Last time we looked at how to add temperance to our knowledge. For a quick recap of that devotion, check out the stats below:
Definition: Submission of our will to God, giving him control of our development.
Scripture reference: 1 John 1:8-10; admit that we need God and that God is looking to help us with our faults and developing us into godly people.
Application: By giving God control in our lives, He will guide us in how to be the best Christian we can be. The knowledge, virtue and faith we gain in Christ will be tempered by the wisdom of God, thus making us the most effective servant we can be in His kingdom. Our actions will reflect a true follower of Christ rather than what we desire on our own.
The next step in this transformation process is to not get out ahead of ourselves. In order to be truly tempered in our approach to serving in God's kingdom is to live a life of patience. Let's examine:
Patience: Being unswerved from a deliberate purpose and loyalty to God by even the greatest trials and sufferings
Patience is not an easy thing to attain, much less retain. In a world where we expect to receive instant gratification for minimal effort, patience holds little value to many. We want success before we put in the necessary effort. We desire accolades just for showing up to participate. Patience has been supplanted by privilege, and it's eating a generation alive. When live with a privileged mindset, we find ourselves frustrated when things don't go our way. As a result, we tend to give up before really get going in our pursuits.
A return to patience is what we need. The above definition shows us not only what it takes to be patient but also it inherently reveals the benefits of such a commitment. Let's break down a key part of that definition:
Unswerved: Not moving from the path that is set.
We often hear that insanity is constantly repeating the same thing and expecting different results. However, sometimes it takes 100 attempts before we see the results we are looking for. A body lifter won't have the muscle definition they desire from one day in the gym. It takes months of training and developing technique to get the physique they require. Along the way, there are tiny changes that indicate success. However, a privileged mindset says I didn't get the six pack right away so I'll just give up. A patient mindset says I haven't seen the results yet, but I'll keep working at it knowing that these techniques work.
I don't always win a soul when I attempt to witness about Christ. When I pray, my need isn't immediately met. However, I know that earnest witnessing for Christ results in souls being won. I know that prayer works and God moves when we intercede. David knew that God had ordained him as King of Israel. However, he found himself hiding in caves and constantly on the run. That didn't keep him from praying to God and seeking to act in accordance with his calling. In fact one of his most powerful Psalms was written while on the run from Saul (Psalm 57).
Through the Trials and Tribulations, Patience Preserves
In that Psalm, David talks with absolute faith that God will deliver him and do what He said He would do (v. 2-3). He acknowledges his problems (v.4, 6). Still, David gives praise to God and expects God to do the work that he cannot perform (7-11). This is the mindset of patience on full display. He isn't giving up and trying to figure things out himself. He isn't throwing in the towel and seeding his promise to his enemy. His heart and mind are fixed on God and committed to Him.
David never let his loyalty to God and purpose in His kingdom go off the rails. He stayed focused and committed to God even in his greatest trials and tribulations. We can do the same. Serving God doesn't exempt us from tough situations. In fact, it often leads us into situations that will try us. If we handle those trials with the patience that David exhibited, we'll find our loyalty to God rewarded and our promise fulfilled.
So Adding To Temperance Patience Means
When we give God control of our lives and actions, we don't abandon that plan when things get tough. We stay committed to the process knowing that their is reward to those who do. We can build our faith in this process through reading the scriptures to find people who followed God patiently and also looking at other modern saints who have done so as well. When all else fails, we can fall back on the virtue God has supplied us and know that the right decision is to trust God. If we do this, we will see success in our relationship with God and service to His Kingdom.
Chris Farris is the author of The Way, a manual detailing how to implement the Beatitudes into your life. He review events and other media and offers other insights into writing and working for the Kingdom of God.