October 21, 2007
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth
not to be ashamed rightly dividing the word of truth. II Timothy 2:15
The Need For Patience
by Jack Northart
There are several directives in the New Testament that are for our benefit and are extremely practical. One of those directives is God’s encouragement to be patient, or to have patience.
Patience is defined in the dictionary as 1) Bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like. 2) An ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay. 3) Quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care; diligence.
Perhaps you are acquainted with someone who is very irritable or short tempered. They tend to justify themselves by explaining that there is a good reason why they are so short with people or situations. They explain, “this is just the way I am,” or “it runs in my family.” The fact of the matter is that impatience and short tempers are attitudes, not personalities. If the desire to change is present, then a short tempered, impatient attitude can be changed. If it was not possible, then God would not encourage us to do so.
I Thessalonians 5:14
Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.
The word translated “patient” in this verse is the Greek word, makrothumia. It is translated in other places in the New Testament as, “longsuffering,” “suffer with patience,” “endure patiently,” and “suffer long.” It is a subjective act that we are to do when annoying things are happening around us. We put up with the shortcomings and personality differences of others. We are to be patient toward all men, regardless of their negative issues.
Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.
For ye have need of patience, (Gr. makroth) that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
This is the noun form of the word that we read in I Thessalonians 5:14. This is encouragement from God to us to have patience after we have done what He asks us to do. When we pray, we are to be patient. When we love others, we are to be patient. Whatever the exhortation may be, we are to follow it with patience because change may not be immediately evident.
Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience [makrothumia] for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.
No one plants a seed and then expects it to bear fruit until the time for gestation and growth occurs. It takes time for it to bear fruit. Some seeds take longer to bear fruit than others, but one thing is needful when it comes to this point, and that is TIME. Likewise, it takes time for certain things to happen. During the time between planting, or doing the will of God, and bearing the fruit of it, we are to have patience. God has promised that His Son will return to gather us together, in the meantime, we are to be patient.
For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience [hupomone] and longsuffering [makrothumia] with joyfulness.
Another Greek word that is translated “patient” or “patience,” is the word, hupomon?. Its meaning follows along the same lines as makrothumia. It is an enduring, patient continuance.
At times, we may get ourselves into what appears to be a desperate situation, so we pray and ask God to bring us deliverance. Then when it doesn’t happen right away, we get very upset and start to lose our minds to anger or rage wondering why God’s not giving us the results we want.
That is the opposite of what he wants to us to do. We are to continue to pray and be patient for the results.
Be careful [anxious] for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep [guard] your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
In prayer, anxiety is contrary to patience. Anxiety is painful and irritable. Instead of bearing provocation, it complains about it and leads us to despair. This is not God’s will for us. He tells us to have patience and He will bring it to pass. We can rest in His peace when we are patient. It allows us to endure without pain, restlessness and complaining.
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience [hupomon?] the race that is set before us.
We set about to live our lives with patience, looking at the ultimate example that has been set before us.
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured [hupomon?] the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
He didn’t enjoy being crucified; he despised it. But he looked at the joy of the outcome, and that God would raise him from the dead and he would be seated at the right hand of God. He knew this would happen beyond a doubt, therefore he could endure and he could be patient until it happened. This is the same perspective that we are to have. We look for the outcome and the joy it brings.
Let love be without dissimulation [or hypocrisy]. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Rejoicing in hope; patient [hupomon?] in tribulation [Gr. thlipsis: mental pressure]; continuing instant in prayer.
Our love is to be without hypocrisy, and part of that includes being patient during times of trouble or mental pressure. If we call ourselves a loving believer, yet when we pray for things we continue to complain about them, then we are being hypocritical. If we really believed that God will bring His Word to pass in our lives, we shouldn’t complain. We wait for it to happen, and it will just be a matter of time before we see the results.
II Peter 1:5,6,8
And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience [hupomon?]; and to patience godliness; For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Patience is the element of life that will give us quietness, peace and rest, which are things that are very needful for all of us to have.
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