by Brenna Fields Taylor
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. (James 1:2-3, NKJV)
When we go to the doctor, he or she may tell us that we need to start exercising. Exercising is not an easy thing, and we may not want to do it (because it takes effort, it takes work); but it is required so that we can maintain or improve our health.
During the season in which we’re finding ourselves, I believe God is calling us to exercise patience. By now, many of us thought that the pandemic would be coming to an end and that we could start returning to our normal lives (and as of the time of this blog post, that is far from true). And on top of the pandemic, the racial, economic, and political climate is one that we in this generation have never seen or experienced. And yet, I believe God is calling us to be patient.
In the epistle of James, the author teaches us to consider it joy when we face difficulties. Why? Because it’s going to produce something good in us, and that is patience. No one likes to wait, but as we exercise patience, we are growing, we are maturing, and our faith is increasing. So James says that we are to allow patience to do a work in us.
When we engage in physical exercise, the more we do it, the better we become. Our muscles grow stronger, we can walk or run faster, our bodies function better, we sleep better, and we reap all kinds of benefits from physical exercise. When we exercise patience, we’re reaping spiritual benefits: we are growing in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ, our faith is increasing, and we have a deeper relationship with God (we pray more, we trust Him more, we have the peace that passes all understanding).
Look at your life before the pandemic and now: Are you praying more? Are you seeking God’s face more? If the answer is yes to those questions, that’s means we are exercising patience! We have no idea when the situations we face will come to an end. Until they do, I encourage you to continue exercising patience. And as we do, watch what God does in your own life as well as in the world and His kingdom. We will reap the spiritual benefits if we continue to exercise patience.