Help for Those Who Need Patience
by Tom Stewart
March 29, 2001
The lack of patience in our dealing with our fellow man is a sign
of the failure of our Christianity to the world and to the Saints, for we
are taught to "be patient toward all men" (1Thessalonians 5:14). In truth, the sum total of
True Religion is the exercise of Supreme Love toward God and an Equal Love toward
our fellow man. "29
And Jesus answered him, The first of all the
Commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The LORD our God is one LORD: 30
and thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all
thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength:
this is the First Commandment. 31 And
the Second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There
is none other Commandment greater than these" (Mark 12:29-31).
And, True Love is patient, or as the Apostle Paul wrote by inspiration in the Love
[Greek, agape, love] SUFFERETH LONG, and IS
KIND" (1Corinthians 13:4). So again,
patience is not merely a Christian virtue, but it is an essential part of a True
Profession of faith in the LORD Jesus Christ. "In
your patience possess ye your souls" (Luke 21:19).
Help for those who need patience comes from God through Jesus Christ. "Now the God of Patience and Consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus" (Romans 15:5). What better picture of God's Longsuffering Love toward us than sending His own Son to die for us? "For God so loved the world, that He gave His Only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have Everlasting Life" (John 3:16). It would have been completely justifiable for God to have swiftly judged each of us by dropping us into the darkest Hell, when we sinned against Him, just as the Rebel Angels were cast out of Heaven, when they sinned. "4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to Hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment... 9 [Then] The LORD knoweth how to deliver the Godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the Day of Judgment to be punished" (2Peter 2:4, 9). But, the "longsuffering of our LORD is Salvation" (3:15). If God did not exercise patience with us, He would not have sent Christ to die for us, and to grant through Christ, the blessing of the Spirit of Christ to work in us "to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13). Realizing that patience is a good gift, and that "every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of Lights" (James 1:17), we must cooperate with God in perfecting patience in us. "But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing" (James 1:4).
If all of True Religion was only waiting for God to do something, then we would only have to keep waiting for patience; but, God will do His part, only if we will do our part. "But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work" (John 5:17). Our part-- however insignificant in comparison to His part-- is to use the totality of our being in accomplishing the goal of patience, even as God's uses the totality of His Being in working that patience in us. "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in Heaven is perfect" (Matthew 5:48). Though good intentions on our part are important, we need more than that. We need understanding of His Word for the Holy Spirit to be able to gain the required control of our will that results in the Godly exercise of patience. "17 That the God of our LORD Jesus Christ, the Father of Glory, may give unto you the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation in the knowledge of Him: 18 the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the Saints" (Ephesians 1:17-18). If we will only seek through prayer and searching of the Word, we will find the patience for which we sense our need. "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you" (Matthew 7:7).
Patience is the willingness to wait upon the LORD. "But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it" (Romans 8:25). And, through waiting upon the LORD, we are renewed in strength, so that we become unweary and unfainting in accomplishing all the will of God in our lives. "But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint" (Isaiah 40:31). Patience is a continual process of trusting God. "Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience" (James 1:3). The work of patience is vital in perfecting the Body of Christ and completing the "good work" that He began in us until the "Day of Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:6), i.e., until He Returns for us. "But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing" (James 1:4). Since patience is an ongoing work in us, ours is not to complain of new trials or vicissitudes, but to "count it all joy when [we] fall into divers temptations" (1:2). Now, that is an act of faith in God, to trust Him concerning our new difficulty, that He is working patience in us so that we may be His Spotless Bride-- "without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our LORD Jesus Christ" (1Timothy 6:14).
Love is patient, i.e., "charity suffereth long, and is kind" (1Corinthians 13:4). Love, then is a motivator that the Spirit of God uses to work patience in us. "And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity" (13:13). The Second Coming of the LORD Jesus is also a motivator for patience. "Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the Coming of the LORD. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the Earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain" (James 5:7). Patience is eminently necessary for all those who are praying the prayer that all those pray, who are waiting for the Soon Return of the LORD Jesus Christ, i.e., "Come [quickly], LORD Jesus" (Revelation 22:20). "Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the Coming of the LORD draweth nigh" (5:8). Knowing that God Himself is Patience, patient toward us, as well as the example for our patience, is a motivator for our patience. "And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and Truth" (Exodus 34:6).
Comprehending that patience must be preceded by tribulation, but that the patience that results in experience and hope, will unashamedly flower into the Love of God, that is the heart of our religion. This, too, will give the Promised Spirit of the Covenant, the nourishment to feed us to give us our longed for patience. "3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4 and patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5 and hope maketh not ashamed; because the Love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us" (Romans 5:3-5). Christ is where our patience is stored, that is, the Father stores all the supply of patience that we need in "His riches in glory by Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19). Understanding that the Holy Spirit of Promise must continually be revealing new secrets from His Word to us about Christ to perfect patience in us, makes us patient. "But when the Comforter is come, Whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of Truth, which proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of Me" (John 15:26). And, if we continue to increase in patience through our growth in grace in Christ Jesus, then we will do well. "5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6 and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience Godliness; 7 and to Godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the Knowledge of our LORD Jesus Christ" (2Peter 1:5-8).
[All those seeking patience, please read A. T. Pierson's "In Christ Jesus" ---New Window, to give our Ally the Holy Spirit, the opportunity to increase your understanding of Christ, and thus, make patience abound in you.]
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