Throughout the history of the church, patience has always been considered a great virtue by spiritual heavyweights like Augustine, Thomas a Kempis and Francis of Assisi. Why is patience such an important virtue? For starters, patience is one of the nine fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). In our relationship with God, we might call patience “faith-waiting.” In the Bible we are exhorted to “wait on the Lord” (Psalm 27:14). It takes more faith to wait than most of the real life situations that challenge our walk with God. There are few spiritual disciplines that will focus our faith like those times when all we can do is wait on the Lord. When we are praying for something and receiving no answer, God may be teaching us that there are times when faith waits.
We all eventually find ourselves facing circumstances which are beyond our control. Imagine Paul chained in that awful prison in Rome. Would he find and maintain the peace of God if his formula for peace was to rattle his chains and ‘force it?’ Patience is the supernatural fruit of the Holy Spirit that gives us the grace to accept the things we cannot control.
Holy God, teach us what it means to have faith in silence. When we face trials that are beyond our understanding, help us to find peace. Help us to be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer. You set all things in accordance to your time. Remind us to wait patiently, and find peace in your plan. Amen.