Tag Archives: patience

Long Enduring Love and Patience

I Corinthians 13-4-7 4Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.  5It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].  6It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.  7Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening]. 8Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end].
Since we have been talking about love, I thought it would be good to go back to the basics of what love really is. I know we talked about this very thing a year or so ago, but it never hurts to reacquaint ourselves with what the word says about love. Let’s start at the beginning. Love endures long and is patient…. I found three definitions for the word endure- 1) to experience exertion, pain or hardship without giving up; 2) to tolerate or accept somebody or something that is extremely disagreeable; and 3) to last or survive over a period of time, especially when faced with difficulties.  So, you mean to tell me I am supposed to show kindness to those who cause me pain or hardship? I have to have a tender affection and compassion even for those who I may think are a little (or a lot) disagreeable? That regardless of how people may act toward me, I have to continue to show love to them even if it’s for an inestimable amount of time? If I want to love like the word says, yes to all of the above! If that isn’t enough, check out what it means to be patient- 1) to be able to endure waiting, delay, or provocation (somebody making you mad or angry) without becoming annoyed or upset; and 2) able to persevere calmly, especially when faced with difficulties. I think I need to work on this myself! If we are going to love, then we can’t get annoyed or upset with people even if they are making us angry.
It’s great that we can see that we are supposed to be patient with others, but how can we practically apply this to our lives? First we have to remember that as it says in John 4:19 that …. He first loved us. If we keep that thought in our minds when we are tempted to walk out of love with someone, we will have that gentle reminder that no matter what we have done or how we have acted toward God, He still loves us and is patient with us although we may miss the mark. Luke 12:48 says For everyone to whom much is given, of him shall much be required. Today when you are tempted to get annoyed or irritated (even if you have good reason), instead, take a minute and think of the patience that has been exercised toward you, and transfer that to those around you.

Running With Patient Endurance

Hebrews 12:1-2 1THEREFORE THEN, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony to the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us,  2Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
After we learn to put aside the things that weigh us down, and the sins that crop up to try and stop us, the next thing to learn is that we must patiently endure. To endure means to experience exertion, pain or hardship without giving up, or to survive over a period of time especially when faced with difficulties. When we can keep going despite the obstacles that come our way we are patiently enduring. Romans 5-3-5 gives a great understanding of how endurance can be beneficial to us. 3Moreover [let us also be full of joy now!] let us exult and triumph in our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance.  4And endurance (fortitude) develops maturity of character (approved faith and tried integrity). And character [of this sort] produces [the habit of] joyful and confident hope of eternal salvation.  5Such hope never disappoints or deludes or shames us, for God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us.

This passage tells us that when we walk through pressure or hardship it produces a patient and unswerving endurance in us. Look at the next part though- that patient endurance develops maturity of character. When we keep going in the face of adversity, when we keep running regardless of the difficulties that are in our way, we come out on the other side with greater character- approved faith and tried integrity. I don’t know about you, but I have been through some trials in my life where I didn’t have a real understanding of this. Looking back, because I didn’t stand strong in the midst of the pressure, because I didn’t endure, my character was definitely not developed. When I look back I just think- “Man, that season really stunk”, or “What a time of pain in my life”.  Now I am learning when the pressure shows up to stand firm no matter what is going on around me. I want to make sure when I look back next time, that even though maybe the circumstances weren’t great, that something in me was developed as a result of my endurance.  I am not sure I’m quite at the exulting and rejoicing in the trials and sufferings part yet, but I’m getting there. One step at a time, right? Next time a little affliction shows up in your life choose to endure, choose to allow it to increase your character. Choose to keep on running your race no matter what comes to try to stop you.

Endurance brings Godliness

2 Peter 1:5-8 5For this very reason, adding your diligence [to the divine promises], employ every effort in exercising your faith to develop virtue (excellence, resolution, Christian energy), and in [exercising] virtue [develop] knowledge (intelligence),    6And in [exercising] knowledge [develop] self-control, and in [exercising] self-control [develop] steadfastness (patience, endurance), and in [exercising] steadfastness [develop] godliness (piety),    7And in [exercising] godliness [develop] brotherly affection, and in [exercising] brotherly affection [develop] Christian love.   8For as these qualities are yours and increasingly abound in you, they will keep [you] from being idle or unfruitful unto the [full personal] knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).

When we get to the place we are patiently enduring, we develop godliness in our lives. How does enduring help us to develop godliness? If we get to the place where we are enduring, that means we have already become developed in self-control, knowledge, virtue and faith.  Each one of these things brings us to a new level in Christ. The more we learn to walk in the spirit, the more we become like Christ. 1 Timothy 4:8-9 says 8For physical training is of some value (useful for a little), but godliness (spiritual training) is useful and of value in everything and in every way, for it holds promise for the present life and also for the life which is to come.   9This saying is reliable and worthy of complete acceptance by everybody. Developing spiritually is useful for everything. There is no situation that can’t be made better by applying God’s principles to it. There is no person who could not benefit from doing things God’s way.

As believers we have been given the ability to live godly lives. Remember what we saw a couple of weeks ago in 2 Peter 1:3 3For His divine power has bestowed upon us all things that [are requisite and suited] to life and godliness, through the [full, personal] knowledge of Him Who called us by and to His own glory and excellence (virtue). When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior He gives us everything we need to practice godliness in our lives. We just have to make the commitment to do what He says in His Word. I think of what David said in Psalm 119:104-106 104Through Your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way.105Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path  106I have sworn [an oath] and have confirmed it, that I will keep Your righteous ordinances [hearing, receiving, loving, and obeying them]. The Word of God is a light unto our path. It illuminates the way we should go, how we should act, what we should say, and how we can live a victorious and blessed life.  Our part is to hear, the Word, receive the Word, then not only obey, but love the Word which we have been given. Make a choice today that you will become a doer of God’s Word. That you will let it show you how to think, speak and act, and you will see yourself become more and more like Him.