When it comes right down to it, suffering is an act of patience (and patience an act of suffering). One of the fruits of the spirit, patience is a vital piece to the well-lived life. This virtue, by its nature, necessitates some element of discomfort.
It is hard for us to suffer, to wait and hope for a redemption to come, even in the best of circumstances. Faith is an exercise in delayed gratification. And that hurts. It costs us something. Especially as we see others make the ever-enticing choice of instant gratification and, from our side of the fence, the results seem much better than the challenge and trust required in waiting.
We want to act in anger, instantly. We want our rewards, now. We want all of life to make sense, to be comfortable, and to have a greater sense of control.
Too often, our lives are a flurry of activity as we try to avoid the silence of waiting. We try to sidestep the stillness of faith by taking matters into our own hands.
Hope comes at a price. Patience costs us the temptation right in front of us. But the Lord promises redemption. He promises His delayed-gratification rewards are greater, fuller, and more true than those instant-gratification superficialities we long for. There is pain in patience. But there is also a prize. Not just future rewards, but a life of more noble character, wisdom, and trust.
“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil. For those who are evil will be destroyed but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.”
– Psalm 37:7-9