It has often been said, “Whatever you do, don’t pray for patience because your patience will be tested.” But is this true? The Bible has a lot to say about patience. From stories that exemplify those showing patience, to those who show what happens when we aren’t patient, we can find our answers in the Word. But first we need to know how the Bible defines patience.
Lets figure this out while learning how to use a new resource – the Blue Letter Bible. Use this link and click where it says “search the Bible.” Enter 1 Corinthians 13:4 and, for fluidity, change to NLT (New Living Translation) and search.
On your screen you should see three columns, one column for tools, another column showing the chapter and verse number, and the last column should be the actual scripture. Are you with me? Great!
Now, we want to look specifically at verse 4, so click on “Tools” for verse 4. You should see the entire verse taken apart by its English word, its Strong’s identification, and its root form. Do you see “is patient”? Good! Go ahead and click on its Strong’s identification, G3114.
Here we have the Greek translation, which is makrothymeō. To be patient, in this instance, means “to be of a _________ spirit, not to lose heart.”
Next, look up Ecclesiastes 7:8, click “Tools” next to the verse, and look for the word patience. When you find it, click on the Strong’s identification number, H750.
What is the Hebrew transliteration?
What is the definition of patient in this translation?
Whew! You made it through that part! That wasn’t so hard, was it? Well done!
Next read Romans 15:5 & 2 Thessalonians 3:5. Based on what you read, from whom do we get patience?
God’s greatest commandment is for us to love Him with all our heart and with all our minds. His second greatest commandment is to love our neighbors, too. What does 1 Corinthians 13:4 say that love is?
Now, the Bible doesn’t tell us to love only the neighbors we like. So we might as well go ahead and assume that we also have to show patience to those we may not be the biggest fans of, too. However, the great thing about the Word is that we don’t have to just assume anything; He gives us everything we need to know! So just to be clear, read Ephesians 4:2, 1 Corinthians 4:12, 2 Timothy 2:24, and 1 Thessalonians 5:14. Who are we to be patient with?
Truth be told, it’s hard exhibiting patience sometimes, especially with those people we find to be difficult. Many of us have at least one person in our lives who just…well, annoys us! They test our patience and we can begin to feel as though that person doesn’t deserve the gift of our patience or our love. Ah, ah, ah, not so fast, my friend. Stop that train of thought right now and read Romans 2:4.
Nothing like a “friendly” reminder from God by way of our friend Paul. Just as God is patient with you and I with all of our shortcomings, we must work toward having that for everyone in our lives, even the difficult ones.