D – BUILDING BLOCKS OF LIFE – 4
After checking eight versions of the N.T., I found several words used to interpret this Greek word. They were patience, endurance, enduring patience, perseverance, persistence, and steadfastness. Each one of these presents a different picture in our minds, however, they all apply to our Christian life. Too often we think of patience as a passive word. “I’ll just sit by and wait”. From these other words, we understand a meaning that requires great effort on our part. If we have a sincere love of God and people, we will be ready to develop enduring patience. 1 Cor.13:4
God has such great patience with us as we go against His will for us so often. 2 Pet.3:9 Do we think God owes us forgiveness and salvation? We dare not take this lightly but must fear God in honor and awe with thankfulness for His great mercy and patience with us. Rom.2:4 We are likened to a ball of clay with God as the potter who forms us. He can do with us as He pleases but He endures our shortcomings and sins with patience. Rom.9:21,22 We are no different than the Israelites to whom Nehemiah spoke. Neh.9:17
When a person suffers a long time, patience is necessary. Longsuffering is a requirement for a Christian. Many versions use “patience” rather than longsuffering. Col.3:12 This is part of a Christian’s life. Instruction to Christians includes “slow to anger”. Patience as well as self-control is a definite necessity in obeying this teaching. God was slow to anger. Ex.34:6 He set an example for us. God was so patient and merciful then and remains slow to anger and patient with us as we displease Him so often. Jam.1:18,19 Patience is not only our instruction but our desire as we want to grow to be like Jesus. Rom.15:5
A person uses perseverance as he strives with patience in doing good. Rom.2:6,7 It takes patience to “keep on keeping on”. Working with others takes a great deal of patience. Eph.4:1,2 Our instruction is to use patience with everyone. 1 Thess.5:14 It is sometimes difficult to use patience with our speech. 2 Tim.2:14
A Christian is instructed to use patience in many aspects of life. Tribulation or problems is one area difficult to use patience. Endurance was one of the words used for patience. Rom.12:12 When problems come, we don’t just sit by patiently but persevere. First, we
Devote ourselves to prayer, the lack of which may have caused the problem in the first place. Tribulation helps us grow in patience. Rom.5:3; Jam.1:3 The Thessalonica church ws commended for their perseverance in tribulation. 2 Thess.1:4,5 They would be rewarded and be counted worthy. What could be greater!
As Christians, we are to bear fruit. Patience is part of the fruit of the Spirit. Gal.5:22 A Christian wants to be seed in the good soil. Good soil produces good fruit. Lk.8:15 Our study is based on 2 Pet.1:6 which we have labeled as Building Blocks for Life in Christ. Can we do this alone? No The very fact that enduring patience is a fruit of the Spirit which is the Holy Spirit within us indicates that we must be walking in the Spirit. Gal.5:25 Prayer is a part of everything we do.
Early Christians thought that Christ would return very soon. We also need to be ready for His return any hour day or night. We live for His return. This is our hope but it must be a hope with patience. Rom.8:25 James uses the produce from the soil as an example of our patience in waiting for the Lord. Jam.5:7,8 Look within to see if we really do look for the coming of the Lord or are there things in our life of which we need to rid ourselves. Are we really ready to stand before our Maker?
The time of the return of the Lord is being extended for a reason. 2 Pet.3:9 Christians need to work for the salvation of souls – souls of family, friends, neighbors that are outside of the Lord. Steadfastness of hope needs to be always present. The patient endurance is important as we do the will of the Lord. Heb.10:35,36 Our patience will be known as it was with those in
. Rev.2:2 Ephesus
As we persevere in our patience, we cannot be sluggish. Heb.6:12 We are told to run with this patient endurance. Heb.12:1 Jesus is our example who ran with great endurance. Heb.12:3 So we run on ‘till the end. Heb.12:12,13
What a rich testimony we have of those who have gone before us. Jam.5:10,11 In speaking of Abraham, patience was exemplified. He waited years for the promise but in God’s time, he received it. Heb.6:14,15 Paul is another example for us. In 2 Cor. Paul summarizes his afflictions that he endured with patience. 2 Cor.6:4,6 Paul again summarizes his experiences in the last book he had opportunity to write. 2 Tim.3:10
As Christians we need to develop patient endurance in adverse things, antagonistic people, trying circumstances, provocation, and anything that afflicts us outwardly or inwardly. The Holy Spirit is present to help if we call upon Him.
Barclay gives a good statement regarding patient endurance. “It is the courageous acceptance of everything that life can do to us and the transmitting of even the worst event into another step on the upward way. Look to our Lord. 2 Pet.3:14,15
Job is synonymous with patient endurance. Through it all he could say, “Blessed be the name of the Lord.” How small are the things we think we cannot endure. Job 1:21