For a righteous man may fall seven times and rise again, but the wicked shall fall by calamity (Proverbs 24: 16).
Tolerance is a term that has many meanings. In psychology, it is common to find it linked to the word frustration. Tolerating frustration entails having the ability to tackle the problems and limitations of our life in spite of the disappointments they may cause us. It involves resisting that negative feeling that surges when we don’t get what we want, or when terrible things happen to us. Many people are not ready to deal with the discomfort produced by failures or disillusionment. But understanding that things don’t always work as expected or imagined is an important element in withstanding adversity.
There are many people who feel overwhelmed by the problems that trouble them. Health may deteriorate day by day. Financial problems and family conflicts can be burdens that are difficult to bear. Afflictions and sorrows can last longer—for months and even years—and the future may seem uncertain and confusing. Are you passing through such trials? Do you think your life will become better when you regain your health? Will you let your feelings depend on the issues in your life? And if nothing changes, will you complain for the rest of your life?
When things don’t work out as expected, we tend to become discouraged and complain instead of tolerating them with patience and trust in God’s plans. Elijah and John the Baptist were bewildered by the results of their work as prophets of the Most High and, even if the advances of the enemy troubled their souls and they experienced abject fear, they were able to deal with them when they entrusted their lives to God.
Now, more than ever, we need to practice this type of tolerance to be firm and persistent in spite of life’s disappointments. We don’t have to solve our problems before practicing tolerance; hence, we don’t need to resolve family or work conflicts to begin practicing this life principle. We don’t have to wait to fix our financial problems, not even our health issues! «The season of distress and anguish before us will require a faith that can endure weariness, delay, and hunger—a faith that will not faint though severely tried.» (The Great Controversy, ch. 39, p. 621).
Today, we can develop tolerance as we face our trials. Let us hold on to God’s hand, trusting in His promises and praying until we receive His blessings.