The meaning of the word patience is an ability or willingness to suppress relentlessness or annoyance. Patience also means a quiet, steady perseverance. The meaning of the word patient is bearing provocation, annoyance, misfortune, delay, hardship, pain, etc. with fortitude and calm and without complaint, anger, or the like.

Almost everything we do in life requires patience. We may get caught in rush hour traffic, long lines in banks or supermarkets. Getting mad does not help the situation at all. If whomever we are to meet knows us, they will not be too upset if we are a few minutes late.

We read in Romans 8:25," But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience."

"My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and patience. Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord—that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful. "James 5:11

The Biblical example used here is Job. Job lost all that he had, his children, his health, his animals and his wealth. His wife and his friends gave him ill advice. After all these trials, Job refused to sin and give up.

"In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong. " Job 1:22
Job 2:10," But he said to her, ' You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?' In all this Job did not sin with his lips."

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ...
I Peter 1:6-7 (NKJV)

Do not say,"I will recompense evil "; Wait for the Lord, and He will save you.
Proverbs 20:22 (NKJV)

Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be likeminded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus,
Romans 15:5 (NKJV)

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin that so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
Hebrews 12:1 (NKJV)

Patience is endurance, steadfastness, long-suffering, and forbearance. We are told that we will have tribulation in the world. Through this tribulation, as we handle these trials correctly as God wants us to, we gain character, patience, etc. But our gracious, merciful God has a place prepared for us if He finds us to have lived faithfully until death.

We need to wait patiently for God, to undergo uncomplainingly the different forms of sufferings, wrongs and evils we encounter, and to bear patiently injustices.

"And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. '" Romans 5:3-4

The farmer is an example of patience. In the book of James we read of the farmer who waits patiently for a good crop.

In the first chapter of the book of Joel we are told of the land with perished crops. The prophet urges the people to repent, and God promises the crops will be restored.

"Be patient, therefore, beloved, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious crop from the earth , being patient with it until it receives the early and late rains." James 5:7
"Be dismayed, you farmers, wail, you vinedressers, over the wheat and barley; for the crops of the field are ruined." Joel 1:11

Heavy rains, volcanoes and earthquakes, tempests, tornadoes, hurricanes, and all kinds of crises and disasters sweep over the globe, leaving devastation in their track. We as Christians have something far better awaiting us .

When others aggravate us, we need to deal with these situations according to God's will. The Lord wants us to be caring and loving toward others when they annoy or offend us.

Paul tell us in Ephesians 4:2 ,"... walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, "

Also in Colossians 3:13," Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do."

"And you, masters, do the same things to them, giving up threatening, knowing your Master also is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him." Ephesians 6:9

Christians are to be patient. As they encounter misfortune, it needs to be done with patience. This is found in Romans 5:3-5.

In Galatians we read where patience is a fruit of the Spirit. From the New King James version in Galatians 5:22," But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. " The New International Version renders the word longsuffering as "patience".

Our blessed Lord is patient. This is seen in Romans 15:5. The patience of God with sinners permits them time to repent. This is found in Romans 2:4. This is seen in the possible delay of Christ's return.

Also in II Peter 3:9-10," The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it in it will be burned up."

Ecclesiastes 7:8,"The end of a thing is better than its beginning; The patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. "

Discussion and study questions:
(1 ) What does God say in the Bible regarding patience?
(2) In what ways can our patience be strengthened?
(3) How are we to react toward others when they annoy us?

Copyright 2007 Linda Lawrence