Picture this: God is trying to speak to you, but you keep refusing His voice and turning back to your own ways. God has every availability to turn His back on us, but He chooses not to. Why? Two words: Love and patience. Christ’s love flows endlessly, so His mercy also flows in this same way.
God expects us to imitate Him. Perhaps one of the most difficult parts of being in fellowship with one another is maintaining the level of patience with on another that God has with us. Fellowship is a great opportunity to express the fruits of the Spirit to each other and raise each other up in Christ. There is a key difference between the world’s definition of patience and Christ’s definition of patience. Christ is all about love being abundant, while the world mixes up this action as a mere act instead of also feeling and practicing from the heart.
If we read the Bible closely, God tells us how we can grow our patience in Him. Having fellowship with one another is not the only situation in which we need to be patient, but it is a very common one. Not everyone struggles with maintaining patience in various situations, but it is still definitely something we should all have and something we should continue to work on. There are many situations God may place us in so that we are able to grow. I am going to list the some “frequent” scenarios most college students are placed in that challenge their patience. I will include a Bible verse with each one in relation to being patient:
- Having trouble in a class – We take challenging classes and sometimes the material can be hard to grasp. We should be patient with ourselves and the time it takes for us to better understand the material. Verse: Romans 12:12 says “Let your hope keep you joyful, be patient in your troubles, and pray at all times.”
- Pursuing our passions – God gives passions to each of us, but there are always challenging parts to every dream. Say your passion is singing or playing an instrument. It takes time to learn to read music and practice to be a good musician. Just because God gives us passions doesn’t mean He’s not going to make us work for success. Say you don’t know what God has called you to yet; you can be patient in prayer and exploring your interests. Verse: Galatians 6:9 says “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
- Rooming with a friend – This is a great opportunity to learn more about your friend and how to live well together. We are all unique in some way, which means learning to live with another person takes all the more cooperation and patience. The best outcome would be this: becoming closer to your roommate and wiser through the experience. Verse: Proverbs 15:18 says “Hot tempers cause arguments, but patience brings peace.”
- Earning money – Having a job requires some skill that we can obtain without much thought over a lifetime, but working a job goes by the hour to hour basis. Some days may be longer than others, but what we earn slowly grows over time. We do not get the money we need all at one time. We all have necessities that we need to pay for, and it’s easy to get stressed out and lose patience if we don’t immediately get the job we want to pay for those necessities. Verse: Philippians 4:19 says “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”
What we need will come to us. God doesn’t usually give us all we want at once. Rather, if it is in His plan and what we need, it will come to us on God’s timing. Our patience has a chance to flourish in the waiting period. Often times we find ourselves being aggravated with the slow outcome of things, but ultimately, good comes out of all of it. We can either continue in our disappointment and sour outlook on life because of it, or we can rejoice knowing that God is growing us in the season of waiting. Eventually, we will be able to see why God was allowing that particular situation that was testing you or why you didn’t receive what you prayed for immediately. He has a plan and a time for everything. As Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven. . .” If God says His purposes are to happen at different times, who are we to try to declare otherwise? Christ’s abundant love is present in our fellowship and in the growth of our patience.