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It Pays to Be Patient – Rick Warren

“We count as blessed those who have persevered.”

James 5:11 (NIV)

God rewards patience. James 5:11 says, “We count as blessed those who have persevered” (NIV). In other words, it pays to be patient.
When you are patient, it builds your character, you avoid mistakes, and you’re going to reach your goals. When you’re patient, you’re going to be honored by others and have happier relationships. There are all kinds of blessings and benefits.

Have you noticed—especially during this time of the coronavirus—that it’s hard to be patient when you’re tired? We’re all feeling weary from the drawn-out uncertainty and craziness of the pandemic.

“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 this season of waiting during the pandemic—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 are going to 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, one of your strongest desires may be to retaliate. People have experienced a lot of hurt feelings lately when it comes to how we choose to respond to the pandemic. And with that comes a lot of 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 you in heaven? It’s not. As a leader, I get criticized a lot. People misjudge and question and doubt and second-guess me all the time. I’ve learned to not defend myself. I remain quiet, because I’ve discovered that you’re most like Jesus when you don’t retaliate. You’re most like Jesus when you refuse to fight back.

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?
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?

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