Becoming a Patient Person
Today’s Scriptures: “Five days later Ananias, the high priest, arrived with some of the Jewish elders and the lawyer Tertullus, to present their case against Paul to the governor. When Paul was called in, Tertullus presented the charges against Paul in the following address to the governor: “You have provided a long period of peace for us Jews and with foresight have enacted reforms for us. For all of this, Your Excellency, we are very grateful to you. But I don’t want to bore you, so please give me your attention for only a moment. We have found this man to be a troublemaker who is constantly stirring up riots among the Jews all over the world. He is a ringleader of the cult known as the Nazarenes. Furthermore, he was trying to desecrate the Temple when we arrested him. [We would have judged him by our law,] [but Lysias, the commander of the garrison, came and violently took him away from us,] [commanding his accusers to come before you.] You can find out the truth of our accusations by examining him yourself.” Then the other Jews chimed in, declaring that everything Tertullus said was true. The governor then motioned for Paul to speak. Paul said, “I know, sir, that you have been a judge of Jewish affairs for many years, so I gladly present my defense before you. You can quickly discover that I arrived in Jerusalem no more than twelve days ago to worship at the Temple. My accusers never found me arguing with anyone in the Temple, nor stirring up a riot in any synagogue or on the streets of the city. These men cannot prove the things they accuse me of doing. “But I admit that I follow the Way, which they call a cult. I worship the God of our ancestors, and I firmly believe the Jewish law and everything written in the prophets. I have the same hope in God that these men have, that He will raise both the righteous and the unrighteous. Because of this, I always try to maintain a clear conscience before God and all people.” Acts 24:1-16
Paul demonstrated the power of patience when he was brought to trial before Festus. Instead of letting his accusers’ false claims interfere with his calm demeanor, the apostle patiently went through the legal process while remaining faithful to the Lord. He refrained from attacking the opposition or decrying the injustice of the charges. His peaceful manner found favor with the governor and earned him a hearing for the gospel (Acts 24:24-25).
Because our “flesh” is inclined towards impatience, we need to seek the Lord during difficult situations. Through prayer, we can ask Him to take control over our . . .
Thoughts. It is important that we shift our attention away from the circumstance and onto our heavenly Father. His Spirit will help us gain the right perspective.
Emotions. When the Holy Spirit oversees our feelings and reactions, we will find ourselves becoming calmer. Then He will empower us to respond in a godly manner.
Speech. Asking Him to help us have self-control over our tongue is essential. A timely word can defuse a situation; speaking defensively or shouting angrily at the other person can inflame it (Proverbs 15:18).
The Holy Spirit will answer our prayers and provide what we need, just as He did for the apostle Paul.
Patience requires self-control and a desire to please God. Paul had need of both when standing before Festus and King Agrippa. Despite the injustice of those situations, Paul held his ground and was not provoked. Imagine what God will do through you as you grow in the virtue of patience.