Summary: We talk about patience, but often do not understand what patience really is.
1. The nurse told the doctor that a man with an unusual condition was in the waiting room.
2. “He keeps shrinking, even before my eyes. He’s an inch shorter than when he came in 15 minutes ago,” she explained.
3. “Well,” responded the doctor, “I’m busy. Tell him it will be a few minutes. Tell him to be a little patinet.”
4. Patience is a virtue most of us understand in rough terms, but most of us have not really studied the subject very much.
5. When I decided to prepare this message, I realized that I really did not understand Biblical patience all that much.
6. As a matter of fact, I had mixed feelings about patience. I knew some wonderfully patient people who did much for the Kingdom of God, and I knew those who did very little in the name of patience and peace.
7. My study helped me sort things out.
MAIN THOUGHT: Patience is an important virtue, so important that we need to understand it. So let’s answer some key questions about patience.
I. Why Patience is A VIRTUE: God’s Character
1.Jonah 4:2—Recognizes that the Lord is “long suffering”
2. 2 Peter 3:9—God is patient to give time to repent
3. I Tim. 1:16---Paul, an example of patience
"Nowhere along the chain are the claims...of God’s righteousness abandoned. Nowhere is patience reduced to a kind of apathetic tolerance; everywhere anger, wrath, and any final judgment are delayed for the sake of repentance..." (The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 689).
II. What is Patience?
What it is not: apathy, disinterest, laxness, passivity, indifference, unconcern, being lukewarm, neutrality, isolation, detachment, or listlessness.... People who do very little often have little trouble with impatience...the duds of this world.
A.Two Greek words are used in the NT for "patience."
1. makrothumia (ìáêñïèõìé’á)--a choice to refrain from avenging oneself, at least right then; a delay/erasure of wrath (and often its dissipation, thought not always); if we choose to exercise our wrath or our rights, it is not during the heat of the moment but the result or calm, prayerful, Scripture-sensitive thought.
This is the OPPOSITE OF FIGHT
Related to LOVE
2. hupomone (‘õðïìïíùíç’)--a choice to BRAVELY endure that which cannot be controlled (or our convictions demand we not control) rather than resisting it...
This is the OPPOSITE OF FLIGHT
Related to: HOPE (ENDURANCE)
B. Definition of Biblical Patience: Patience is a quality by which we bravely endure a situation or when we delay exercising our wrath/rights.
III. What Are the Benefits of Patience?
1. Prv. 16:32—A Great Conquest
2. Prv. 25:15---Gentle Persuasion
3. Helps in getting along with others (I Thes. 5:14)
4. Controls grumbling and complaining (James 5:7-9)
IV. How Can We Grow in Patience?
1. Put it on---Col. 3:12---A CHOICE
2. Spiritual Maturity--Gal. 5:22
3. Going Through Miserable Times With God’s Help (Rom. 5:3-5)---God helps grow it for us…
1. Patience is a quality by which we bravely endure a situation or when we delay exercising our wrath/rights.
2. Not to be confused with passivity/laziness/lack of concern….
3. As Christians, we must recognize lack of patience as both a sin and a weakness…Some people view impatience as a virtue---esp. achievement oriented types: they pay for it in their relationships and miserable lives they live; patience is a virtue.