producing patience

 "my brethren, count in all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. but let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect & complete, lacking nothing."
 {james 1:2-4, nkjv}

i don't really like the word patience. i can't really say it's an aspect of the fruit of the Spirit that i have really sought to be discipled in. it kinda always seemed to be a wimpy word. patience, as in, quietly enduring something until it passes. like being really good at holding your breath or biting your tongue. something passive & meek & long suffering. filled with the not so heroic notions of forbearance & tolerance & restraint. not very run-to-the-battle-lines. wimpy.

i've kinda been doing a little word audit of my own definitions of words verses the biblical understanding & use of words. sometimes words don't just get translated into a language but into a culture & sometimes the potency of those words gets affected in the process. patience is one of those words. kinda like hope or waiting {post to come}.

dieter f. uchtdorf uses this definition,
"patience is not passive resignation, nor is it failing to act because of our fears. patience means active waiting & enduring. it means staying with something & doing all that we can: working, hoping, & exercising faith; bearing hardships, with fortitude, even when the desires of our hearts are delayed. patience is not simply enduring; it is enduring well!" 

another definition noted patience as "staying power or resoluteness or determination". but my favourite definition of patience is from the expositional study of new testiment words: 

"the independent, unyielding, defiant perserverence in the face of aggressive misfortune & thus to a kind of courageousness"

who knew patience had such tenacity? i gotta get me some of that right there! not the quiet little meek word i thought it was.

and so when james says that "the testing of your faith produces patience" this is what he means. he means "the independent, unyielding, defiant perserverence in the face of aggressive misfortune & thus to a kind of courageousness". it's the kind of patience that can only be produced through the testing of your faith, the aggressive misfortune of life. it's an opportunity. a refiner's fire & james says to "count it all joy". how audacious of him.  but he's right. that's the way kingdom math works. count. add up all the negatives you want, the sum will always be a positive for those who love Him {romans 8:28}. watch Him fashion & forge misfortune into an invaluable gem. 

patience usually has some kind of time dimension to it. when our expectation of how or when something should be completed is compromised, patience is required. patience is required because attitudes expand & implode when things aren't done respective of my timeline. i can't say i've been the most patient in my waiting or even the most active in my waiting. but i want to be patient. hopefully patient for things i know God has promised me that i don't currently hold in my possession yet. i want that staying power that makes thirsty roots clench hard & bore deep into solid ground, un-uprootable.  that courageous, defiant perseverance against the aggressive misfortune that would seek to steal, kill & destroy. i want to endure well, stand my ground courageously with fortitude until it's my time to have & to hold my promise for health & wholeness in all it's fullness & glory. it's like that old proverb says "patience is bitter but it's fruit sweet". may the fruit of patience be evident in my life. 

and so it is as james says,"let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect & complete, lacking nothing." the journey is a patient journey. and i am hopefully expectant for patience's perfect work to have it's way in my life.

"there are no shortcuts to any place worth going" 

No comments:

Post a Comment