When Patience Isn't Enough

The greatest test of our self-worth happens when we need patience, but it isn't there.
The greatest test of our self-worth happens when we need patience, but it isn't there.

Are you having difficulty with patience at this time in your life?

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"I can't take it anymore!"

"This is just too much!"

"When will it ever end?"

"How am I going to make it?"

"There is just no light at the end of this tunnel!"

As Christians, we are taught that trials and difficulties are meant to refine, strengthen, and exalt us.

We are often reminded, "In your patience, possess ye your souls" (KJV* Luke 21:19). The New Testament is filled with instances of Paul teaching the people in his letters that there would be trials and afflictions in their lives, but that the gospel of Jesus Christ would give them the ability to develop patience and endure.

...Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

— James 1:3-4

Trials are hard

When trials are long and hard, we may find that patience is just not enough. When our prayers are not being answered in the way that we expect, we begin to wonder why. Doubts fill our minds, and we become inundated with thoughts like:

"I'm not good enough."

"No one cares about me."

"God doesn't even love me."

"If I were a better person, this wouldn't be happening to me."

It is at times like this that we doubt our own sense of self-worth. We may even begin to question if there is really a God in the heavens. We search for meaning and purpose, and sometimes we find them. Other times we do not. We may be called upon to endure horrendous things, including injustice, misunderstanding, and heartache.

When these kinds of things happen, it is easy to lose sight of the fact that our trials and difficulties do not change our worth in the sight of God, rather, they affect our ability to feel the love that He has for us.

We may even be tempted to turn away from God and become angry and bitter. That only leads us to unhappiness and sorrow. How much better it would be to allow our trials and difficulties to become a catalyst that leads us to search for and find God.

It is through our faith that we are able to develop the patience to weather our trials.
It is through our faith that we are able to develop the patience to weather our trials.

Patience comes after faith

The thing that we misunderstand, is that patience comes only after our faith has been tried and tested. For some reason, we get it turned around. We think that we have to be patient in order to have faith while we are experiencing trials.

Rather, it is just the opposite. We have to muster our faith before we obtain the patience to endure our trials. It takes faith to look to a being who, for the moment, seems to be a far distance away. It takes faith to believe that God does care for and love us when we find no ready evidence that this is true. It takes faith to continue to pray when we don't feel like we are getting any answers to those prayers. It takes faith to keep on believing that God will help and guide us, and that all things will work together for our good.

As we exercise our faith in God we begin to see a different picture of what we are experiencing. Humility becomes a key ingredient. Rather than asking "Why me?" or "Why now?" we seek to know what we can learn and do with what we have been given.

...doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith.

— Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Faith helps us to overcome

Faith is the very thing that helps us to overcome. Our trials bring out the worst in us. We grieve the future that we have lost, the people that we will never see again, and the dreams that have been shattered and torn. We lose hope in what we know will never be.

Our trials also bring out the best in us. When we realize that we don't want to be broken and shattered for the rest of our lives, we look to God for healing and comfort. We find that as we seek Him, our fears are swallowed up in the love we feel emanating from Him. His son, Jesus Christ, descended below all that we might rise above. It is only in and through our trials that we gain a small glimpse of the sacrifice that was made for us.

When we allow our fears to get acquainted with our faith, we are able to find hope.
When we allow our fears to get acquainted with our faith, we are able to find hope.

Faith allows us to be patient

We are God's children. He will do all in His power to help us return to him. When our own children are having difficulties, we do not love them any less. We do our best to teach them the skills that they need to know.

It is the same with God. He continues to love us, no matter what we are experiencing. However, He cannot help us until we reach out to Him in faith. His help may not come in our time or in the way that we expect, but it will come. He does not withhold anything from us that we need. His love is never ending, and He desires our peace and happiness.

When we doubt our own sense of self-worth, we lose sight of that love, and distance ourselves from Him. In our trials and difficulties, this is easy to do. Like a small child learning to walk, we stumble and fall, and think that because God allows us to feel that pain and frustration, He does not love us. On the contrary, He loves us enough that He allows us to experience growth and progression through the things that we suffer and learn.

When we have faith in this plan that He has for our development, we are able to have the calm endurance that allows us to experience patience in the process. We will not know and understand the full details of how this works until we return to His presence. Then our eyes will be opened, and we will see what it is that He is trying to do for us.

And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness and to godliness brotherly kindness and to brotherly kindness charity.

— 2 Peter 1:5-7

Patience allows us to endure successfully

As we exercise our faith in our Heavenly Father and his Son, Jesus Christ, we grow in our ability to be patient in our trials and difficulties. We find strength that we didn't have previously. We are able to adjust our attitude from negative to positive, and look for the good in our situations.

We find ways to build others rather than tearing them down, and are uplifted ourselves in the process. Indeed, the key to finding additional patience is to look in faith to Him who knows all and has experienced all, that we might live, for your emotional health!

©2016 by Denise W. Anderson, all rights reserved. For more information on emotional health, see www.denisewa.com.

*KJV - All biblical scripture references in this hub are taken from The King James Version of the Bible, as published by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For more information see www.lds.org.

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Comments 18 comments

Aysleth Zeledon profile image

Aysleth Zeledon 7 days ago from Russellville, Arkansas

Great article! In Galatians it also says patience is a fruit of the Spirit.


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 7 days ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

Wonderful views and references. I reckon I am more like Shadrack. I just jump into the fire and expect a miracle. Though I never guess right what the miracle is.

Patience most assuredly is a virtue. In truth I kind of like being patient. It makes me grab a bag of popcorn and enjoy the show.

Thanks Denise this was great.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 7 days ago from The Caribbean

"Our trials and difficulties do not change our worth in the sight of God." There is the example of Job who experienced hell on earth even while God focused on his worth. Thanks for explaining the correlation between patience and faith. We understand it even better when we face our trials with unrelenting trust in God.


threekeys profile image

threekeys 7 days ago from Australia

With my own personal trials of my own, I used to say to myself, "this is a lesson where I must learn patience. Recently, I began seeing where I was patient, as being something that was working against me. In that, I was putting up with something beyond normal limits; and what all this lesson in patience was about, was delaying in making a decision."

This is a off-the-cuff-response.......if you have had enough?!...and you can.....WALK!...drop everything and WALK AWAY.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 6 days ago from Olympia, WA

Beautiful message, my friend. Thanks for the reminder, and stay warm and safe in that snow.


denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 6 days ago from Bismarck, North Dakota Author

Thanks, Aysleth. You are so right! When we turn to God, and are filled with the Spirit, we are able to be patient and kind. We have tasted the fruit of the Tree of Life, and now are able to live as God would have us live. It is a beautiful concept! I appreciate your comments.


denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 6 days ago from Bismarck, North Dakota Author

I love the story of Shadrack, Meshack, and Abednego, Eric. It is one of my favorite. They were brave men, and they trusted God. If you are like them, you are on the right track! If more of us were like them, we would be more patient! I am learning, though, and this week, I have watched two shows already, thanks to a snow storm and school getting cancelled! Take care and thanks for commenting!


denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 6 days ago from Bismarck, North Dakota Author

The story of Job reminds us of how things don't always turn out the way we want them to. Thanks for reminding us of this, Dora. He was a man of great faith, and still lost everything he had. We cannot expect to go through this life without trials and difficulties. I often look to Job's testimony to gain strength and patience. After all he went through, he still said, "I know that my Redeemer liveth"! I appreciate you sharing your thoughts.


denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 6 days ago from Bismarck, North Dakota Author

Yes, Threekeys, I appreciate you bringing this up. There is a time and a place to stand up for ourselves. Our ability to do so is paramount to our happiness and peace in this life. I like the serenity prayer: "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference." I believe that as we turn to God in faith, he will help us have that wisdom. Just the other day, I had to stand up to someone I love when my toes were walked on, and I am so glad I did. It helped me to feel better about myself, and resolve a situation that had been festering for some time. We both learned something in the process. Thanks for your comments.


denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 6 days ago from Bismarck, North Dakota Author

Thanks, Bill. We have been shoveling snow for the past three days! I have been substitute teaching in the school system, and school has been cancelled. I am on my third day without work, but it has been nice to relax and recuperate. I appreciate you stopping by and commenting!


M. G Caldwell 6 days ago

This is a great article and so timely. Caregiving, no matter the relationship with the patient, is torn and stress when Holidays come into the mix. You brought the reader into the lives of the patient and caregiver,


jeng cua 6 days ago

Trials sometimes is very difficult to handle, but if you believe with your strong faith and acceptance, there is nothing that you can pass through. We have different ups and downs, we have different impact of trials, what matters most is how to face those trials that is coming on our way. GOD is good and he knows what is best for each and everyone of us.


emily cruse 5 days ago

Interesting and thoughtful resource shared here. Totally agree patience is the key of success. We need patience specially in relationships. as old saying patience pays. I am short tempered thanks for the inspiration. Tindiquotes


clivewilliams profile image

clivewilliams 5 days ago from Nibiru

The key is to have consciousness in oneself and to accept the world for what it is and make use of our talents. The matrix system makes life difficult for many, people make life difficult for others. But faith and endurance will always overcome. Peace to you.


denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 4 days ago from Bismarck, North Dakota Author

Thanks, MG. You are right that care giving requires much patience, and adding the stress of the holidays makes it even more difficult. It is critical in these situations that we take the time to nurture ourselves by connecting with God. That way we can keep our own self-worth strong that we can continue to give! I appreciate your comments!


denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 4 days ago from Bismarck, North Dakota Author

Yes, trials are difficult, jeng cua. The older we get, the more we realize that we cannot go through this life without them! That does not make them any easier, however. As we turn to God, He gives us the strength that we need during these times. You are right in that He knows what is best for us! I appreciate your comments.


denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 4 days ago from Bismarck, North Dakota Author

That is a good point, Emily. We need patience, especially in our relationships. The people that we love are the most easily hurt when we are going through a difficult time. We sometimes forget that they need us as much as we need God! I appreciate your thoughts!


denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 4 days ago from Bismarck, North Dakota Author

You are right, Clive. When we understand where we are coming from ourselves, we have a greater understanding of others. As we turn to God, we grow in our ability to see the bigger picture, and what we can do to make life better for both ourselves and others. Thanks for your comments!

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    Denise W Anderson (denise.w.anderson)519 Followers
    130 Articles

    Denise speaks from her own experience. She has had many trials and difficulties in her own life, and seeks to help others through theirs.



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