“But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing” (James 1:4).
James made reference to patience working in the life of the believer. James asked us to count it all joy, when we experience trials of different kinds. This is because when our faith is tested, we develop spiritual maturity and inner peace. How does testing develop our faith and cause us to have inner peace? It is not the testing that grows our spiritual muscles and gives us inner peace. There are many people experiencing trials who are certainly not at peace and who lack faith. For the believer however, who trusts in Jesus and relies on the help of the Holy Spirit to deliver us from trials, our faith increases and we develop greater peace.
Experience teaches wisdom and a mature Christian who understands the ways of God and the things of God, can often anticipate how God will act. The study and understanding of the word demonstrates how God comes to the rescue of his people. The bible has formulas and prescriptions about how to pray for example and how to seek answers from God. “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13). This is not to say that we can work God out by a formula and always try to predict what he will do. His ways are beyond our human reasoning and understanding and some acts of God cannot be fathomed or explained.
Patience is steadfast endurance and being willing to wait for God, even when waiting goes beyond our original timetable. Some of us like to make plans for our lives. We make five or two year plans with goals and aspirations. There are some aspects of our lives that we cannot plan and pre-determine. Some situations require waiting and trusting God to act. There are many situations when we will come to the end of ourselves. We exhaust everything that is humanly possible for us to do. It is generally in these times when we surrender and God steps in to do what we cannot do.
Faith requires patience and the hope for things that we cannot see. Patience requires that we do not give up when things seem impossible. God is faithful to establish his promises and to help us while we wait. “For you have need of patient endurance [to bear up under difficult circumstances without compromising], so that when you have carried out the will of God, you may receive and enjoy to the full what is promised” (Hebrews 10:36).