What Does the Bible Say About Patience?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, August 6, 2018 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

Patience is one of those things that we all want to have NOW, right? We don’t like to be patient in learning patience in our lives. But as followers of Jesus, we should strive to be patient as the Bible tells us to. So, what does it say?

Just as with self-control that I wrote about last week, patience is one of the fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23. That means that when the Spirit is living in us, the Spirit makes patience evident in our lives, rather than us having to simply try our hardest (and fail) at being patient.

1 Thessalonians 5:14 urges us to be patient with everyone: “And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone.” Ephesians 4:2 echoes that: “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”

The apostle Paul prayed for patience, among other things, for the people at Colossae: "For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience” (Colossians 1:9-11). In that same idea, Romans 12:12 says, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”

The wisdom books of the Old Testament talk a lot about patience. For example, Proverbs 15:18 says, “A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.” Psalm 37:7 says, “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.” Ecclesiastes 7:8 tells us, “The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride.” Proverbs 25:15 says, “Through patience a ruler can be persuaded, and a gentle tongue can break a bone.”

How do we get patience? James tells us it is through persevering through trials: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything“ (James 1:2-4). James again encourages believers to be patient toward the end of his letter: “Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near” (James 5:7-8).

We can be thankful that God is patient when it comes to saving His creation, as it says in 2 Peter 3:9: “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” The “love chapter” of 1 Corinthians 13 tells us in verse 4 that love is patient, and since God is love that reinforces that God is patient.

What are you doing to grow in patience in your life? Or, what is God doing to help you grow in patience? Be encouraged to be patient as God is patient with us.

“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 15:5-6).

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