Have you ever heard someone say, “Don’t pray for patience!” The idea behind the statement comes from Romans 5:3, teaching patience is worked out in our lives by trials and tribulations. But a closer look at this verse might be a good idea. In the New Living Translation, Romans 5:3 says, “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance (patience).” Did you catch it? We should rejoice in the trials. Why? They help us develop patience.
Life lesson: Pray for patience
We are so programmed to avoid pain at all cost. We take pills to stop pain, quit on painful relationships, and rescue people we love quickly from any pain in their lives. Because pain is bad, right? Then, why does Romans 5:3 tell us to rejoice in problems and trials? It is because the trials help us develop endurance or patience. Why do we need endurance and patience? A look at Romans 8:25-27 explains, “But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently. And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.” This passage is telling us that faith (looking forward to something we don’t yet have) is worked out in patience and confidence. It also tells us we don’t even know what we need and we don’t know what we should pray for. So, when we acknowledge our weakness, the Spirit intercedes for us and helps bring us in harmony with God’s will. Isn’t that our ultimate goal? Don’t we desperately want to be in harmony with God’s will? Don’t we want to be partakers of His peace? Then, we should pray for patience, and we should rejoice in difficult trials.
Are you in a difficult place in life? Are you experiencing problems? Are you meeting trials at every turn? Know they can help you develop endurance and patience. Know they can bring you into harmony with God’s own will. God desires to bless us abundantly. His abundance is in the fruits He allows the Spirit to work out in us. Remember the fruits? Check out Galatians 5:22-26:
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit's leading in every part of our lives.”
The Spirit works out the gifts in us when we submit, in our weakness. When our lives belong to Christ we crucify our desires, including the desire to live a life free from pain. When we are dead to self, the Spirit leads our lives. Where does the Spirit lead us? Straight into the harmony of God’s will. Ready for peace? Go ahead, pray for patience and welcome the trials. Give God control, He cares perfectly for you!