A few years ago I spent 31 days writing on Bible verses about patience. At the time, things were less than ideal with my husband’s job. Family situations had changed meaning we had helped launch our oldest out into the world of living on her own and it was an election year. Ugh!
The above scenarios could be easily changed to my husband lost his job, the baby has been teething for the past year and just plain ‘ol life. The above scenarios could easily be changed into my grandma died and I was diagnosed with a Melanoma in Situ. The above scenarios could easily be changed to fit any and all circumstances in your life right now.
The point being, we will never run out of the opportunity to work on patience, ever. And if I’m going to have the opportunity to work on something like patience my entire life, I want to know as many Bible verses about patience as I possibly can!
This verse from Philippians 4 reminds me how I am to approach God when I take all these “patience testers” to Him, “Don’t worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart.” (GNT) You surely know what I mean by “patience testers” right? Right!
Bible Verses About Patience
Listen friends, these “patience testers” are not constrained by the big milestones or events of life. “Patience testers” can be anything from a broken washing machine, a car that makes that noise until the mechanic takes a listen, inlaws, outlaws, friends, and even “well-meaning” strangers in the grocery store line checkout.
Man, it sure does seem like I write about being in the grocery store checkout frequently.
These “patience testers” begin the moment I wake up and keep on going until I fall asleep. Should I say boldly, “Thanks be to God I have an opportunity to work on my patience 24/7/365!”
But sometimes, the Lord knows, I just want to quit. Working on my patience is constant and messy and hard and I’d rather veg in front of a screen and let everyone else in the house do the same–preferably different screens in different rooms. Right? (Side note, this is one of the reasons we only have one television in the house; when we’re tempted to all scatter to our own corners to veg in front of a screen, we can’t!)
But this Bible verse about patience from Philippians 4 can shift my perspective from patience to thanksgiving. Ah, now that sounds better; it probably feels a whole lot better too!
Let’s break this verse down. The first thing this verse tells me to do is not worry. Haha! Good one Paul! He must not have been a worrier because telling someone who worries or is even a reformed worrier not to worry is like telling someone to not think of an apple. What did you just think about?! An apple!
But let’s try to work this verse out ok? Taking a cue from this Bible verse on patience and using techniques I’ve used to combat worry, I’m going to replace worry with prayer. And as anyone who is a worrier or a reformed worrier knows, this is not a “once and done.” Replacing worry with prayer is going to take time. It takes time to form a new habit and worry can become just that, a very bad habit.
But wait! Before I jump into prayer as a means to combat worry, I need to double-check this Bible verse about patience again. There are two specifications:
1. Ask for what I need
2. Ask with a thankful heart
Now I’m going to dig deeper using those two guidelines helping me discern what not to do. First, I don’t need to start asking God to fix other people so I can be more patient. The Philippians 4 verse on patience states, “…ask God for what you need…” it does not state, “…ask God for what someone else needs…”
“But c’mon God, you know I need them to be this…or not be that…or honestly just go somewhere else to be…” Nope, I need to be or not be regardless of how others are. (Hey! My 2020 Word for the Year is Be!)
Does the above make sense to you? It does not matter one bit how someone else behaves–I need to base my patience on right way living not ideal circumstances. Honestly, this is just a great habit to get into anyway because, well, life. Rarely does everything go my way. Wasn’t it Mother Angelica who said if it weren’t people we’d all be holy? Or something like that.
Next, this Bible verse on patience states, “…always asking him with a thankful heart.” Does this mean my prayers always need to be sunshiney, glitter bombs of conversation with God? Nope, I can literally cry out; the Psalmist David did and so did Jesus.
I can ask questions and offer another way–Jesus did. But ultimately and more importantly, if you look at both examples, David and Jesus sought God’s will over their own and thanked Him for all He had done and was going to do in their lives and the lives of others.
That is my example of asking with a thankful heart. It’s a thankful heart because I admit in thought, word or deed that God knows best and I surrender everything of myself to Him as an act of gratitude; a sacrifice of thanksgiving. I can confidently say to my Lord and my God, “Thank You for taking care of me.”
Um, wait, did I just say, surrender as an act of gratitude? Does that even make sense? It sure does friends! Do you keep a gratitude journal? I do (sometimes). When I start listing items from my day, even the so-so ones (sometimes the ones I list just because I think I should fill a couple more lines) become a form of gratitude.
As I write in my gratitude journal, I am thanking God for everything He brought into my day. Since He is the one Who arranged that day, just for me, I’m thanking Him. That sounds kind of circular in reason to me and I hope it makes sense to you. If not, let’s discuss it in the comments or by email.
Here’s what I want you to take away from this post on Bible verses about patience—begin keeping a gratitude journal. This one simple act will decrease the attention we pay to worry and increase the attention we give to thanksgiving. A perfect summation of this Bible verse about patience.