Here at week four we continue exploring seven characteristics of a godly life outlined in 2 Peter. “Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.” (2 Peter 1:5-7)
The fourth quality is patience. This is the ability to endure. Last week’s self-control had to do with dealing with the pleasures of life, patience relates primarily to the pressures and problem of life. In a specific way this is the ability to endure problematic people. Paul describes it in Galatians 5 as “long-suffering.” More times than not the person who gives in to the pleasures of life is not disciplined enough to handle the pressures of life either and simply gives up.
Patience does not develop automatically. You have to work at it, just like James instructs in chapter 1:2-8 of his epistle. It is important to understand that at some point you will experience trouble and trials. It’s only from those episodes that you will ever learn patience. Your faith will grow as you face trials, at the same time you’re using your level of faith to work for you not against you because God works with you in those moments of trouble. No one that I’m aware of looks forward to trials, however, they do look forward to the confidence gained by having God work in the trials with them. God causes everything to work together for our good and His glory.