the trying of my patience (29 verses / 29 tests)

29 Verses / 29 Tests

I gave myself two assignments this month when I enrolled in the school of patience:

  1. choose 29 verses relating to patience
  2. list 29 things that test my patience

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I’ve started writing List 1 (a verse for each day of this month’s L.E.A.P. year challenge) in my calendar, and I LOVE IT!!!  It’s such a blessing to choose a short verse or passage to mediate on for the day.

(I’m thinking want to do this from now on for whatever theme I’m focusing on, or even just for accountability to pull out a key verse from my daily reading or current Bible study that applies to my life.)

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You’re trying my patience!

(One of these two lists was surprisingly easy to write!  Can you guess which one?  — Hint:  it wasn’t the verses.)

I kept the second list, the list of things that tested my patience, in on my iPhone.  Pretty handy, as long as my phone was charged.  (I could add items to the list on the spot while waiting in line at the grocery, when I was locked out of the car while Handsome was in Lowes, slow internet or no internet service, when I was wide awake at 2 am, while waiting on hold on the phone, when there was no hot water for my shower, …   I really better stop. )

What a great exercise this was!  Before too many days had passed, when I’d go to add to my list, I’d see what I had written previously and realized the power control over my mood that I gave little minor irritations.   It was as if I had a “pause button” on life, and for a moment I could see clearly,…  THESE ARE OPPORTUNITIES to build and display CHARACTER!!!

“This is a test.”

From then on, before I added another item to my list, I would thinking to myself, “Remember how you reacted to these other tests?  (Some I passed heroically, some I failed miserably!)   What will you do now?  This person (thing, situation) is a gift from God chosen especially for me.  Choose your attitude, Deborah.  You can choose how you will respond.  ”

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29 things that try my patience:

(I’m talking more than just “pet peeves”.  I’m moving further down the scale, closer to frustrations and on to major sorrows.)

I had so much material, and to keep from offending or embarrassing anyone (especially myself), I decided to leave out the ugly specifics and group them into broader categories.  See if any of these resonate with you.

  1. misplaced items
  2. broken items
  3. items/goals just out of reach
  4. physical pain/discomfort
  5. repetition
  6. unappreciated service
  7. rudeness
  8. disrespect
  9. dishonesty
  10. worry/fear/anxious thoughts
  11. interruptions/delays
  12. thwarted plans
  13. sleeplessness
  14. dependence on others
  15. consequences from others’ choices
  16. acts of God (ex. weather)
  17. “not-so-convenient” conveniences
  18. forgetfulness/carelessness
  19. laziness/sloppiness
  20. manipulation
  21. whining/negative attitudes
  22. the law of thermodynamics
  23. waste
  24. cultural/political/media issues
  25. injustice
  26. noise
  27. miscommunication
  28. unmet expectation/disappointment
  29. accidents/failure/mistakes

I found that the more precious or treasured the item was or the closer and more intimate the person involved is to me, the more intense the testing of my patience, the greater the temptation to become anger or quit or despair.

Handsome and I have frequently said to our kids,

  • “If you’re not embarrassed, it’s not embarrassing.
  • If you’re not offended, it’s not offensive.
  • If you’re not irritated, it’s not irritating.”

In other words, don’t be so sensitive.

Rule your own spirit.  Take your thoughts captive and control your feels, your emotion, moods, and especially your anger!!!

Still, not all tests of our patience are equal.   But, the same scriptures apply to handling trivial irritations without being hyper sensitivity as it does to standing firm and not being swept away with more intense trials.

  • Whether it’s a misplacing phone or a lost wedding ring…
  • Whether it’s burnt garlic bread under the broiler or a burning barn…
  • Whether it is a misunderstanding or a ruthless betrayal…
  • Whether it’s a sleepless night from an aching joint or a long and rather scary night in the ER with a child…

My response must be CLING to the LORD

and STAND on the TRUTH of Scripture.

I always have a choice.

Whatever the crisis, I must remember I always have a choice

  1. to LIVE the moment well… or even to “just live”, just keep breathing, survive by depending on God to get me through the darkest and most trying moment or season;
  2. to ENJOY something… to quiet my heart, to see that there is a blessing somewhere and hope for the future, to find some good, something to be thankful for… and there is always something;
  3. to ADD something, to bless someone, to do something positive to the lighten and brighten the situation, to bring beauty to the grey;
  4. and to PRAY… if nothing else, I can always pray.

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” …the trying (KJV), testing (NAS, NIV, ESV) of your faith worketh patience” (KJV), endurance (NAS, Living), perseverance (NIV), steadfastness (ESV)

I wonder if the communitive property applies here?

a+b = b+a

If “the trying of my faith produced patience”,

then does “the trying of my patience produce faith”?

All I know that while I’ve intentionally done my best to pass the tests that have tried my patience this month, I have been all the more humbled and dependent upon the LORD.  I do believe my faith has been strengthened.  I am living out James 1:2-4.  Though I see I still have soooo far to go, I know that I am being made complete, and the LORD is conforming me to the image of Christ Jesus.

“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.” 

29 Verses to pass the tests of my patience:

As promised, here are brief quotes from the 29 verses I’ve collected as they applied to my own circumstance, but I’d encourage you to look up your own.  There are 100’s.

Besides verse that use the actual word “patience” (or perseverance, endurance, or self-control), there are countless verses about anger, trust, peace, bearing with others, forgiving, overlooking an offense, and much more that could apply to your specific trial or frustration or disappointment or whatever it is you are facing today.

  1. “Love is patience…” 1 Cor. 13:4
  2. “The LORD is not slow about His promises… but is patient toward you…” 2 Pt. 3:9
  3. The LORD’s bondservant must not be quarrelsome… patient when wronged…”  2 Tim. 2:24
  4. “The fruit of the Spirit is… patience…”  Gal. 5:22
  5. “…when you do what is right and suffer… patiently endure it…” 1 Pt. 2:20
  6. “… preach the word; be ready in season and out of season… with great patience…”  2 Tim. 4:2
  7. “…working together with Him, we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain … in everything… in patience, in kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in genuine love…”  2 Cor. 6 (v.6)
  8. “… you will try the patience of my God as well?” Is. 7:13
  9. “Let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season we shall reap…”  Gal. 6:9
  10. “You need patience so that after you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised.”  Heb. 10:36
  11. “Rest in the LORD, wait patiently for Him; do not fret…” Ps. 37:7
  12. “…count it all joy… but let patience perfect its work…” James 1:2-4
  13. “…be imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promise.” Heb. 6:12
  14.  Be patient… notice how the farmer waits… Establish your hearts…”  James 5:7-8
  15. “…be patient toward everyone…”  1 Thes. 5:14-15
  16. “If it is possible, as much it depends on you, live peaceably with all men.”  Rms. 12:18
  17. “For He is our peace who has made both groups one and has broken down the barrier of the dividing wall.”  Eph. 2:14
  18. “…God gave us the ministry of reconciliation.”  2 Cor. 5:17-18
  19. “We are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us…”  2 Cor. 5:20
  20. “…that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.  …you shall be sons and daughters to Me…” 2 Cor. 5:21, 6:18 (remember who you are and Who you represent)
  21. “If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.” Jn. 13:17
  22. “…My help comes from the LORD…”  Ps. 121:1-2
  23. “…to him who know to do good and does not do it, it is sin.”  James 4:17
  24. “Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”  James 1:22
  25. “He who is quick tempered deals foolishly…” Pr. 14:17
  26. “He who is slow to anger (wrath) is of great understanding, but he who is hasty of spirit exalts folly.”  Pr. 14:29
  27. “A wrathful man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger appeases strife.”  Pr. 15:18
  28. “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.”  Pr. 16:32
  29. “Do not be quick in your spirit to be angry for irritation settles in the bosom of fools.”  Eccl.  7:9

To find more verses, look up a key word in the back of your Bible or in a Concordance, check out BibleHub or BibleGateway, use a Promise Book or a book with verses by topic, or Google “verses about patience”.)

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Dear Seeker,

Look to Jesus, our example.  Look to the Scriptures, our guide book.  Listen to the Holy Spirit, our Guide, Counselor, and Teacher.

Don’t be afraid to ask the LORD for patience.  You’re going to face challenged in this life, but oh, how much better it is to approach everything with a calm and steady composure that comes from being filled with the Spirit and bearing the fruit of patience!

If you’re reading this post, I am praying for YOU!

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