I’m excited to bring you a new friend, Elisabeth Warner, for this week’s edition of Word Nerd Wednesday – patience. Now that’s something I need to cultivate more of in my life.
Patience in the Bible
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering (μακροθυμὶα), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Dictionary Definition of Patience
- The act or power of calmly or contentedly waiting for something due or hoped for; forbearance.
- Constancy in labor or application; perseverance.
- Sufferance; permission.
- The state or quality of being patient; the power of suffering with fortitude; uncomplaining endurance of evils or wrongs, as toil, pain, poverty, insult, oppression, calamity, etc
Biblical Definition of Patience
μακροθυμία (makrothymia): patience, long-suffering
Part of speech: Noun, feminine
This word would best be described as the opposite of the English word “short-tempered.” It involves being slow to expressing anger and the avoiding of the premature use of retribution that results from a personal reaction. Patience remains steadfast.
Biblical Significance of Patience
The inference of the word “patience” in the Bible is that the Spirit of God develops it within the heart of the believer. He does this through the testing and trying of difficult people and situations. The ultimate goal of mature patience is to be slow to get angry with another human being. In time, as God grows patience within the heart of the believer, the Christian begins to exercise patience with love, joy, humility, and forgiveness.
Patience is an attribute of God himself. In the Old Testament, God revealed himself as the God who is “slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love” (Exodus 34:6). God has been patient with His people for all of eternity. He continues to be patient with sinners as He waits for all to come to repentance. As Jesus exemplifies in His life on Earth, Christians must be able to endure trials and difficult circumstances of every kind. Every trial that we endure is a reminder that this life is not our home. We ultimately wait for the return of Christ, and until then, we pray, we seek, and we persevere. Patience does not ignore the severity and difficulty of the trials, but it has hope in the midst of these trials that God is in control.Patience does not ignore the severity and difficulty of the trials, but it has hope in the midst of these trials that God is in control. #patience #wordnerdwednesday @elisabethw_free Click To Tweet
Our Need for God
The fruits of the Spirit need to be grown in us in order to lead effectively in ministry. Christians are called to deny themselves and to glorify Christ in everything they do. This is only possible by displaying self-control in human reactions. By humbling ourselves and allowing God to grow patience in us, we are able to experience God’s presence in our lives and are able to display His love, grace, and patience for others to see.By humbling ourselves and allowing God to grow patience in us, we are able to experience God’s presence in our lives and are able to display His love, grace, and #patience for others to see. #wordnerdwednesday @elisabethw_free Click To Tweet
Patience in Practice
In our instant gratification world, it seems almost impossible to have patience for anything. However, since God is growing patience in us, we know that we can rely on God’s strength when we are tempted to react in anger toward unpleasant situations. When you’re stuck in traffic or are waiting on line or are simply in a difficult season, remember to exemplify patience through love, joy, and self-control in everything you do. Some practical steps to patience in the moment are to pray, count to ten, and take deep breaths. Keep in mind that whatever you’re facing is not permanent. We are ultimately heading for Heaven, where all that is incomplete will be made complete.
Until then, the world is watching. Would you rather stand out, or fit in with the selfish impatience of society? Would you rather display the fruits of the Spirit, or your lack of patience? In the moment, the choice is yours, but you do not have to face it alone. Consider God who is patient with us, who waits until we get it, and who deals with us even when we are not perfect.
Sometimes, the hardest person to be patient with is yourself. You may expect God to instantly grow the fruits of the Spirit in your life, but it takes time. Each difficult season, each opinionated person, each frustrating situation, brings us one step closer to maturity when we trust God to bring us through it all. Just as God is patient with us, we must also be patient with ourselves.In our instant gratification world, it seems almost impossible to have patience for anything. #patience #wordnerdwednesday @elisabethw_free Click To Tweet
A Point to Ponder
What are you waiting for? What emotions does it stir in you that you can’t have what you want right now? Ask God to grow patience inside of you.
HELPS Word-studies (Helps Ministries)
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary
Hastings’ Dictionary of the Bible
Hastings’ Dictionary of the New Testament
Elisabeth Warner is a lover of words in all languages. She resides in Long Island with her husband Lenny. Elisabeth seeks to encourage young women who struggle with anxiety in her WordPress blog writinginfreedom.wordpress.com. She is also working on a novel about a young woman who begs God to answer her questions about her anxiety and learns more about herself in the process.
Linking Up With
For more encouragement please join the discussions on these fabulous blog link ups – Suzanne Eller, Faith On Fire, Susan B. Mead, Faith Filled Friday, Grace and Truth, Faith and Fellowship Friday, Soul Survival, Rah Rah Link Up, Tell His Story, Sitting Among Friends, Testimony Tuesday, Planting Roots, and Fresh Market Friday, Salt and Light, and Becoming Press’s Writer Wednesday.