Patience. I’m almost afraid to post this.
I get the feeling this may be my word for 2018. I just know some event, circumstance, or pain will pop up and require patience. Though it would be nice to have patience to wait for something good, wouldn’t it?
Whatever the disagreeable situation confronting us, we always want patience right now, don’t we?
Everyone wants the end product of patience but no one wants to work at getting it.
But what is patience?
What have others said…
* “Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.” ~Jean-Jacques Rousseau
* “We could never learn to be brave and patient, if there were only joy in the world.” ~Helen Keller
* “Teach us, O Lord, the disciplines of patience, for to wait is often harder than to work.” ~Peter Marshall
* “God’s way of answering the Christian’s prayer for more patience, experience, hope and love often is to put him into the furnace of affliction.” ~Richard Cecil
* “There is nothing which so certifies the genuineness of a man’s faith as his patience and his patient endurance, his keeping on steadily in spite of everything.” ~Martyn Lloyd-Jones
What are the definitions?
I love old dictionaries. They say it best. From Johnson’s and Walker’s Dictionaries of 1830 on patience and patient:
“The power of suffering, calm endurance of pain or labour. The quality of expecting long without rage or discontent…The quality of bearing offences without revenge or anger…not easily provoked, calmly diligent, without rage under pain or affliction.”
Isn’t that a great description? And I love “the power of suffering.” The power! Think about that. Let that soak in. Awesome!
What are the Greek definitions?
*Patient: hupomeno, meaning to stay under (behind), remain, to undergo, bear (trials), have fortitude, tarry behind, abide. Thayer’s Greek Lexicon also says it is to persevere absolutely and emphatically, under misfortunes and trials, to hold fast to one’s faith in Christ, and to endure, bear bravely and calmly.
Patience: hupomone means cheerful (or hopeful) endurance, constancy, a patient steadfast waiting for, a patient enduring.
What does the Bible say?
“But the fruit of the Spirit is…longsuffering.” (Gal. 5:22-23 NKJV) Another word for patience.
Peter said, “For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God.” (1 Peter 2:20 NKJV)
And James said, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.” (James 1:2-3 NKJV) Patience under trial. Oops! That’s where it grows.
Paul tells us to be “patient in tribulation” (Rom. 12:12 NKJV) and “be patient with all.” (1 Thess. 5:14 NKJV) For God is “the God of patience.” (Rom. 15:5 NKJV) Therefore, we are to “pursue…patience.” (1 Tim. 6:11 NKJV)
Though we cannot see what God is doing in our maddening situation, it does not mean He is doing nothing. His watch doesn’t work like ours does; it has bigger hands! And “His way is perfect.” (2 Sam. 22:31a NKJV)
Do our lives fit the definitions and the Scriptures? Hmmm…I wonder.
Whatever trial or heartache you may experience this year, I wish you power in your suffering, that patience may overflow. As does your faith.
May you stay until God answers…Lynn