When I was growing up, the title of this piece was a common expression.
There was a worldly view that all “Saints” were kind and patient, so someone with these characteristics were identified as examples.
Scripture, however, calls all who believe in the person of Jesus Christ saints – so what does patience mean from a Biblical perspective?
Let’s consider Paul addressing the church at Rome in Romans 15:1.
“We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.” (KJV).
Note that a Christian is to shun selfishness and serve others.
How do we “…bear the infirmities of the weak”? It is a good question, and the word tells us clearly our responsibilities.
The next verse, Romans 15:2, says, “Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.” (KJV).
Sympathy and empathy are characteristics that are rare in this world. What an example we can be if we demonstrate love for each other.
“For even Christ pleased not himself;” – Romans 15:3 (KJV).
Scripture is written for our education and remember Christ said He came to minister, not to be ministered unto! What a challenge. Think about how Christ related to everyone He met regardless of their position or standing in the community.
Christ demonstrated that He came to do the will of God and He must be our example in word and deed.
“Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door. Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.” – James 5:7-11 (KJV).
Patience is required in our called ministry in working with brothers and sisters in Christ, and especially with the lost.
Patience is required in the face of tribulation, and in the troubles and trials of life that we are promised we will face.
Patience is required if we are to strive for maturity in the faith.
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About the author
Barrie Hanson lives in Bluff, Southland. He has been a Christian for over 40 years and in that time he has been a preacher, Pastor and a church helper in both Auckland and Hamilton.
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