James 1:4 “But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”
One of the hardest things for a young man, or maybe any person in general, is the art of patience. Patience is really a major key to success in almost any field of work, and especially in the service of God. We live in a society today that does not breed patience. We seek for convenience, and seldom practice patience. We will go to the store and pay for a mere twenty ounces of soda when we could get two liters of the same soda for almost half the price. Why do we do this? Because the twenty ounce soda is cold already and we want our soda now. We sacrifice the better value of our money, for the wants and desires of the moment. This is not patience, though exemplified on a very minor scale.
Why is patience such a big deal? Why do we need patience in our lives? Here are three basic reasons we need patience in our lives…
#1 God wants us to wait patiently on His timing. There are times when God places a desire in our heart, but makes us wait for him to open the door. When I was a teenager I had a big old German Shepherd dog. I had trained the dog to obey commands. He and I would practice these commands. One of my favorite commands to practice was to tell him to sit and then I would walk away. I would go here and there and do this or that around the yard while he stayed sitting where I had left him. I would eventually turn to him and give him a sign to come where I was. Once he received the sign he would come bounding across the yard. What did I want from my dog? I wanted him to obey and wait where I left him, I wanted him to watch for my signal, and I wanted him to be close to me when it was done. Sometimes this is what God does to us. He wants us to patiently wait on him and stay out His way while He is arranging our future. He wants us to keep our eyes upon him and wait for his signal, and he wants to be close to us in the end as we do his work.
#2 God wants patience to do it’s work. As we exercise patience in our lives time is passing. Time has a way of maturing men. In time, we learn things we did not know before. Time and maturing are the work of patience. In the time that passed before I got married, I was learning how to be a good husband. I was learning how to work hard to provide for a family. As a new husband I was learning how to someday be a good father. Patience uses time and maturity to prepare you for a future work that God has for you.
#3 Patience will perfect you for the work ahead. James 1:4 says that patience will make you “perfect and entire wanting nothing.” Does this mean you will make no mistakes if you are patient? No, we are only human and therefore incapable of entire perfection. This verse is speaking of patience making you a perfect fit for the work God has given you to do. For example, I am an assistant pastor. I love being an assistant pastor, but I believe that God has put it in my heart to one day be a pastor. However, the time for this is not now, therefore I must be patient and enjoy being an assistant pastor. I could try to force myself in as a pastor somewhere, but then patience could not do her work. If I am patient as an assistant pastor, than this patience will use time and maturity to make me “perfect” and entirely ready to be a pastor in God’s timing. You can not take a cake out of the oven half-baked or else it will fall. You cannot take yourself out of place God has placed you for now, lest you may fall. Be patient and wait on God. Let him open the doors, don’t force them open. You will find that God will bless your patience in the end. “...For in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”
“Give me 100 preachers who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God; such alone will shake the gates of hell.” -John Wesley