Bible Society of South Africa

Goals and resolutions: Patience – 7 February 2022

By Charlea Sieberhagen-Grey

Bible text(s)

12Let your hope keep you joyful, be patient in your troubles, and pray at all times.

Romans 12:12GNBOpen in Bible reader

Patience is a wonderful characteristic, but is definitely one of the rarer qualities in the age in which we live. We live in a time of instant gratification. People want to satisfy their needs and desires in an instant. Not at a later stage. Not in a week or a year’s time. NOW. Immediately.

It actually also shows how lazy we have become. When a device breaks in the home, people feel that it needs to be replaced immediately (preferably with a better model!), rather than take the television or microwave in for repairs. The reason is that it may take a day or two before it is fixed.

In Galatians 5:22-23 (GNT), we read that patience is an important “fruit of the Spirit”: “But the Spirit produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, and self-control. There is no law against such things as these.”

The Covid-19 pandemic that suddenly turned the world on its head two years ago, is a very good example of how our patience is tested in difficult times. In those times of terrible insecurity, we had to wait patiently and wait and wait. We had to wait patiently for the lockdown to be lifted. Do you still remember those five long weeks of staying at home, waiting and all the insecurity? We had to wait for scientists to develop a vaccine. We had to wait for lockdown restrictions to ease systematically. And we still await the day when we are able to move around without masks. People everywhere are waiting on tenterhooks to find out what the effect of the pandemic will be on their working conditions, if not known already.

It is frustrating, and yes, all of us have had our patience tested over the past two years and, unfortunately, it is not completely over yet.

Time and time again in the Bible, God promises that there will be a way out after hard times. The difficult times will, indeed, pass even though it does not feel like that to us at the moment. We just need to cultivate patience and continue to pray about it.

Prayer: Almighty God, thank you that you are still with us in uncertain times. Help us to hold on to your promises that the hard times, too, will pass and that you will provide a way out. Help us to remain patient when we struggle and our spirits are down. Amen

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