Patience – No one asks for it. To do so, brings catastrophe. At least in the here and now.
Yet, as painful as trials are, exercising patience in the trials of our lives, produces plenty of fruit.
9 Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live?
10 For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness.
11 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
Patience is Associated with Suffering
2 Thessalonians 1:4
4 Therefore we ourselves boast about you in the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions that you are enduring.
Paul boasted of the patience of the Thessalonians.
In our fast paced demanding society, patience is considered to be a hindrance.
We want church growth NOW, and sometimes will stop at nothing to see it happen. We want instant maturity and will chase every Christian fad to try to find it. We want immediate relief from trials, and will consider every option available. (Check out 2 Thessalonians 1:6 for Paul’s counsel on our response to tribulations)
Patience is a virtue that our society has sought to degrade. But the patience of the believer, in the midst of trials, is a reflection of the hope we have in the Lord Jesus. He is the King of Kings right now.
We can live in that truth.
12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
In the midst of a machine gun spray of quick exhortations, Paul mentions hope and patience in the same breath. Hope is to be rejoiced in. Tribulation is an opportunity to exercise patience.
Note that tribulation, in this verse, is the translation of the greek word thlipsis.
When I see this term, I automatically think of pressure or crushing. When I am being “crushed”, I find it critical to remember that the crushing is an opportunity, a test to reorient myself to a correct perspective.
But let’s go a bit further. The term “patient” is the greek work hupomeno.
To be patient means to remain under, to persevere, endure, sustain, bear up under.
So let’s get this straight. When something is crushing me, I am to remain under it. I am not to seek an inappropriate escape or relief. I am to exercise a willingness to remain under, waiting for the salvation of the Lord in each trial.
Years ago, my wife and I were in the midst of a trial, and we were reading about David’s response to King Saul at the same time. Over a year and a half, we sought to bless those who persecuted us, and pray for our enemy.
The Lord’s deliverance was very obvious to us.
We sought to remain under the crushing, though many good hearted believers advised us to escape or even seek revenge. We are thankful for the Scriptures that comforted us in our attempt to be patient!
Be patient – The Lord is good!
Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.
1 The following information is found in The Complete Word Study Dictionary, AMG Publishers. (emphasis mine)
G2347 – θλίψις – thlípsis; gen. thlípseōs, fem. noun from thlíbō (G2346), to crush, press, compress, squeeze, which is from thláō (n.f.), to break. Tribulation, trouble, affliction.
(I) In a figurative manner, pressure from evils, affliction, distress (2Co_2:4; Php_1:16); of a woman in travail (Joh_16:21). Often as a metonym for evils by which one is pressed, i.e., affliction, distress, calamity (Mat_13:21; Act_7:10-11; Rom_5:3; 2Co_1:4; Heb_10:33). In apposition in Mar_13:19. With the syn. stenochōría (G4730), literally narrowness of room, anguish, distress (Rom_2:9); with anágkē (G318), constraint, necessity (2Co_6:4; 1Th_3:7). See Sept.: 1Sa_10:19; Psa_119:143; Isa_8:22.
(II) Related to stenochōría (G4730), distress, narrowness, occurring only four times with the connotation of narrowness, from stenós (G4728), narrow of room, confined space. In three of the four occurrences in the NT, stenochōría is associated with thlípsis (Rom_2:9; Rom_8:35; 2Co_6:4). Thlípsis refers more to being crushed while stenōchoría refers more to narrowness of room or discomfort. Tribulation may affect either body or mind or both.
2 The following information is found in The Complete Word Study Dictionary, AMG Publishers. (emphasis mine)
Patience – G5281 ὑπομονή hupomone
to persevere, remain under. A bearing up under, patience, endurance as to things or circumstances
Hupomonḗ is associated with hope (1Th_1:3) and refers to that quality of character which does not allow one to surrender to circumstances or succumb under trial.
Generally meaning endurance, patience, perseverance or constancy under suffering in faith and duty.
Specifically patience as a quality of mind, the bearing of evils and suffering with tranquil mind.
Longsuffering – G3115 μακροθυμία makrothumía;
To be long-suffering. Forbearance, long-suffering, self-restraint before proceeding to action. The quality of a person who is able to avenge himself yet refrains from doing so
In Heb_6:15, makrothuméō (G3114) is used of Abraham’s patient faith in God under the pressure of trying circumstances (Jas_5:7-8).
Makrothumía is patience in respect to persons while hupomonḗ (G5281), endurance, is putting up with things or circumstances. Both words are often found together (2Co_6:4, 2Co_6:6; 2Ti_3:10).
Makrothumía is associated with mercy (éleos [G1656]) and is used of God.