As we begin a new year, it brings to mind the things we accomplished and had hoped to accomplish in the past year. Making a New Year’s resolution is the result of reflecting on the past year and looking at the areas in our lives we’d like to change. But… change never comes easy. In fact, according to the University of Scranton, only 8% of those who make a New Year’s resolution actually keep and achieve them.
Why is it so hard to make changes in our lives? Well, let’s get one thing straight: Change takes time, dedication and sacrifice. Anything that takes time requires patience.
Our society in general lacks patience. Many people have a desire to learn something new, but just don’t have the patience to put the time in. We all have desires to see things change in our lives. We have to realize that change takes time and time requires patience. Otherwise, our lives will never see any real change.
In our current series we are looking at patience, sacrifice and perseverance in respect to making changes in our lives. We talked about the impatience that we see in the world and in ourselves. We want everything to be fast, easy and convenient.
We don’t like to wait for anything or anyone. We have fast food, express delivery and television on demand, just to name a few. It’s clear that the virtue of patience is lacking in our culture.
Still, God requires patience of His people. Patience produces a better disposition, less irritability and frustration, and long term health benefits. But even beyond that, God has a greater purpose in desiring His people to be patient.
We can see throughout scripture God setting things in motion and expecting His people to be patient in waiting on Him. We looked at the birth of Isaac, how Abraham and Sarah waited 25 years for the child that God promised them.
Why does God require us to be patient? Why must we wait? It is so contrary to the way that we are. Yet, it is not contrary to who God is.
Patience is not just important to God, it is an attribute of His. God wants to change our nature and give us His nature. He wants to see His attributes in us, for our benefit and for the benefit of His kingdom.
But, there’s something more. Patience is how we know God. To know God requires time and patience. God wants us to spend time with Him. He wants to instill in us patience to enable us to know Him. When we are patient, we will meet with God, and as we spend time with Him, we come to know Him.
Can really know God through “popcorn” prayers of petition? True, He is attentive even to those brief moments, but that alone is not much of a relationship. Is that is the kind of relationship you would want someone to have with you? Someone who doesn’t want to spend any quality time with you, and anytime they are with you they are always asking for something?
Relationships develop over time. Time has to be put into a relationship, and time requires patience.
How can you practice patience this week? How can you change your usual routine and spend more quality time with God? Are you willing to patiently wait on God? Are you willing to patiently wait on the blessings you know God has promised you?
Knowing God requires patience. The good news is: He is patiently waiting on you.