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 Required to Inherit the Promises
Romans 2:5-8 (note verse 7)
5 But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.
6 He will render to each one according to his works:
7 to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life;
8 but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.
Paul is speaking something hard here.
Verse 6 speaks of judgment according to deeds. (A fairly consistent teaching in the Word It fairly surprised me coming from the evangelical background of my past.)
The hard thing is that Paul links immortality / eternal life somehow with patient continuance in good works. How you work that out in your mind is up to you, but no matter how you do it, it is obvious that patience is necessary.
Hebrews 6:12, 15
12 so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. …
15 And thus Abraham, having patiently waited, obtained the promise.
Inheriting the promises and obtaining the promise. For the sake of staying on focus concerning patience, I won’t venture into why “promises” in verse 12 morphs into a singular promise in verse 15. It may be immaterial. The point is, Abraham had a promise and it wasn’t realized until all his time was “wasted.”
Sometimes patience is hardest to exercise due to our lack of understanding God’s promise. But Abraham eventually understood. Through patience, he obtained the promise.
36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.
Whoever wrote Hebrews was beating the same drum again. Christians need to exercise patience. We are on this earth to perform the will of God. After that, the promise will be received. Consider what Abraham had to do, between first hearing the promise and actually realizing the promise. He was told to…
- Leave his family behind.
- Leave his country behind.
- Leave his gods behind.
- Leave his security behind.
- Leave his reputation behind.
I think you get the point. Abraham had to exercise incredible patience with the demands put upon him. We often think of him as the father of our faith, and rightly so, but the patience he exercised while his promise of an heir seemed to vaporize was incredible.
Not perfect, but incredible.
We have to exercise patience as we see some of our hopes and dreams seemingly vaporize in our lives. Patience isn’t patience if everything is going the way we want it to go!
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.