11th February 2020

Patience

“But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”
James 1:4 (NKJV)

One little girl in a Sunday school class described patience as when you are sitting in church and the preacher is preaching. You’re just sitting there, and he is preaching. He keeps preaching, and you are sitting there—that’s patience!

Patience is a virtue and is listed as one of the fruits of the spirit in Galatians 5 which the Christian is to seek after. It is one of the attributes of God, as we read in Exodus 34:6, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering [patient] and abounding in goodness and truth.”

One of the words used in scripture for patience means endurance, steadfastness and fortitude in circumstances that cannot be changed. The real test of patience is not in the waiting but in how one behaves while waiting. James 5:7 says, “Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain.” In this part of the world this is mid-winter and the seed is in the ground waiting for spring. Who knows more about difficulty and suffering than a farmer? A farmer has more opportunities to see things go wrong. A farmer doesn’t plant his seed in the ground one day and go out and reap his harvest the next. A farmer knows that once he plants that seed in the ground he will have to patiently wait through a long growing season before he can reap the harvest. And in the meantime there are many things that could go wrong. It might not rain or it might rain too much. Once it begins to grow, deer, insects or even a hailstorm or wind might destroy his crops—in a matter of minutes. And yet the farmer patiently waits through all these things because he knows they are out of his control.

In this life you and I will likely face many difficulties that are out of our control. And like the farmer we must patiently endure and wait. We realize that ‘the harvest’ at the return of Christ is coming and, in the meantime, we are going through trials, suffering and difficulties with seemingly nothing we can do. We can, however, pray as King David did in Psalm 40:1-2 “I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined to me, and heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps.” Romans 21:12 encourages us to be “rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer,” and “Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart” (Galatians 6:9).

Prayer
Eternal God, we thank you for being longsuffering with mankind. In Jesus’ name.
Amen

Study by Dennis Payne
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About the Author:
Dennis Payne attends the North London Congregation of Grace Communion International.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion International London
Indian YMCA
Mahatma Gandhi Hall
41 Fitzroy Square
LONDON
W1T 6AQ

Meeting Time:
Saturday 2:30pm

Local Congregational Contact:
Barry Robinson
Email: london@gracecom.church

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