in absolute control of my life. Patience is going to develop in proportion to my belief that God is in absolute control of my life.

Now think about it this way. If you believe that God is in absolute control of your life and you have surrendered your life to Him, that means that all of your times are in His control. Therefore I can be patient because He's in control. He's in control of our schedule. He's in control of circumstances. He's the one who is in control of you when you thought you made a wrong turn.

And if you made the right turn, you may have been in the middle of a crash. He's the one who is in such absolute control of our lives. Once we understand that, once we consider that not just as a theological idea, but the reality of our life, that God is in absolute total control of my life, and as I'm willing to walk in obedience to Him, all of my time and all of my schedules and all those things that affect every aspect of my life, I can afford to be patient and wait. Why? Because all wise heavenly Father is in absolute control of every single aspect of it.

I can trust Him. I can be patient that what they do to me or what they need, in other words, whatever the issue is, I can be patient and watch Him work. Now those are some suggestions if you will apply to your life is going to change your thinking. The biggest change is this, I'm going to stop complaining, moaning and groaning, fussing and fighting, arguing and all the rest, defending myself with difficulty, hardships, trials, tribulations come. Now I'm going to begin to look at these as God's awesome, wonderful opportunities for me to be shaped into the likeness of His Son. Thank you for listening to part two of Developing Patience. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or In Touch Ministries, stop by This podcast is a presentation of In Touch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-04-24 05:17:13 / 2024-04-24 05:24:57 / 8

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