Patience is, as they say, a virtue. It takes a lot of effort to develop patience, but thankfully we are not left on our own to work it out.
This is because patience is a fruit of the Holy Spirit, and since He is in us, He will bear His fruit in us:
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law." (Galatians 5:22-23)
But what is patience, really?
Webster's 1828 dictionary defines patience as "the suffering of afflictions, pain, toil, calamity, provocation or other evil, with a calm, unruffled temper; endurance without murmuring or fretfulness."
It adds that "patience may spring from constitutional fortitude, from a kind of heroic pride, or from Christian submission to the divine will."
Patience is also defined as "perseverance; constancy in labor or exertion" and "the quality of bearing offenses and injuries without anger or revenge."
Since patience is, basically, the ability to persevere and face opposition or suffering without complaint or taking revenge, it will be wise to understand that it's not easy to develop.
But since we have God's Spirit in us, it's not impossible to develop it.
Do you desire patience? Do you want to be a patient man or woman, able to persevere quietly in the midst of challenges? This article is for you.
Here we will talk about three Biblical ways to develop patience. It's not that easy, but the effort will be worth it.
Three Biblical ways to develop patience
1) Be thankful that trials produce patience
No one wants to undergo suffering without any expected result. Bodybuilders lift heavy weights to grow muscles; athletes exercise and practice to get better at their sport; and artists practice to hone their skills in their craft.
In the same way, trials develop patience. Think this way: the more trials we face, the more opportunities we get to develop patience. This is what James 1:2-3 tells us:
"My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience."
2) Cooperate with the Holy Spirit
Since patience (or longsuffering) is a fruit of the Holy Spirit, it goes without saying that we must cooperate with Him to develop patience in us.
This is no mystical matter at all. Jesus told us that the Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth (see John 16:13). The Holy Spirit will remind us of all the Lord Jesus said (see John 14:26).
In short, He will simply tell us to obey what the Lord Jesus taught. If we obey Him and submit to Him, we will soon see His fruit borne in us.
3) Look to Jesus
Lastly, if we want to develop patience in ourselves, we need to look at the ultimate model of a patient man -- the Lord Jesus Christ.
"Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." (Hebrews 12:1-2)
Christ is the perfect model of patience. God wants us to be like Him, and the more we become Christ-like the more we will have patience: over ourselves, our families, our friends, the people we don't know, and even the people who hate us.
Christ was patient with us all, and we can learn it from Him.