‘You too, be patient and stand firm’ (James 5:8)
Our God is a God of patience. The Lord Jesus is the great example of patience. The Holy Spirit is the agent producing patience. Trials, troubles and disappointments are the means which exercise and strengthen it. The patience required is a character to bear all that God has appointed for us, without complaining. Rather, with resignation and hope, to wait God’s time for the mercies we need, or for answers to the prayers we put up.
Patience is the daughter of faith; and it is only as we believe that God has appointed, overrules or commands, for our good and His glory, that we can be patient. Patience produces self-possession, shuts the mouth from seeking revenge, and is a principal point in self-government.
Are you impatient? Then confess it, and mourn over it before God; it will make you miserable and lead you to dishonour God. Watch against it, for the coming of the Lord is close. Look at the prophets, apostles, martyrs, and at Jesus – and similarly be patient.
Thus trusting in thy love, I tread
The path of duty on;
What though some cherished joys are fled,
Some flattering dreams are gone?
Yet purer, brighter joys remain;
Why should my spirit then complain?
THE DAILY REMEMBRANCER by James Smith (1802-1862)
‘My next [diary] entry runs thus. I have this day been much in prayer, and have committed unto the Lord whatever concerns me. My enemies, my friends, my trials, and all that exercises my patience, or tries my faith. I can say from all my heart, that I wish Him manage ALL for me, as shall be most for His glory, the good of His church, and the profit of my soul.
These I see are closely connected together. It has just occurred to me, that the reason why the Lord has of late allowed me to be so severely exercised is, I have been very little at His throne compared with what I used to be.’