Hannah was a godly woman, but she had no children. She was greatly distressed by this situation and she cried out to the Lord to provide a child. She vowed that if the Lord would provide then she would give him to God and His service. Her patience resulted in God hearing Hannah's prayer; He granted her a son named Samuel. Samuel grew up to be a man devoted to the Lord and was instrumental in identifying Israel's first king and annointing a shepherd boy named David.
We live in an instant world-microwave ovens, the internet, cell phones and pagers-which has changed the way we view time. Standing in lines or being jammed in traffic send many people through the roof. A delayed airline flight can be aggravating. Overcrowded restaurants with two waitresses short gnaws on you. The ability to accept delays graciously, calmly and with a smile is tough. Speedy success is our expectation while learning to be patient is put on the back burner.
Does the fast pace world that we live in really bring meaning to our lives? What can we learn from having an attitude of patience? Our lives need to marked by patience. The Greek word translated "patience" literally means "long-tempered." There are three aspects to biblical patience: (1) Patience never gives into negative circumstances, no matter how difficult. God told Abraham He would make him into a great nation and give Canaan to his descendants (Genesis 12:2, 7). When God made this promise, Abraham and Sarah had no children. They had to wait far past their child bearing years before God gave them a son. Abraham trusted God and patiently waited for Him to fulfill His promise. (2) Patience involves coping with difficult people. Paul tells us to "be patient with all men." (1 Thessalonians 5:14). This is a gentle spirit that refuses to retaliate. (3) Patience accepts God's plan for everything. It doesn't question God. A patient man says, "Lord, if this is what you have planned for me, that's all right."
The above noted character quality is an excerpt from Rod Handley's latest book, "Character Counts For Quiet Time and Small Groups" (Volume 1).In addition to sixteen different character qualities, you get a number of Scripture references and appropriate small group discussion questions. This book is perfect for any age, giving helps on how to live out the Christian life. It's retail price is $6.95. Additional character qualities will be put into future volumes.