English Standard Version (ESV)
Deep breath in....
And slow breath out.
<Repeat as needed>
Can you practice patience in well-doing?
It's always been hard, and it's especially hard now, in the world of entertainment-in-your-face and instant gratification. (I get frustrated when the internet runs 'slowly', having forgotten the days when it took 5 minutes for a single web page to load as you listened to the modem do its thing) When we try something new and it doesn't show instant results, we give up, thinking it must be flawed.
Paul is reminding us that the faithful life is one that patiently seeks glory and honor and immortality. This is a life-long effort, made up of small steps, of tiny actions of selfless love each and every moment. It's not necessary an all-at-once change in our lives, but rather the living out of what we believe in each and every moment. The faithful life develops over time, and only by looking back over decades do we usually see how we've grown.
The world doesn't often have patience for this kind of development. If we do, though, we will sow the seeds of God's Word in our hearts and water them, letting them grow and take root, then we will see the wonders God will work throughout a lifetime of devotion and service.