Posted by: myroadtoemmaus | March 3, 2008

what’s the big deal about patience?

I spent this morning doing a pseudo word study on the idea of patience. After an hour or so, I couldn’t help but think, “What’s the big deal about patience?” Love, sure. Joy, definitely. Perserverence? Yeah, I have heard a few talks about the topic of perserverence. But patience? I have rarely ever heard a pastor speak about it or a leader teach on it. My paradigm of patience is this: When the person in front of you is driving 20mph below the speed limit, be patient.

Yet after looking through some passages this morning, I am starting to think there is more to it. Here is what tipped me off. First, 2 Thessalonians 3:5 says, “Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ.” Of all the attributes of Christ that our hearts could be directed into, Paul picks patience. Patience?!?! What about the mercy of Jesus? What about His love? Doesn’t that encompass everything anyways? Second, the famous love passages’ (1 Cor 13) first description of love is this: Love is patient. Hmm. Third, James says to count every trial JOY because it produces patience. He goes on to say that if we let patience have its way with us, we will be “perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” A few chapters later, he continues on about patience instructing us to be patient and thus, establish our hearts… “for the coming of the Lord is at hand”. Then, to top it off and further convince me that I know so little about patience, he uses Job as his example of patience.

Now Job endured just a tidge more than having to follow behind someone going 20mph below the speed limit. Naturally, I discovered, different translations of the Bible use patience and longsuffering interchangeably. I was onto something!! I had heard once that long suffering literaly means this: suffering for a long time. Genius, I know. So, Job suffered long, Jesus suffered long, and now we are called to suffer long and if we do- if “patience has its perfect way” and we seek to “establish our hearts”, then we will be complete and lacking nothing.

All to say, I feel like I just opened pandora’s box… all because of the word, “patience”. Ironically (or not so much), I am realizing that patience has a lot to do with being poor in spirit and therefore becoming a resting place for the Lord (see previous post). Needless to say, I am excited to ask the Lord for more revelation as I continue to study this topic. To be continued…

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