But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. – Isaiah 40:31 (KJV)
What is patience?
- According to Merriam-Webster, the word ‘patience’ is ‘the capacity, habit, or fact of being patient’
- The Oxford dictionary defines it as ‘the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset’
- It is a fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).
- Christians not only should not get angry or upset, but wait upon God with joyfulness!
- Read Colossians 1:9-11 and take note of the “Three Fs” (filled, fruitful, and fortified). Not also that this closely parallels 2 Peter 1:6.
Patience, huh, what is it good for?
- It gets things done. Consider Proverbs 25:15, which says, ‘With patience a ruler may be persuaded, and a soft tongue will break a bone‘(ESV).
- Numerous times in Scripture, we are told the virtues and rewards of patience. (Romans 5:3-4, James 1:2-8, 2 Peter 1:6)
- Losing our patience gives way to anger. While anger is not itself sinful (Eph. 4:26), it does open the door to temptation and we can sometimes ‘lose it’ and proceed to use that small but powerful weapon to spew venom and get ourselves into trouble. (James 1:19-20, James 3:8, Proverbs 21:23)
- By one simple act of giving in to our pent-up anger (remember that definition of patience), we can destroy what seeds have been planted and nurtured over the course of years!
- Since it is so awesome, how do we get patience??? (Romans 5:3, James 1:3, 2 Peter 1:6)
Who do we need to have patience with?
- Patience with God
- Patience with Others
- Patience with Ourselves
Having patience shows what?
- Patience can be seen as an example of having other qualities: love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (where have we read that list before???).
- Specifically, having patience with someone shows genuine love, kindness and gentleness towards that person.
- What promises do we have if we persevere with patience in God? (Hebrews 6:12)
- Is our ‘patience’ sometimes just stubbornness? Is that necessarily bad?
- Consider that you are witnessing to a person for some time and they continually mock and reject you. Could continuing with that person a virtue of patience be a mistake? (Mark 6:11, Matthew 7:6)
- If we have patience with God, what does that mean? Will having patience with God show evidence of other fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23)?
- Does having patience mean never complaining because the oil change is taking too long?
- Can we have patience if we doubt God or His promises?
Question: Which KJV Book of the Bible has the most mentions of the word ‘patience’? Do you think this is coincidence?