The #1 way to practice patience as you wait in God’s promises is to recognize this one thing: Control.
When we lack patience, we often feel like we lack control of the situation.
To take this one step further, control can feel like the absence of trust and safety combined.
When my husband takes a few extra minutes to get out of the door, and my patience feels like it is wearing thin, it’s because I feel a lack of control over how things are going. I can’t control my husband. However, I want him to get done and out the door on my time. Therefore, my patience wears thin.
Using the situation with my husband, we can also look at trust and safety because control is a fruit of something deeper. Maybe I want to control the situation so that I can trust we will be on time somewhere.
What about at work? How do you lack patience with people? Do you want to control them because you don’t trust or feel safe with them?
What about weight loss? When you want to lose weight and see the number on the scale go down faster?
We can see a lack of patience in many areas of our lives if we are honest with ourselves. And, when we dig a little deeper, we can recognize the fruit of our lack of patience can be control.
So, how do we practice patience and recognize control?
Let’s start with God’s promises for us.
So, What Are God’s Promises?
The Bible is filled with God’s promises for us. When we read His Word, we reprogram (renew) our minds to believe the truth.
Since I didn’t grow up in the church, it was hard for me to trust someone I couldn’t see. How could I trust someone I couldn’t see when those who I could see seemed to fail me.
I couldn’t trust and wanted to control my body, men, and my work because I lacked a sense of safety.
In each promise, God pledges that something will (or will not) be done or given or come to pass. We can trust these promises because God is faithful, and the recipients (those who receive Jesus as their Savior) of God’s promises can have full assurance that what God has pledged will indeed come to pass or be realized.
Numbers 23:19 says, “God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?”
Seven of God’s Promises in the Bible
- God promised salvation to all who believe in His Son, Jesus (Romans 1:16–17). By grace through faith, we receive the promises of God. We do not have to work our way into the Kingdom.
- God promised that all things would work out for good for His children (Romans 8:28). This helps us to trust God and let go of control, knowing we don’t have to strive to make it work out. God’s promises don’t need our assistance.
- God promises to comfort us in our trials (2 Corinthians 1:3–4). Even in our pain, He never leaves us. God’s promises are for you today!
- God promised new life in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). Salvation is the beginning of a brand-new life.
- God promised to finish the work He started in us (Philippians 1:6). He started the work in us, and He will be sure to complete it.
- God promised peace when we pray (Philippians 4:6–7). His peace is our protection. When we lack patience, we have left His peace.
- God promised to supply our needs (Matthew 6:33; Philippians 4:19). Not that we get everything we want, but our needs will are taken care of.
My goal is to always help you build a strong foundation in Christ. However, I understand that knowing how this applies to our everyday lives is important as well. In other words, how do we live out the promises of God?
When we are talking about patience, we first need to know the promises of God as we work through the root issues that continue to try and create a counterfeit to God’s promises.
Often the enemy will create counterfeits, something that may seem good but is usually focused on self or how it benefits us.
I wanted to share three things to help us practice patience practically too.
Become a good listener.
Slow to speak, slow to answer, quick to listen.
Jame 1:19 in the AMP says, “Understand this, my beloved brothers and sisters. Let everyone be quick to hear [be a careful, thoughtful listener], slow to speak [a speaker of carefully chosen words and], slow to anger [patient, reflective, forgiving].
What is in your control?
You may feel out of control (lacking patience) when around others or situations. However, there are things in your control. Such as your thoughts, reactions, and what you choose to do with your time and words.
Colossians 3:2 tells us to set our minds on things above. What is the fruit of what you are thinking and doing?
Manage your expectations.
I think we can have healthy expectations. However, expectations can sweep us into a dreamland where we want certain people or situations to meet specific needs. Then when they don’t, we are upset and mad at the person or situation.
Waiting in God’s promises as you practice patience to let go of control, remember this: Surrendering the results to God loosens your grip on control.
Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”