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It is interesting to note that patience is one of the attributes or characteristics of the fruit of the Spirit. Growing up, I had always heard it said that patience is a virtue. So, I am not surprised to learn that God holds patience very high among the attitudes He wants us, as His children, to exhibit. So, it has been said that patience is linked to better health; that patience makes people better friends and neighbors, and that patience helps us to achieve our goals. In addition to this, I am certain that when we live our lives with more patience, we will have more peace. As Christians we are fond of saying “it is well” or “it shall be well”. The whole idea of saying “it shall be well” pre-supposes that we trust that God is in charge and that He will always come through. In fact, the real essence of patience is that our mind is at rest because we believe that things will eventually happen the way they have been destined to. When our minds are at rest then we are at peace.
The idea of being at peace with God, with others, and with ourselves means that we have completely surrendered to God. We have surrendered to God so that He will take care of whatever circumstances we find ourselves in. This realization should help us to exercise patience for God to do whatever He needs to do in His own time. So, when we are at peace, we can be more patient. On the other hand, it is by being patient that we can maintain the peace that we need. So patience leads to peace and vice versa.
This is probably a hard time to talk about patience to anyone, an even harder time to talk about peace. Right now, the peace of the whole world is disturbed. From the East to the West and the North to the South, everyone’s peace is disturbed. This Coronavirus has caused havoc in many families. Many deaths are being reported all over the world. Citizens are no longer patient with their governments. Everyone is scared because we do not know what is going to happen next. Our health is threatened, our jobs are threatened, our future is threatened, the stock market is crashing, and people’s life-long savings or investments are going down with it. This is all because of a virus that we cannot even see with our naked eyes. People are losing sleep because they do not know where this pestilence will strike next. Shelves at Grocery Stores are getting empty and stores are running low on food, toilet rolls and many other things. It is enough to disturb our peace. To many of us our governments are not moving fast enough. We are losing our patience with them, and I dare say many are also losing their patience with God. Currently, patience is not even a word many want to hear.
The truth is that we cannot afford to be anxious even in this period. We need the peace of God to survive this time and being patient can fetch us that peace. Our Lord Jesus Christ said “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” – John 14:27. Even if everyone around you this time is troubled and afraid, the word of God says we should not be troubled, and we should not be afraid. There is no doubt that we all wonder how to be patient because patience is hard when everyone around you is afflicted. How can one be patient when you cannot hug your children again for fear that they will pass the virus to you? How can one be patient when suddenly we do not see people anymore, all we see is the virus? How? But the word of God says we must “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” – Romans 12;12. I know the present affliction shall pass because I believe the inspired words of the Bible. “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” – 2 Corinthians 4:17. I don’t know how, but I am sure this affliction will yet achieve for us an eternal weight of glory.
My brothers and sisters, let us be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him. In patiently waiting for Him, His peace will overwhelm us. Let us continue to look unto Him who is the author and finisher of our faith. We need to turn our worries over to Him and I know He is able to carry our burdens. Let us turn these present circumstances patiently over to Him and live in His peace. – Pastor Simbo Odunaiya