What is patience?
Patience can be broken down to 3 basic ideas. One involves endurance, another understanding, a third diligence.
Endurance — The act, quality, or power of withstanding hardship or stress
Understanding — A disposition to appreciate or share the feelings and thoughts of others; sympathy
Diligence — Earnest and persistent application to an undertaking; steady effort
Why should we be patient?
- God told us to be patient.
Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near.
- Patience allows us to help others. Whether it is helping them with their everyday needs or helping them to learn about God.
Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to 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.
So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.
- Patience allows us to accomplish big things. Big things don’t happen quickly. Slow, steady progress is needed. When we patiently go through the processes needed to accomplish the task, it is amazing what can be accomplished. Consider Noah:
Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.
When should we be patient?
- We are to be patient when we are wronged.
1 Peter 2:20
For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God.
2 Timothy 2:24
The Lord’s bondservant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged…
- We are to be patient when teaching others.
2 Timothy 4:2-5
preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
- We are to be patient as we wait on God. Whether we are waiting for Him to answer our prayers or we are waiting on His coming.
Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes. Cease from anger and forsake wrath; Do not fret; it leads only to evildoing. For evildoers will be cut off, But those who wait for the Lord, they will inherit the land.
fret = to become hot; angry
But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.
How can we be more patient?
- Keep focused: A patient person has a goal in mind and looks forward to receiving the reward which may be a task well done or an achievement accomplished.
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
- Think of other people’s needs. A patient person is unselfish. A patient person puts the needs and desires of others first.
We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification. For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached You fell on Me.” For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
- Know that the end will be better than what is going on now. A patient person does not think about his immediate discomforts. A patient person knows that nothing lasts so long that it can’t be endured.
The end of a matter is better than its beginning; Patience of spirit is better than haughtiness of spirit. Do not be eager in your heart to be angry, For anger resides in the bosom of fools.
- Patience takes practice. No one just all of a sudden becomes patient but everyone can learn to be patient. Like any new skill, patience must be practiced.
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
- Don’t give up. Too many times, when things get hard, we tend to give up. Whether it is a physical task or our spiritual task of living a life that glorifies God, don’t give up.
And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.
But he who endures to the end shall be saved.
- Be still. A person can not be patient who is constantly in motion, whose mind is constantly going, always trying to go, go, go. Patience requires us to be still, work on the little tasks that will eventually add up to the big picture. Realize that you can’t get there any faster by fretting or worrying or complaining or fidgeting. Be calm, be focused, be confident.
Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!
Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!
Have patience, my friend, have patience;
For Rome wasn’t built in a day!
You wear yourself out for nothing
In many and many a way!
Why are you nervous and fretty
When things do not move along fast?
Why let yourself get excited
Over things that will soon be past?
(Gertrude Tooley Buckingham)