At the young adult devotional last Monday, we discussed
"patience". As always, there were many good thoughts introduced
by the participants. In this article, I want to share some
of those thoughts with you.
What is patience?
"Patience" is enduring or waiting, as a determination of
will. It's not merely enduring trials as a matter of necessity.
"Patience" is a strong determination of will, to victoriously
overcome the negative things we confront, according to God's
God is patient (Rom. 2:4; 1 Pet. 3:20; 2 Pet. 3:15). And
as His children, we inherit the promises through faith and
patience (Heb. 6:12).
Put On a Heart of Patience
Paul tells us to put on a heart of patience. "So, as those
who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a
heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and
patience" (Col. 3:12).
Patience is just one part of the "heart" we put on as
Christians. But the point I want to make is that we must
put it on.
Patience is a deliberate and willful attitude, resulting
in several godly behaviors.
How Do We Put On a Heart of Patience?
Before making the statement in Colossians 3:12, to put on
a heart of patience, Paul tells us how to obtain the strength
to be patient.
". . . we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that
you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all
spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk
in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects,
bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge
of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious
might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience;
joyously" (Col. 1:9-11).
In a nutshell, we go to God's word, understand it, and
apply it to our lives with all spiritual wisdom. As a result,
God's word performs its work in us, and we're empowered
to be patient in whatever circumstances we live (1 Th. 2:13).
Furthermore, notice Paul's example of praying for strength
It's good and proper for us to pray for strength, trusting
God to empower us through the knowledge of His word, whereby
we bear fruit in every good work -- including patience (Col.
We humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, casting
all our anxiety on Him, because He cares for us (1 Pet.
5:6-7). Then we patiently endure as we trust in God, who
is in control of all things.
Fruit of the Spirit
The result of living as a Christian, empowered by God, is
bearing "fruit in every good work and increasing in the
knowledge of God" (Col. 1:10).
In the remainder of this article, I want to discuss three
specific behaviors that result from patience.
Patience: Tolerance For Brethren
"Patience" is necessary to be tolerant of one another, which
is necessary to maintain unity (Eph. 4:1-6). Although we
do not tolerate sin, we must be tolerant of one another
to cooperate as brethren, and do the Lord's work.
Paul teaches us this principle, specifically mentioning
"patience". ". . . walk in a manner worthy of the calling
with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness,
with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love,
being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the
bond of peace" (Eph. 4:1-3).
"Patience" is required to be good teachers. God commands
us to "preach the word; be ready in season and out of season;
reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction"
(2 Tim. 4:2).
Every Christian teaches God's word in some fashion. In
everything we do, we're teaching others by our example of
life (1 Pet. 3:1). Parents teach children, and children
teach parents. Husbands teach wives, and wives teach husbands.
We teach our friends, enemies, and passing strangers. Bible
teachers teach at church, and from house to house.
In every teaching role, we must exercise "great patience"
(2 Tim. 4:2). Anything less, hurts our efforts to save the
lost, and edify the saints.
Patience: Endure Suffering
"Patience" is required to endure suffering. There are many
forms of suffering. Any time we deal with an adverse situation,
it could be termed suffering.
James uses the prophets as an example, showing us that
we're blessed when enduring suffering. "As an example, brethren,
of suffering and patience, take the prophets who spoke in
the name of the Lord. We count those blessed who endured.
You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the
outcome of the Lord's dealings, that the Lord is full of
compassion and is merciful" (Jas. 5:10-11).
Paul also tells us that we find favor with God when we
bear up under unjust suffering. "For this finds favor, if
for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up
under sorrows when suffering unjustly" (1 Pet. 2:19).
It's difficult to endure suffering, especially when suffering
unjustly at the hands of sinners. If you put on the
right heart, the heart of a faithful Christian, you will
put on a heart of patience You'll be strengthened
with all power according to God's glorious might, to patiently
overcome every trial in life.