Friday, December 11, 2009


When my kids were small I would give them patience with a smile and fun sort of hand gesture.  Maybe I gave it too many times because now and then I lack patience myself.  I'm always wanting things to turn out for the best now

How is your patience these days?  As it says in the quote below, "the great biblical illustration of patience in operation is God himself."  And if God has been patient with us, can't we be patient with one another?

The following is from the Tyndale Bible Dictionary
PATIENCE - Ability to deal with trouble, evil people or circumstances without losing one’s temper, without becoming irritated and angry, or without taking revenge. It includes the capacity to bear pain or trials without complaint, the ability to forbear under severe provocation, and the self-control that keeps one from acting rashly even though suffering opposition or adversity.
The usual Hebrew expression for patience is related to the verb “to be long” and involves the idea of being long to get riled or slow to become angry. Two different Greek words were translated by the KJV translators with the word “patience.” One of the words has the idea of “remaining firm under” tests and trials and is better translated “endurance” or “steadfastness.” The other Greek word is related to the above Hebrew meaning and refers to patience as “long-spiritedness” or “calmness of spirit” even though under severe provocation to lose one’s temper.
The great biblical illustration of patience in operation is God himself. Several passages speak of him, in conjunction with other gracious attributes, as “slow to anger.” In a context that stresses Israel’s rebellion and provocation of God, he is contrasted as a God who is forgiving, gracious, compassionate, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness (Neh 9:17). The psalmist declares, “Thou, O Lord, art a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness” (Ps 86:15, see also Ex 34:6; Nm 14:18; Ps 103:8; Jl 2:13; Jon 4:2). In addition, the virtue of a patient spirit on the part of mankind is extolled in the Old Testament, especially in Proverbs (Prv 14:29; 15:18; 16:32; 25:15; see also Eccl 7:8).
The New Testament also stresses the patience of the Lord. It is God’s kindness, forbearance, and patience that lead people to repentance (Rom 2:4). God was patient in holding off the Flood for the sinners of Noah’s day while the ark was being built, thereby giving more time for repentance (1 Pt 3:20). Probably the greatest of the NT references to God’s patience is in 2 Peter 3:9. The delay in Christ’s return is not an indication of slowness on God’s part, says Peter, but of his long-suffering, not being willing that anyone should perish. A specific reference to Jesus Christ’s patience is made by Paul, who claimed that, in his case, Jesus was able to demonstrate perfect patience (1 Tm 1:16).
Patience, which is an attribute of our God and of our Lord Jesus Christ, is also to characterize each Christian. Paul’s prayer for the Colossians is that they might demonstrate this quality (Col 1:11). It is one of the fruits of the Spirit (Gal 5:22), an attribute of love (1 Cor 13:4), and a virtue (Col 3:12; see also 2 Tm 3:10). In addition, Christians are exhorted to be patient (1 Thes 5:14). If we are not, we will be treated as the slave in a parable that Jesus told. This slave pleaded with his lord, to whom he owed a great sum, for patience, promising to pay all. The lord was patient and forgave all the debt, until he found out that the slave had refused to show the same patience to a fellow servant who owed him a pittance in comparison (Mt 18:26–29).
In some contexts, the word “patience” takes on the more general meaning of waiting long and expectantly for something. The farmer waits patiently for the crop to come (Jas 5:7b). Abraham waited patiently for God’s promise to give him the land of Canaan to be fulfilled and died without seeing what was promised, although still believing (Heb 6:15; 11:39). Finally, all Christians are commanded to be long-suffering until the coming of the Lord (Jas 5:7a).
Who are you about to give up on? Can we wait a bit longer to see what God will do?

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