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Endure With Much Patience
Bible study on patience.

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 will.

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 (Col. 1:11).

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. 1:10-11).

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: Teaching
"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.