In modern times, we have mistakenly watered down the meaning of patience to “passivity”. Patience is not the same as passive and two words are not interchangeable!
Dictionary.com defines patience as 1.the quality of being patient, as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like.
2.an ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay: to have patience with a slow learner.
3.quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care; diligence:
to work with patience.
Ever heard the term “patience of Job”? Yeah…I know…who hasn’t? IMO…Job’s quality of reference should be obedience…obedience unto death.
By definition, Job was not patient. He challenged the counsel of his friends (rightfully so), he complained and whined to God about his circumstances (I do the same) but he was obedient and in communication with his Lord. (I would like to add a footnote here…If you have people around you who are going through trying times be very careful how you counsel them. Job’s friends were quick to counsel with fools wisdom and they ended up facing Gods anger. It wasn’t necessarily what they said was wrong, it just wasn’t right in this particular situation. Seek Gods wisdom before your words roll across your tongue and pass through your lips. I don’t know about you but I never want to hear the words “My anger burns against you and against your two friends, for you have not spoken of me what is right…)
OK…Back on topic…
Many times when someone is going through difficulties we are quick to quote “wait on the Lord”. That has to be one of the most misquoted verses ever. Sometimes action is required…For instance…if you are unemployed and you sit, “waiting on the Lord”, while stretched out on the sofa watching American Idol, eating Cheetos and praying through the commercials for Gods will to be done…you’re going to go hungry, jobless and soon find yourself homeless. Does God “fight for us”? Absolutely! However action IS required on our part. Instead, fill out applications, update your resume and get it sent out, follow through with phone calls, etc. While we are completing the necessary actions on our part, God is doing His part…working and fighting for us.
In Exodus, Moses was quick to tell the Israelites to “stand still” and to “watch God work for them”.(Ex. 14:13-14) Oops! Then, God in His tender way, asked Moses, “Why are you crying to Me?” and then He basically told him to shut up and get moving! (Ex 14:15)
Remember…Patience is not passively waiting for things to change. “That is laziness. But to keep going when the going is hard and slow – that is patience.” ~ Motivation for Dreamers