~ This blog post is an adapted excerpt from a sermon by Peter DeWitt. You can hear the whole sermon, The Process of Faith (part 2), from Agathos Church – a non-denominational Christian Church in Columbus, Ohio by clicking here.
Before I share any more about patience and its role in the process of faith, I want to make sure that I delineate what patience is and is not. Like Pastor Brad has been doing as it relates to humility – we want to have a Godly understanding of patience – not a worldly one.
For starters, here is how The New Oxford American Dictionary (Second Edition) defines Patience: “the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious.” I think that definition is pretty good. That said, I would modify The New Oxford definition slightly to say:
Patience is “the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without losing faith.”
Another way I would define patience is:
Patience = Faith over Time
Patience DOES NOT EQUAL “forget that you wanted IT so you’re not disappointed if you don’t get IT.” In other words . . .
No Faith requires No patience.
There is no need for patience outside the context of faith. Patience DOES EQUAL “I know I will have IT, so I am fine waiting for IT.”
In short, patience is OF FAITH. Patience is fueled by faith. Patience is not “wimpy” or “non-expectant” or “caving into disappointment” – patience is the “the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without losing your faith!”