Summary: Patience is more than the ability to wait in line without getting frustrated. Patience is much deeper than waiting in the doctor’s office without getting irritated. Patience is an active endurance of opposition, not a passive resignation.
A man’s car stalled in the heavy traffic as the light turned green. All his efforts to start the engine failed, and a chorus of honking behind him made matters worse. He finally got out of his car and walked back to the first driver and said, "I’m sorry, but I can’t seem to get my car started. If you’ll go up there and give it a try, I’ll stay here and blow your horn for you.”
--James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988), p. 396. Copied from Bible Illustrator 3.0 by Parsons Technology.
Annual cost of running red lights (in medical bills, car repairs, etc.): $7 billion
Average amount of time saved by running a red light: 50 seconds
-- U.S. Department of Transportation, cited in Hope Health Letter (2/96). "To Verify," Leadership. Copied from Bible Illustrator 3.0 by Parsons Technology.
Most people need a big dose of patience. We’re always in a hurry. We want things done yesterday.
When I was boy, we’d be helping Daddy work around the house or on my granddaddy’s farm and he would send one us to get something he needed. He would send us to get a tool, a five-gallon can of gas, fresh water for the water jug, or something. I can’t count how many times he would say as my brother or I was leaving, “Turn your hat around backwards so I’ll think you’re coming back.”
Daddy was wise enough to know that sometimes boys get distracted along the way. He also didn’t like waiting.
Well, I guess I come by my impatience honestly. In fact all of us do. Why? Because we learned it from our parents who learned it from their parents.
I’ve been thinking a lot about patience this week. I have read the thoughts of others on the subject and I have studied what the Bible teaches about patience. The reason we feel that we are impatient is because we do not have a full understanding patience. Being a patient person involves much more than waiting in line at Wal-Mart.
Take a look at your notes. Here are some thoughts about patience I found this week.
He that can have patience can have what he wills.
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)
One minute of patience, ten years of peace.
A handful of patience is worth more than a bushel of brains.
Be patient with everyone, but above all with yourself.
Saint Francis of Sales (1567-1622)
One moment of patience may prevent disaster; one moment of impatience may ruin a life.
Patience is the ability to put up with people you’d like to put down.
Patience is the companion of wisdom.
Saint Augustine of Hippo (354-430)
Patience is the mother of expectation.
Henri J. M. Nouwen
Patience means waiting without anxiety.
Saint Francis of Sales (1567-1622)
Patience: accepting a difficult situation without giving God a deadline to remove it.
Teach us, O Lord, the disciplines of patience, for to wait is often harder than to work.
Peter Marshall (1902-1949)
The times we find ourselves having to wait on others may be the perfect opportunities to train ourselves to wait on the Lord.
(Joni Eareckson Tada)
Here is a definition of patience that I believe truly defines the patience the Apostle Paul is referring to in Galatians 5:22.
PATIENCE. An active endurance of opposition, not a passive resignation. Patience and patient are used to translate several Hebrew and Greek words. Patience is endurance, steadfastness, long-suffering, and forbearance.
(Holman Bible Dictionary)
Patience is more than the ability to wait in line without getting frustrated. Patience is much deeper than waiting in the doctor’s office without getting irritated. Patience is an active endurance of opposition, not a passive resignation.
Let’s take a look at what James teaches us about patience.
James 5:7-11 (NLT)
7Dear brothers and sisters, you must be patient as you wait for the Lord’s return. Consider the farmers who eagerly look for the rains in the fall and in the spring. They patiently wait for the precious harvest to ripen. 8You, too, must be patient. And take courage, for the coming of the Lord is near.
9Don’t grumble about each other, my brothers and sisters, or God will judge you. For look! The great Judge is coming. He is standing at the door!
10For examples of patience in suffering, dear brothers and sisters, look at the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11We give great honor to those who endure under suffering. Job is an example of a man who endured patiently. From his experience we see how the Lord’s plan finally ended in good, for he is full of tenderness and mercy.
Krishna Chandra Pal lived a life of "firsts." He worked near Serampore as a carpenter and heard of Jesus while working for some Moravians there. By the time he met Carey and the other Serampore missionaries, he had broken from formal Hinduism into a sect that embraced the theism and egalitarianism of Islam.