Mature Class Study, teacher Edith Tolbert.
Patience is the enduring quality of longsuffering, forbearing; suffering pain, delay, or provocation without becoming annoyed or irritated; holding your tongue while you patiently endure as you realize God is in control.
II Thessalonians 3:5 And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.
II Thessalonians 3:5 (Amplified Classic) 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.
We’re not born with patience. If a baby is screaming at night, we don’t say “honey, be patient and endure until morning.” We care for their needs as we realize they have to learn patience. We learn patience by going through very hard trials and tribulation. We’ll have bitterness, resentment, and bad attitudes if we don’t learn patience. We need the patience of Christ. Jesus’ love is not touchy, fretful, or resentful, and it doesn’t pay attention to wrongs suffered.
I Corinthians 13:4-7 (Amplified Classic) Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily. It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong]. It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail. Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].
There’s a story about a man on a train. The train was filled with people. A man in the back had a baby that was screaming. Another man came and told him that he needed to take the baby to the mother to quiet it. The man said he was sorry about the baby crying but the mother was in a coffin and being taken on the train to be buried. The man who complained fell on his knees, asked forgiveness, and apologized. He asked if he could hold the baby for the night so the dad could rest.
Sometimes we have outbursts. When we realize it wasn’t the way to handle a situation, we need to humble down and apologize. We can’t learn patience or act patient unless we’re humble. Jesus endured through patience and the love of God.
I Peter 2:19-23 For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:
When Jesus was reviled, he didn’t open his mouth or say everything that came to his mind. There’s a story about a trucker. He stopped to eat and rest at a restaurant. He ordered a burger, fries, and coffee. The waitress delivered the order. Three rowdy bikers came in and one took a bite out of the trucker’s burger. Another grabbed some of his fries and the last one took a slurp of his coffee. The trucker didn’t say anything. The waitress asked what another thought about how the trucker handled the situation. She said the trucker handled it patiently and didn’t retaliate. Then they looked in the parking lot and saw the trucker run over three motorcycles. Just because someone is quiet doesn’t mean there isn’t revenge in their mind. Jesus didn’t open his mouth or have revenge in his heart. How did you do this week? We had real hot weather that seems to bring out impatience in people. God wants us to work at being patient. Just because you feel impatient doesn’t mean you have to act that way. When you start feeling impatient, let it be a warning alarm to tell you “this is a test for you.”
Isaiah 53:7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
The Lord tested the Israelites to see what was in their hearts. Most of them died in the wilderness and couldn’t go into Canaan because they didn’t believe or obey God. God is testing us and wants us to learn patience.
Deuteronomy 8:2-3 And…remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no. And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna…that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live.
God is asking us in difficult, irritating situations to be patient and joyful. Having thankful hearts is how we endure patiently.
Colossians 1:9-12 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:
A farmer doesn’t plant seeds one day and expect produce the next day. We only learn to patiently endure when we go through hard circumstance and trials. The enemy wants us to get grudges or attitudes when we go through irritating trials. Job lost everything and his wife said to curse God and die. But Job had an enduring quality that regardless of how he felt and the emotional upheavals, he was going to hang onto God for the days, months, and years he suffered. He said, “For I know that my redeemer liveth” (Job 19:25). Tie a knot in the end of your rope and don’t give up, no matter how you feel, how hard things are, or who leaves you. God wants us to hang on, keep enduring, be joyful, and be thankful in the hard times.
James 5:7-11 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 …Take, my brethren, the prophets…for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job…seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful…of tender mercy.
Joseph was 17 and fed the sheep with his brothers. He told his father they hated him and wouldn’t speak peaceably to him. Joseph had a strong bond with his father that was because his mother died when his brother was born.
Genesis 37:2…Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren; and the lad was with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives: and Joseph brought unto his father their evil report.
Joseph was different than his brothers and wanted to serve God. His brothers had bitterness in their hearts and sold him to slave traders. God spoke to him in dreams to show what would happen so he could hold onto it through difficult times.
Genesis 37:8 And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words.
Genesis 37:11 And his brethren envied him; but his father observed the saying.
Genesis 37:18-19…they saw him afar off…conspired against him to slay him. And they said…Behold, this dreamer cometh.
People worshipped many gods in Egypt but Joseph’s master saw the Lord was with him, he prayed, and he was serving God. Joseph had a personal experience with God. It helped Joseph have patience and to show God was with him, even with all the injury and hurt. God wants us to show patience regardless of whatever hard situations we go through.
Genesis 39:1-4 And Joseph was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar…an Egyptian, bought him of the hands of the Ishmeelites…And the Lord was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man…in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the Lord was with him, and that the Lord made all that he did to prosper in his hand. And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand.
Potiphar’s wife lied that Joseph seduced her. He was put in prison but didn’t get bitter. He was patient and pleased God. He was put in charge of the prisoners. He asked the butler and baker to tell Pharaoh that he was innocent but they forgot. God taught more patience and how to manage people as he waited. God is testing us to learn patience in all our trials.
Genesis 45:4-9 And Joseph said unto his brethren…I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt. Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life. For these two years hath the famine…there are five years…God sent me before…to save your lives…go up to my father, and say unto him, Thus saith thy son Joseph, God hath made me lord of all Egypt: come down unto me, tarry not: