The Cure For Impatience

2:43 pm faith, patience, trust

We have mastered impatience!  Have you ever been behind a car at a stoplight when it turns green and the car in front of you fails to go forward and just sets still? Have you ever been in a check-out line when the cashier makes a mistake and it takes ten minutes to correct it?  Have you ever attempted to order food at a fast-food restaurant and the person waiting on you is new and doesn’t know what to do first?  In each of these scenarios, do you wait patiently?  Most of us have been in these situations and were upset because we had to wait.  We know the feelings of irritation, frustration, and anger when someone else fails to do his/her job and we pay the price in lost time and incovenience.  Yes, we have mastered impatience.
There are three reasons that impatience comes to characterize our hearts.  First, we are overscheduled.  We are like a glass of water that is full to the brim.  Anytime we are jostled, we spill over.  We are so overscheduled in life that we have no flexibility.  Second, we hold to unrealistic expectations of others.  We actually have developed a double-standard.  We expect other people to always get it right and not make mistakes that will cost us personally.  However, when we mess up, we have many excuses as to why we failed and we want others to cut us some slack.  Third, we have an oversized ego and are arrogant.  We have feelings of superiority to others whom we think are inferior to us.  We are impatient with others when we feel that we are better than they are and we can work faster, think smarter, and accomplish more than them.
If we are impatient with people, we are probably impatient with God too!  Remember Abram and Sarah?  In Gen. 16, they ran ahead of God in the matter of having an heir and Sarah permitted Abram to be with Hagar and together they produced a son, Ishmael.  Ishmael was not the promised son.  Abram and Sarah grew impatient.  Twenty-five years passed from the time God promised Abram a son until Isaac was born.  Twenty-five years is a long time to wait for a promise to be fulfilled.  We must learn to “wait upon the Lord.” Faith in God produces patience with God.  God works all things out according to His own timetable. Trust Him!
God is longsuffering toward us (II Pet. 3:9).  The word longsuffering means “long-tempered.”  It is the opposite of being “short-tempered.”  Why is God patient with us?  The answer is given in this verse, He is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”  God is merciful.  His mercy produces longsuffering.  Mercy is the antidote to impatience.
If you want to become more patient, you must become more merciful!  If you want to be more patient with God, you must trust Him implicitly.

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