I’ve heard those words come out of the mouths of friends and family members. You have too, right? Maybe you’ve even said such things.
I think most of the time they’re spoken in jest, but sometimes they’re not. When they’re said seriously, they bother me a lot. Such words dishonor our loving God. They suggest that God is mean-spirited or that he doesn’t do all things for our good. They imply that one of God’s good and perfect gifts is somehow flawed and undesirable.
Patience is a gift from God, you know? Listen to these words that Paul wrote to the Galatians.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23)
Doesn’t this list of qualities include many things you regularly ask for? You ask for joy in the midst of difficult circumstances. You plead for peace when everything around you is falling apart. And haven’t you asked for self-control more than once or twice?
You know you need these good things, so you pray for them. So why would you not, then, pray also for patience? Do you not want God to display his power and glory in your life in this way?
The fruit of the Spirit is the evidence of God’s presence in you. They are traits that God himself possesses. He gives them to each and every one of children, so that those who love him and follow him can show the world what he’s like. So ask God to give you all of them…patience included.