Becoming a Fruit tree – Patience
First, we need to remember that Patience is on of God’s attributes. Romans 15:5 in the New King James says it this way. “Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus,” He is the God of patience, and so we should be safe to assume he is a patient God. Thus, if we seek to become more like him, we will become more patient.
In some English translations of the Bible, the word patience is instead translated as “Long-suffering” lets examine this word. Its pretty basic, but the two parts are “Long” and “Suffering” In Strong’s it connects this to the Greek word Makrothumia:
- Makrothumia: forbearance, fortitude, and longsuffering.
What does it mean to be longsuffering? I means you stand firm in the midst of your sufferings, no matter how long they seem. Remember the words of Paul in 2nd Corinthians 4:17 “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,”
No matter how hard or long your suffering seems, remember that in the light of Eternity, and the Glory of God it is nothing. God never promised to save you from suffering. In fact he said it will come. But he has given us an opportunity with our sufferings. We have 2 choices:
- Press on toward the higher calling
- Give up.
2nd Timothy 2:12a says “If we endure with him, we will rule with him” Therefore if we want to Reign in the heavenly places as ambassadors for Christ, we must be willing to Endure. Remembering of course that we endure with him, but not as rough as him. Christ endured much more than we ever will, or ever could.
Later on in 2nd Timothy 4:5 Paul is instructing Timothy in the way of the Ministry, and he gives him this challenge, “But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” Enduring is part of ministry. IF we want to be effective ministers of the Gospel, we must be able to Endure.
In 1st Peter 2:20 he is talking about suffering and he says this, “For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God.” When we are made to suffer for something that we did right, God delights in this and he commends us.
Finally Remember the words of Jesus himself in Matthew 10:22 “And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.” You will suffer, life requires patience, but HE who endures is saved. Imagine suffering for a long time, then suddenly you give up right before your breakthrough. You could be one step from the door, but if you give up, you never walk through the door and see the spoils of your patience.
- The Purpose of patience is not to learn to stand in lines, but rather to learn to trust God. To hold fast to your faith, and to endure hardships. Because your end is awaiting with Great rewards.
as always, comments, questions, thoughts, and other ideas welcomed.