Christian Universe ™
For Ye Have Need Of Patience
October 31, 2010
The apostle Peter wrote that we must add virtue to our basic faith in Jesus Christ. To virtue, we must then add knowledge, and to knowledge, we must add temperance, and to temperance, we must add patience. Patience is the ability to endure suffering calmly or without complaint. Once we have endured troubles, we gain experience, and with that experience, we know that hard times are survivable, and so we are infused with hope. If we patiently endure to the end, we shall receive the promised rewards.
For Ye Have Need Of Patience
By Bernie Parsons
Presented to Globe church of Christ on 10-31-2010
Presented to Load church of Christ on 11-07-2010
In 2 Peter 1:5-6, the apostle Peter explained that the Christian must start from a basis of faith, and to that we must add virtue, which is strength, and to virtue, knowledge, and to knowledge, temperance – which means to be well-balanced, in control, not carrying to excess – and to our temperance we must add patience.
Patience comes from the word patient, and the ancient root to that word means suffer. The online Merriam-Webster dictionary defines patience as the capacity, habit, or fact of being patient. It defines patient as 1: bearing pains or trials calmly or without complaint 2. : manifesting forbearance under provocation or strain.
Strong in the faith, with strength to take a stand for truth and righteousness, and with the knowledge of what truth and righteousness are, we learn to balance our lives. However, even with such faith, strength, knowledge, and temperance, we will encounter distress and trouble in life.
Things outside of our control will assail us from all sides. Circumstances can go against us, such as the loss of income, the loss of health, the loss of a loved one, or even persecution from others. What is worse, we often are under assault from several troubles at one time, much like the man of God, Job. Like Job, we must have patience.
James 5:10 "Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.
11 Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy."
James further said that the trying of our faith works patience.
James 1:2 "My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing."
The apostle Paul explains the connection.
Romans 5:1 "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us."
Tribulations – which means troubles – develops patience. We learn to weather the storms in our lives, to endure to the end of them. Once out of a particular trouble, we have gained patience. We see that it is possible to survive the onslaught, developing skills to cope with troubles.
The apostle Paul learned much patience through his multitude of challenges.
2 Corinthians 6:4 "But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses,
5 In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings;"
He sets an important example for all Christians.
Colossians 1:9 "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;
10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;
12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:"
Note that the apostle Paul is writing to the Colossian Christians about the same things as Peter does in 2 Peter 1. He speaks of having knowledge, strength (virtue), and patience in order to walk worthy of the Lord and inherit our common reward.
Hebrews 6:11 "And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:
12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises."
Hebrews 10:35 "Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.
36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise."
The writer of Hebrews – be it apostle Paul or some other – details the same information. We must add to our faith the patience to endure all of our troubles and trials in order to have the promise of life eternal.
2 Thessalonians 1:4 "So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:
5 Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer:
6 Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;
7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:"
We do not take vengeance upon others who may trouble us in this life. We endure the persecution, knowing that God has promised to take vengeance upon those who trouble and torment His people.
Many have asked why we must suffer troubles and pain in this life. We suffer for purification, for strengthening, and to gain patience, experience, and hope. By knowing that we can survive bad events and rough patches in life, with that experience, we learn to live in hope. This leads us to share our experiences with others, encouraging them to patience, and giving them hope. It also prompts us to help others who are in a tight spot.
Romans 15:1 "We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.
2 Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.
3 For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.
4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
5 Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:
6 That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ."
When it is all said and done, we hope for eternal life, and our patience allows us to wait for it.
Romans 8:22 "For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it."