God wants us to have and show the same patience as Christ.
II Thessalonians 3:5 (Amplified Bible, Classic Ed.) May the Lord direct your hearts into [realizing and showing] the love of God and into the steadfastness and patience of Christ and in waiting for His return.
Patience: longsuffering, to calmly endure waiting or delay without becoming irritated, tolerating trouble without complaint. The original Greek word used in the scriptures for patience is the same as longsuffering. We must be filled with the Holy Spirit to show the patience of Christ and the fruits of the Spirit. When we’re justified and first saved, the Lord is with us but we still have a carnal nature inside that isn’t patient.
John 14:17-18 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
Patience helps us have a tolerant attitude toward others. Patience isn’t optional. We need it to calmly endure and tolerate without complaining. At 12 years old when Jesus went to the temple he knew his purpose. He had to wait patiently on God as he learned and grew up. Simeon waited a long time to see Jesus. He had to be over 200 years old. History says he helped write the Septuagint Bible which was a translation by seventy scribes of the scriptures from Hebrew to Greek. It was written sometime in 250 years before Jesus was brought to the temple. No wonder he asked God to let him die.
Luke 2:21-34 And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child…they brought him…And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem…Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus…Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared…A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel. And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him. And Simeon blessed them, and said…Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against;
God wants us to calmly wait without complaint. Jesus needed patience in Pilate’s judgment hall and when he was on the cross. Paul prayed 3 times for God to take the thorn in his flesh. He wasn’t going around complaining but was praying alone. We only learn patience by hard trials. We need patience with others like God had for us before we were saved. We can all grow in patience so we’re calm and composed. The root of impatience is selfishness, when we’re not getting our way.
Cornelius had a connection with God and prayed always but wasn’t a Jew. God made a special effort to help him receive the Holy Ghost. Cornelius believed the vision God gave and sent messengers to Peter. It took faith to call his family and friends. It took faith for them to wait and know Peter would come. They were calmly waiting, not anxious or complaining. Joppa was 40 miles away so it took 2 days to walk each way. God showed Peter the Gentiles could be saved before the messengers came. God gave clear instructions, not confusing. We need to check it if we think it’s from God but it’s confusing.
Acts 10:1-10 There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of…the Italian band, A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house…and prayed to God alway. He saw in a vision…an angel of God…saying unto him, Cornelius…he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God. And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter…he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do. And when the angel…departed, he called two of his household servants, and a devout soldier of them that waited on him continually; And when he had declared all these things unto them, he sent them to Joppa.
Acts 10:24-35…Cornelius waited for them, and had called together his kinsmen and near friends. And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius…fell down at his feet, and worshipped him. But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man. And…he went in, and found many that were come together. And he said…Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to…come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me…I should not call any man common or unclean. Therefore came I…for what intent ye have sent for me? And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting…I prayed in my house…a man stood before me in bright clothing, And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard…Send therefore to Joppa, and call…Peter; he is lodged in the house of one Simon…when he cometh, shall speak unto thee. Immediately therefore I sent…we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God. Then Peter…said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But…he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.
The people believed what Cornelius said was from God and were saved, then received the Holy Ghost and were baptized.
Acts 10:44-48 While Peter yet spake…the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out…the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid…these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized…
Impatience is annoyance, intolerance, distrust that God can handle situations. God wants us to grow in patience by going through hard trials. He wants us to have patience in situations like Christ.
Some things we need to grow and have patience like Christ:
*We need to keep our eyes on the goal. Colossians 3:1-3 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
The enemy wants us to feel sorry for ourselves. He wants us to say something instead of showing patience. We need to pray, to be alone with God and close to him. Patience isn’t dropped on our head so we instantly have it. We have impatience when we have expectations that aren’t in line with God’s will.
*We need to think before we speak or act. Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.
The saying isn’t true, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names can never hurt me.” Words do hurt and they’re hard to forget, even when we’ve forgiven someone. Our mouth gets us in trouble when we’re impatient so we complain or voice our dissatisfaction. Jesus didn’t say a word in Pilate’s hall because his patience was controlling him and his mouth. If we say whatever comes to mind, we make ourselves a fool. We have to keep thoughts in our mouth to grow in patience.
Proverbs 18:6-7 A fool’s lips enter into contention, and his mouth calleth for strokes. A fool’s mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul.
Proverbs 21:23-24 Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles. Proud and haughty scorner is his name, who dealeth in proud wrath.
Proverbs 29:11 A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards.
*We need to work out conflicts with others to grow in patience. Hebrews 12:1-3 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
Proverbs 15:1 A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.
We need to be willing to be wrong, even when we think we’re right. Jesus had patience to endure the contradiction of sinners against him. We need patience to endure hardness or we’ll get weary and give up.
(Notes from the Mature Class Bible Study, teacher Edith Tolbert)