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 a Goal in the Christian Life
9 And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,
10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;
11 being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy,
I have often considered this set of verses my favorite text in the Bible. So much in the prayer of Paul for the Colossians, and it all ends with patience and longsuffering.
But isn’t patience the same thing as longsuffering?
There are many similarities between these two terms.
I really like the explanation given by the The Complete Word Study Dictionary, AMG Publishers.
Longsuffering (makrothumía) is patience in respect to persons while patience (hupomone) endurance, is putting up with things or circumstances. Both words are often found together (2Co_6:4, 2Co_6:6; 2Ti_3:10).
Paul doesn’t leave much room for a believer to be impatient.
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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.