Patience. Itís an ugly word to most of us. When we think of the word patience, we think of having to wait on something we desire to see come to pass. And how many of us can honestly say we enjoy waiting?
Often, the things we are waiting for are everyday things, like waiting for the coffee to brew in the morning, or waiting in a long line at the grocery store. However, sometimes the things we are waiting for are much more serious than simple everyday things. Maybe you are experiencing a serious issue in your marriage and are seeking God for answers, or maybe you are praying for a lost love one to come to the Lord. Whatever the situation you may be facing, we are all waiting on something, whether it is big or small. Itís an unavoidable part of life. Patience is the staying power we need in order to not quit and give up before we see the results we are waiting for.
The word patience is the Greek word hupomeno, a compound of the words hupo which means under, as to be under something, and the word meno which means to stay or to abide. Thus, the word hupomeno gives us the idea of being steadfast, consistent, unwavering, and the ability to stand up under pressure without giving up. This is certainly something we would all like to be able to do.
However, knowing the definition of the word patience and being able to apply it in our life situations are two very different things. So, letís look at some scriptures that can help us figure out how to acquire patience and apply it in our lives.
Patience is a fruit of the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. (See Gal. 5:22) In our own ability we may be able to muster up enough strength to be patient for a period of time. But, without the strength the Holy Spirit provides, we will not be able to outlast the pressure the devil uses to tempt us to give up while facing a difficult situation. We must allow the Holy Spirit to develop this fruit in us.
Patience is an absolute necessity in our walk of faith. Remembering our definition of patience as mentioned earlier, which gives us the idea of being able to stand up under pressure without giving up, itís not hard to understand why patience is the power twin of faith. Without patience itís a given that we will not see the end of our faith. It is through faith and patience that we inherit the promises of God. (See Heb. 6:12)
We can look at many examples in the Word of God where without the power of patience, many would have given up and quit long before they saw the promise of God come to pass in their lives. Think of Abraham whose wife was barren, and the many years he held on to the promise of a son that would come from his own loins. Abraham waited over twenty years. Iím quite certain he wouldnít have been able to hold on that long unless he had the supernatural power of patience operating in him. (See Heb. 6:13-15)
Then thereís the incredible example of the life of Joseph. God gave him a dream that he would one day be in a position of great authority. Joseph went from the pit to a prison before he ever saw the promise of God fulfilled. Can you imagine yourself going through something like that? If we are honest with ourselves, many of us would have to admit that we may not have even made it past the pit, let alone the prison, before we gave up. We would be whining to God in self-pity, asking why we were in a pit when we thought He had promised us a palace.
Another powerful force that will give us the strength we need to wait for the fulfillment of the promises of God is joy. Nehemiah 8:10 says the joy of the Lord is our strength. When we have set our faith on a promise the Lord has given us, we must remember that we are sure to face situations that the enemy will bring our way that may make it appear as if we will never see that promise come to pass. But, no matter what we may face in our journey of faith, joy will give us the strength we need to continue on.
An important thing to remember about joy is that joy and happiness are two different things. Happiness is an emotion we feel when things are going our way and the circumstances of our lives are pleasurable. Joy, however, isnít a result of whether our circumstances are difficult or easy. Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit that is available whether we are locked up in a prison cell or celebrating a great victory. This supernatural joy is the strength we need to wait patiently on the promises of God when everything looks like itís falling apart. So, no matter how difficult the situation youíre in may be, allow the Holy Spirit to fill you with the supernatural power of joy, which will give you the strength you need to walk in patience and whistle while you wait.
Read more articles by Pam Frey or search for articles on the same topic or others.
I truly appreciated this article - very full of life-giving wisdom! You are obviously one who is allowing the Holy Spirit to work in your life even in difficult circumstances, something we all need to remember. A couple of small details - "knowing the definition of the word patience and being able to apply it in our life situations is two very different things." - should have been "are two very different things."
Also, I would have ended it with your theme of 'patience' as a way of summing it up.