Patience Requires Faith
Usually we think of "patience" and "waiting" as passive terms. If you were to define waiting, you might say that waiting is "doing nothing until something happens." And you might define patience as "being willing to do nothing until something happens." Right?
Yet, I believe both of these words should actually be very active words, not passive. A lot of faith is required to wait patiently, trusting that God's promises are true and His timing is best. You have to believe that ultimately you will achieve your goal if you stay the course. Otherwise, you will be very uptight and unhappy and difficult to live with.
Life rarely moves on our time schedule. How we wait makes all the difference. If you wait with hope of change, you will be much more patient until the answer comes. The apostle Paul said, "If we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently" (Romans 8:25). We can be patient because by faith we truly believe that change will eventually come.
James, in his always-practical way, uses farming as an illustration. "Be patient, then," he says. "See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains" (James 5:7-8). It takes faith to believe that ultimately sowing seed will result in reaping a crop.
So, the next time you have to wait—whether in a doctor's office or waiting for your child to grow out of the "terrible twos," think of it not as a waste of time but as part of God's plan for your life. Yes, you will have to do it by faith. But, trusting Him, you can make "patience" and "waiting" active words in your vocabulary. The psalmist said, "I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry (Psalm 40:1).