KEYS TO PATIENCE
UNDERSTANDING THE PATIENCE FACTOR IN THE CHRISTIAN LIFE
Written by: Roderick L. Evans
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Jesus told the disciples that He would give us the keys to the Kingdom. We know that He spoke of authority and access. The Kingdom Keys series is designed to help believers understand different aspects of the Kingdom of God. Kingdom Keys gives brief and vital information concerning biblical characters and teachings; including, prophetic insights. It is our prayer that you will be blessed by the materials presented. Jesus said that it is our Father’s good pleasure to give us the Kingdom.
In this Issue:
Faith, hope, and love are foundational to the Christian experience. These will abide forever. Yet, there is one more element crucial to the Christian’s walk: patience. Because trials, tests, and troubles are common to life and the Christian experience, patience is needed to maintain stability and joy. In this publication, we will discuss “the patience factor.” We will discover truths about patience and its importance in the Christian life.
Patience, patience, and more patience. Every Christian needs patience for spiritual fitness and well-being. The apostles consistently spoke of patience and its role in the Christian life. Christians have to understand the value of patience and appreciate the patience factor.
What Is Patience?
To discover the key to patience; that is, possessing patience and maintaining patience, an understanding of patience is needed.
There are three main definitions for the English word ‘patience:’
1) Bearing pains or trials calmly or without complaint
2) Manifesting forbearing under provocation or strain
3) Steadfast despite opposition, difficulty, or adversity
In the scriptures, the word translated patience means long-suffering. Again, it conveys the meaning of “being able to put up with” and to “outlast.” From these definitions, we discover that possessing patience could prove beneficial regardless of the circumstance or situation.
The Christian who possesses patience will go through trials and tests without undue strain or stress. If patience is present, it will establish the Christian’s faith in God’s support. It will help the believer to stand in expectation of God’s help and deliverance.
The Christian who makes the pursuit of patience a daily request will be able to resist the emotional “roller coasters” that one can be subject to. When individuals who provoke and situations that frustrate arise, patience will protect the soul from depression, bitterness, and anger. Patience will guard against provocations of negative events in life.
Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted in me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance. Psalms 42:5 (KJV)
The Christian who values patience will be able to remain strong against spiritual attacks and setbacks. Even when the adversary comes to foster doubt and unbelief in God’s promises, patience will act as a buffer. Patience fortifies faith.
Remember, faith is a shield, which quenches the attacks of the devil. If the shield is enhanced with patience, the Christian will survive spiritual attacks. In addition, the Christian will remain faithful to God even in disappointments.
The Five-fold Patience Factor
Let us consider 5 factors and truths concerning patience and its role in the life of a Christian.
I. Patience is a perfecting factor in the Christian’s walk.
James instructed his believers to count it all joy when they encountered numerous tests and trials. Why? The resulting benefit would be patience.
My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. James 1:2-4 (KJV)
Patience, then, would bring the Christian into perfection or maturity. It completes the Christian’s character. The implication is that without patience, the Christian is incomplete. He is not whole in Christ.
With patience, the Christian does not lack anything. Jesus challenged the disciples to be perfect (mature) like the Father. Patience aids in this process.
Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. Matt 5:48 (KJV)
Have you ever put a puzzle together and discovered that one piece was missing? If you have 499 out of 500 pieces, there is still a sense of incompleteness there. It is not until you find that piece that you appreciate all of the other pieces of the puzzle. The Christian without patience is like an incomplete puzzle. His identity is complete as he develops patience.
II. Patience is a product of spiritual growth and maturity.
As a Christian matures, patience is a product of his character. Patience becomes a part of the Christian’s spiritual make up.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Gal 5:22-23 (KJV)
The scriptures are clear that the Christian cannot survive without it. Hence, the Holy Spirit produces patience within the believer until spiritual development increase.
III. Patience is a protector of your will, thoughts, and emotions.
As Jesus taught the disciples, He revealed that they would face difficulties because of their connection to Him. Although He promised that He would be with them, it would not stop the hardships that they would face.
In your patience possess ye your souls. Luke 21:19 (KJV)
Some Christians find it difficult to trust in God, who will allow them to face bad things without excuse or explanation. In turn, many become bitter, depressed, confused, and disillusioned; which can war against the soul.
Patience provides strength in those difficult times to help the believer navigate through the uneasiness that can enter into the soul. Patience will protect one’s will to serve God. It will bring one’s thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ. Patience will also stabilize the emotional storms that can occur.
IV. Patience is a pathway to hope
Patience is a connecting force in the events, which characterize a believer’s life. The Christian will face numerous situations that could discourage.
And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope. Romans 5:3-4 (KJV)
Hopelessness can surface when life comes fast and furious. Patience helps bridge the gap between the trouble and one’s hope in God.
V. Patience is the passcode to the promises of God, including eternal life.
The writer of Hebrews encouraged his readers to remain strong in the faith. He had to challenge them to stand on Christ and not on the Law. He warned them against sin. He also admonished them to be zealous for Christ.
That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. Heb 6:12 (KJV)
If they remained focus on Christ, they could follow the examples of others who inherit the promises of God. He revealed that patience was a necessary component to the promises of God.
For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us. 2 Cor 1:20 (KJV)
It, in effect, is the passcode whereby the Christian gains access to the promises of God; including the ultimate promise of the Christian life: eternal life.
From our brief analysis, we discover that patience is vital to the Christian. If the Christian expects to be successful, he will need patience. Let us look one more passage concerning patience before concluding.
Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. Heb 10:35-36 (KJV)
As we consider these verses, again, from the writer of Hebrews, we discover that he expressly states their need for patience.
They were suffering and seeing no results. They had suffered and stood in the faith despite the opposition. It seemed as if God had forgotten them. Yet, he reminds them that doing the will of God is not enough for success.
But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. 1 Peter 5:10 (KJV)
Patience will strengthen, establish, and settle them until they received His promises. When you have done the will of God, pursue patience until what He has promised surfaces.