by Nelson Price

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Patience (5 of 8)
Nelson Price
John 7:7-8

Jesus Christ was the most patient person who ever lived. Should not those of us who follow Him be.

We Americans are the only people in the world who stand before microwaves repeating, ''Hurry up! Hurry up!''

Many are characterized by the person who prayed, ''God give me patience - and give it to me RIGHT NOW!''

Patience is the ability to respond without pinging off the wall because you haven't experienced instant gratification.

Patience is an active emotion. It is a practical expression of faith.

It is pleasing to God and contributes to personal happiness.


It will be helpful to distinguish one quality from another. How is patience like perseverance? How is it different? The difference is in the face and the feet. A persevering person may have fight in his face. He grits his teeth and moves toward the goal. A patient person reflects serenity. His feet are not moving. He is willing to wait for God to move (Abraham, David and Elizabeth are examples).

Patience and perseverance are alike in that they both reflect confidence in God to do His work. In fact, the Greek word HUPOMONE is translated either patience or endurance. It is one of the most beautiful words in the Greek New Testament. It describes the ability of a plant to live under hard and unfavorable conditions. We would call it ''staying power.'' It is commonly coupled with some kind of tribulation or testing. Patience not only bears but it bears with hope (Romans 4:3; 15:4,5). It looks toward a goal.

God doesn't tell us to simply ''grin and bear it,'' hoping all will work out. God is always at work in the process. That's the exciting part. Chrysostom (fourth century A.D.) calls patience ''a root of all the goods, mother of piety, fruit that never withers, a fortress that is never taken, a harbor that knows no storms.''

Another synonym that gives a different aspect of patience is ''longsuffering.'' The Old Te ...

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