Patience is a neglected treasure in our world that values instant gratification, hurrying and multi-tasking. In this world individuals look for their value in their ability to complete excessive work loads. Then, when the slightest interruption slows their progress they react with anger. This is not healthy, and multiple studies show such attitudes actually hinder success. When we welcome such a feverish pace into our lives and the church, we deny the truth of the peace and patience available to us in Jesus.
In patience we prayerfully continue our own effort at an appropriate pace, but we patiently wait for the Lord. Patience is much more than being able to tolerate a traffic jam, or sit quietly in the doctor’s office waiting your appointment. It is the fruit of the Lord’s presence that changes our attitude and heart toward results. In patience, we express our confidence that the Lord is in charge. In patience, we experience life without worry, hurry, or even an attempt to manipulate our situation. Patience is not that we live through a situation, but describes the way we live through it. The promise given in these passages is that we can experience God’s patience in the fabric of our daily lives.
A few different Greek words are translated “patient” in the New Testament. They have a range of meaning which will be clear in reading the passages associated with each word.
Patience (makrothumia) This is the word Paul uses in his fruit of the Spirit list. It can also be translated as long-suffering, forbearance, or endurance.
2 Corinthians 6:6
To bear patiently (makrothumeo) It can also be translated as to be long-suffering, persevere, or endure.
1 Corinthians 13:4
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