Christianity is a religion of endurance, stamina, and persistence. The Christian life is a long-distance run which requires fortitude and durability instead of a 300-meter sprint which requires speed and dexterity. The child of God must possess a resilient spirit which will not buckle, bend, or break under the load of hardship. The Christian should have an unyielding resolve to never quit and always persevere in their service to the Lord. We are exhorted to "be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord" (1 Corinthians 15:58). The Heavenly Father calls upon His children to be patient!
Peter admonished His readers to add "patience" to their faith (2 Peter 1:6). The Old Testament canon has been preserved to help teach us "that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope" (Romans 15:4). The Hebrew writer told his audience they had "need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise" (Hebrews 10:36). Jesus commended the Ephesian church, because He knew their patience (Revelation 2:3-4). Thyatira was similarly praised, because Jesus had witnessed their patient service (Revelation 2:19). Though heavily affected by persecution and difficulty, the church at Thessalonica was an example to all churches, because they had "patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure" (2 Thessalonians 1:4). These Scriptures, along with a multitude of others, impress upon our minds the importance of patience in the Christian life. All of God's children should be working to cultivate a more patient spirit. Consider a few key areas wherein we need to have a little patience.
FIRST, WE NEED A LITTLE PATIENCE IN TIMES OF ADVERSITY. Life on earth is filled with challenges, trials, and hardships. James reminds us we will fall into "diverse trials" (James 1:2). Diverse trials denote the potential of facing a wide array of adversity. It is possible to experience financial difficulties, trials with our health, adversity in the home, problems at work, emotional difficulties, and a whole host of other things which can test our faith. Satan is the specialist at constructing hurdles of hardship in our lives. However, the Christian should always seek to persevere through life's difficulties and overcome the hurdles Satan erects before us. We are told to "let patience have her perfect work" (James 1:4) in the difficult moments of life. If we patiently bear the complications of life, the Scriptures remind "we count them happy which endure" (James 5:11). Patience will enable us to pass through the crucible of adversity and come out better, brighter, and stronger on the other side. We need a little patience in times of adversity!
SECOND, WE NEED A LITTLE PATIENCE IN SERVICE TO GOD. The Christian should be in service to God for the long haul. Many, however, become quickly disheartened by the apparent fruitlessness of their labors. They attempt to spread the Gospel, but they lose heart over few conversions. They attempted to be involved in God's cause, but they fizzle out over little results. Instead of continuing to work and serve, they become weary and quit. However, James tells us to "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" (James 5:7). The "early rain" would soften the soil in the autumn, and the "latter rain" would come in the early spring to mature the harvest. The farmer, therefore, would have to wait many weeks for his seed to produce fruit. However, he patiently waited, and there came forth precious fruit of the earth. Equally, the Lord urges His spiritual farmers to "not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not" (Galatians 6:9). If we faithfully work, labor, and serve, God will ultimately produce a bountiful harvest in our life. We need a little patience in our service to God!
THIRD, WE NEED A LITTLE PATIENCE WITH OTHERS. Paul told the Thessalonians to "warn them that are unruly, comfort the feeble-minded, support the weak, be patient toward all men" (1 Thessalonians 5:14). We are to manifest a patient spirit to all men, because God is patient with mankind. Everyone honest would agree the Lord has been longsuffering towards them. God has continually borne us along despite our failings, foolishness, and lapses of faith. We, therefore, should extend the same patience to those around us. We need to be patient with our spouse, our children, and ourselves. We need to be patient with our brethren, the weak and the struggling, and new Christians. We need to be patient with those in the world, those we are trying to convert, and those we are trying to restore. We need to be patient with the unlovable, the barely tolerable, and the difficult. Many will try our patience, and some will even weary our patience, but we must remember "love suffereth long" (1 Corinthians 13:4). In all our relationships, we should strive to let patience, love, and acts of goodness prevail. We need a little patience in our dealings with others!

by Brandon Baggett

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