A Faith that works when life doesn't Part 3, (Day 4)
It Pays to Be Patient
When you are patient, it builds your character, prevents mistakes, and helps you reach your goals. You’re also more likely to be honored by others and have happier relationships. Patience comes with all kinds of blessings and benefits.
In other words, God rewards patience.
Have you ever noticed how hard it is to be patient when you’re tired? Many of us are weary from the pandemic. But the Bible says, “Let us not get tired of doing what is right, for after a while we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t get discouraged and give up” (Galatians 6:9 TLB).
There are blessings to be had through difficult seasons—blessings in your character, your circumstances, your family, and God’s church. And they’re not just rewards to enjoy right now. The Bible says there will be rewards in heaven, too.
Jesus says in Matthew 5:11-12, “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven” (NIV).
When someone hurts you, your strongest response may be to retaliate. The different ways people have chosen to respond to the pandemic have caused a lot of hurt feelings. And with that comes the temptation to fight back and lash out.
Whenever you’re criticized and tempted to strike back, think first: Is this fight worth giving up the reward promised to me in heaven? It’s not.
As a leader, I get criticized a lot. People misjudge, question, doubt, and second-guess me all the time. I’ve learned to not defend myself. I remain quiet because I’ve discovered that people are most like Jesus when they don’t retaliate.
Even when he was accused and mistreated, Jesus chose to do what was right and not retaliate in the middle of a crisis. If you choose to let God handle it when someone hurts you, he sees it—and he will bless you.
Talk It Over
- In what relationships have you found it most difficult to practice patience during the pandemic?
- How do you treasure eternal rewards more than earthly rewards? How is your answer revealed in the choices you make when you’re hurt or criticized?
- How does patience help create healthy relationships?
This devotional © 2021 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.