Greetings and good morning, brothers and sisters. This is Dr. James Perry continuing with our series, where we seek to explore the deeper meanings of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Over the years, the heavenly Father has revealed many revelations of spiritual truth to me, and I want to share them with you. This morning we seek to understand the meaning of the joy of patience.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Joy of Patience
"My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this that the trying of your faith worketh patience, but let patience have her perfect way, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing." James, Chapter 1, Verses 3 and 4
Brothers and sisters, in today’’s broadcast we share with you insights into the joy of patience. We know that all spiritual values have joy concealed within them, but this one of patience is a hard nut to crack; however, with persistence of effort, we shall grasp some insight into its joys. Now while we know that this is a difficult quality to master, we recognize the necessity of it being mastered. Because we live in a time-space universe, we encounter the problem of duration and the problem of separation. From a practical point of view, this means that nothing happens instantly and neither do they happen everywhere at the same time. And since these things do not happen instantly or all at once, this allows us to participate in our growth process, the process of moving from immaturity to maturity, from imperfection to perfection.
No matter how much we would like to achieve a worthy goal, the achievement of this goal requires time. No amount of anxiety and no manifestation of patience will help us to achieve this goal. Everything must await the coming of its time. "Time alone will ripen the green fruit upon the tree. Season follows season and sundown follows sunrise only with the passing of time."
Nothing of spiritual value can be accomplished without the exercise of patience. More often than not, the exercise of patience causes quite a bit of emotional turmoil in our minds and souls as we rest uneasily and sometimes painfully in its harness. We must learn to possess our souls in patience. We must learn to appreciate the joy of patience. To help us better understand the spiritual joy of patience, let us consider these analogies:
There was a lady who was exasperated by her husband and child because of their failure to comply with the way she wanted things done. She was always flying off the handle when their failure to comply would raise its head. She became extremely upset and unhappy. One day it was suggested to her that instead of blowing up like a firecracker she instead pray and ask God to calm her down and to enjoy patience. She wondered how there could be joy in patience. She was asked to consider how she felt when she vented her anger towards her husband and child and then to consider how she would feel, if she choose instead to pray. When she thought about the escape from the frustration of venting her anger towards them, which did not do any good, she was filled with joy instead of anger and sorrow.
When we are about four or five, we start a long educational process. And this process takes years to complete. Some become discouraged and drop out, thus limiting their opportunity for success in their adult life. But those who go on to complete the process are filled with joy when they graduate and even more joy when they realize how this long process has opened doors of opportunity that would have been otherwise closed had they not exercised patience. The joy of patience manifests itself when it achieves its goal.
Spiritual joy is the result of trusting the Father completely as the divine plan for our lives unfold. There are many twists and turns, apparent setbacks, failures, in reality course adjustments, as we pursue this divine plan that has foreseen every obstacle, every detour, every setback, and every so-called failure. The divine values and meanings, the comprehension of which constitute growth, are actually concealed within all of these apparent diversions. In fact, the traversal of these experiences becomes a part of his divine plan for revealing these divine values and meanings to us.
Study this quote carefully for it can save us untold delays, suffering, and sorrow: When the Father’’s spirit come to live in our minds and souls, "it brings with it model careers, the ideal lives.”” Thus they begin work with a definite and predetermined plan for our intellectual and spiritual development, but it is not incumbent upon us to accept this plan. We are free will creatures. We are all subjects of predestination, but it is not foreordained that we must accept this divine predestination. We are at full liberty to reject any part or all of the Father’’s program for our development.
And though it is a great strain upon our immature souls to exercise patience since we are not privy to the details of the plan, we should always remember that this ignorance is necessary for its success and therefore are the details withheld. Apparently unearned knowledge sabotages our development; it prevents the unfolding of potentials that are essential for us to become perfected as the heavenly Father is perfect. It like the analogy of the butterfly where the onlooker watches the butterfly struggle and decides to assist the butterfly to escape from its cocoon. It is only by and through the butterfly’’s struggle that it can become the butterfly, displaying its graceful beauty that we all so admire.
We can better understand and appreciate divine joy by understanding that the difference between exercising patience and being impatient is the difference between potential evil and actual evil. When we take the time to think about the likely response to our proposed impatient act, and choose not to act, then we have avoided potential evil. When we have chosen patience we’’ve chosen goodness, and the joy of escape from evil is manifested. But when we refuse to consider the likely response to our impatient act and choose to act regardless, then we have chosen evil, and we experience the dysphoria of frustration, the evil of impatience.
When we submit our wills to the Father’’s will, we are in fact embracing his divine plan for our lives. And we are thus able to restrain the emotional response of impatience because of our confidence in the wisdom of the goodness of the Father’’s will. Sometimes in this life, we become hard-pressed, and other solutions seem to fit the case rather than the slow journey through a painful experience. But we should remember that trying to shortcut an experience does not provide the solution. If is often true that sometimes when we break the restraints of patience, we feel temporary emotional relief, but this relief is only temporary as we are quickly ushered into the room of doom and gloom with its increased suffering.
Remember: "The flight from duty is the sacrifice of truth. The escape from the service of light and life can only result in those distressing conflicts with the difficult whales of selfishness which lead eventually to darkness and death unless such God-forsaking Jonahs shall turn their hearts, even when in the very depths of despair, to seek after God and his goodness. And when such disheartened souls sincerely seek for God--hunger for truth and thirst for righteousness--there is nothing that can hold them in further captivity. No matter into what great depths they may have fallen, when they seek the light with a whole heart, the spirit of the Lord God of heaven will deliver them from their captivity; the evil circumstances of life will spew them out upon the dry land of fresh opportunities for renewed service and wiser living."
When we are locked in a disagreeable experience, we should remember that though time may delay our journey and space may handicap us, they cannot prevent our eventually moving through the experience. We should at all times seek the Father’’s will when the restraints of patience appear to hold us too tightly and we are tempted to loosen them somewhat by being impatient. This will ease the emotional response to the exercise of patience. But remember, it will not always be this way. One day we shall escape from the delays of time and the handicaps of space as we become eternal and perfect. Ponder these inspiring words as they reveal the ultimate joy of exercising patience in response to the Father’’s will: "The last rest of time has been enjoyed; the last transition sleep has been experienced; now you awake to life everlasting on the shores of the eternal abode.”” ““And there shall be no more sleep. The presence of God and his Son are before you, and you are eternally his servants; you have seen his face, and his name is your spirit. There shall be no night there; and they need no light of the sun, for the Great Source and Center gives them light; they shall live forever and ever. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain, for the former things have passed away."
This concludes today's message on understanding the meaning of the joy of patience. We hope you find something in this message to ponder and pray about as you go about your day.
Until next time, this is Dr. James Perry.