Advancing In Patience Or Lust?

May 3, 2013

Friends,
By wisdom and maturity a man conducts himself with patience, which means that he controls his emotions and remains at ease, even through trouble and delay. This calmness is given by the Spirit (Gal. 5:22) as the man casts his cares on the Lord and waits for Him to deliver. (Ps. 55:22 // Lam. 3:26)

Throughout God’s Word we are told to be patient, to trust the Lord’s timing and way, to not fret, to be slow to get angry, to persevere through affliction, and to keep our eyes on the Lord, even in the midst of uncertainty. We are promised great reward if we do so (Isa. 64:4 // Heb. 10:35,36) –a valuable crop, blessing, deliverance, joy, and eternal life. (Ps. 40:1-3 // Rom. 8:23-25 // Heb. 6:11,12 & 9:28 // Ja. 1:12 & 5:7-11 // Rev. 3:10) Definitely, those who walk in wisdom will be self-controlled, and thus patient. (Pr. 14:29 & 19:11)

Not so with those who are unwise. Such men, in their folly and weakness, are impatient, for they have never learned how to control their desires. In fact, it could be said that the opposite of patience is lust. For those who are impatient want what they want –immediately. Their lack of maturity and strength, and their lack of wisdom and trust in the Lord, causes them to demand that their lusts be satisfied, and quickly. In their ignorance they cannot wait for God to bring them what is best, in their weakness they refuse to wait for pain to bring them gain, and in their inability to control themselves, they cannot resist the control of the sinful nature. Truly, it can be said that those who are impatient lack self-control and therefore often become consumed with lust.

Certainly, we’d think that no one would want to start down that slippery slope. For lust only incurs more lust, and the outcome is a mind that is futile and depraved stemming from a heart that has lost all sensitivity. (Eph. 4:18,19) Such a man has severed himself from the life of God (v. 18) and will not inherit Christ’s Kingdom (5:5) of eternal life (1 John 2:15-17), but will instead inherit God’s wrath. (Eph. 5:6)

It is vital, then, that every person trains himself to be godly (1 Tim. 4:7) by fleeing “foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction.” (6:9) This is done by diligently pursuing the knowledge of God through His Word, by being careful to adhere to sound doctrine, and by putting to practice what is learned (4:16 // Titus 1:1 & 2:1,2,11-14), and all this by being completely submitted to the control of the Spirit. (Gal. 5:16)

By enduring hardship as discipline (Heb. 12:7), and if we do not give up in doing good (Gal. 6:9), we will reap a wonderful harvest of righteousness and peace and reward. (same two verses) But it does depend upon our perseverance in faith, self-control, and Truth (Heb. 10:23,35-39) –which can only be attained by having learned how to wait in quiet, restful patience on the Lord who is all-wise, all-knowing, and is able to do for us better than we can imagine. (Eph. 3:20)

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

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