Bible Study Notes | July 28yh, 2021
Most people today are not good at waiting for anything but yet we know that the best things come to those who patiently wait. We, as Christians, must be patient. Waiting on the Lord shapes our Christian character. As we yield to the Holy Spirit, He produces “the fruit of the Spirit” on the inside of us.
The Greek word primarily used for patience in the KJV is “hypomone”, and it means “cheerful (or hopeful) endurance, constancy: – enduring, patience, patient continuance (waiting).”
Webster’s dictionary defines patience as “The suffering of afflictions, pain, toil, calamity, provocation or other evil, with a calm, unruffled temper; endurance without murmuring or fretfulness. Patience may spring from constitutional fortitude, from a kind of heroic pride, or from Christian submission to the divine will. A calm temper which bears evils without murmuring or discontent.”
When the KJV Bible speaks of patience, it means to wait with a cheerful heart– without complaining.
Now, there is another word associated with patience and that is, long-suffering, which has a similar meaning but has to do with the longevity of patience in situations– especially where people are involved.
A good way to look at it is: Patience has to do with circumstances but longsuffering has to do with people in our circumstances.
The Greek word for longsuffering is “makrothymia” and it means, “Forbearance; patience; disposition to endure long under offenses.”
Webster’s dictionary defines longsuffering has the capacity to endure hardship, difficulty, or inconvenience without complaints and calmness, self-control, and the willingness or ability to tolerate delay.
I will use some examples that may help distinguish the two:
Patience is how you conduct yourself in the situations, which come your way. We must have patience in the midst of our trials. Remaining calm and having a cheerful disposition and with a good attitude, by the grace of God, walk through the situation. Whether it is sitting in a traffic jam on the way to work or sitting in a restaurant, awaiting your meal or enduring a major trial such as a sickness or losing one’s job, etc., we must have patience.
Longsuffering is slightly different than patience for long-suffering has usually to do with your enduring tolerance with other people, who try your patience in different circumstances. Longsuffering also has to do with how you handle a person who could easily get on your nerves day in and day out. We should be slow to wrath. It also has to do with your disposition concerning a person who has wronged you.
A person cannot be cheerful when they have been violated in some way, so they will need longsuffering…enduring the pain of a broken heart and allowing God to comfort their heart. There can be no joy when a spouse cheats on their mate– the victim in the marriage will need longsuffering and as they lean upon the Lord, He will strengthen them to forebear the road ahead, as they forgive the person who has wronged them, the joy will return for the Lord will be the source of that joy.
Longsuffering cannot excuse the sin of another, but Christians must forgive the person who has wronged them and give their many burdens to the Lord, trusting Him to work all things for their good. A person who has been wronged is called to forgiveness and longsuffering. Peter asked the Lord, how many times he should have to forgive and the Lord replied, “Seventy times seven.” A person will certainly need longsuffering to forgive seventy times seven.
The Bible tells us that God is longsuffering. He calmly waits in His abundant mercy toward us:
Exo 34:6 And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,
2Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
Longsuffering is a gift from God, Himself. It is a fruit of the Spirit:
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
As we yield to the Holy Spirit, we will find that patience will become a part of our every day lives, even when we are hungry or tired or have had a completely tiresome day. Patience and longsuffering is a result of yielding our will to the will of the Father, trusting Him that He knows what is best for us, and will give us the strength to endure all things.
Eph 4:2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
This means that we are to put up with one another. A church is comprised of imperfect people: Some will be moody, others will interrupt us when we are talking, while others will be contentious. The Bible addresses these matters pertaining to social fellowship within the church body. Since none of us have “arrived” to perfection, we must allow the Holy Spirit to work a good work on the inside of us. This does not happen overnight because we do not yield overnight. Just as that chef took his time in preparing that meal for us, so too, the Lord is not hasty to just give us a “fast-food” spiritual makeover. We grow in Christ– this happens day-by-day and year-by-year. Fruit does not grow overnight and so it is with our Christian walk. We grow in Christ over time. There are many lessons to be learned and the flesh does war against the Spirit. But the fruit of the Spirit is love and from love comes joy, and from joy, comes peace, and from peace comes longsuffering and from longsuffering comes gentleness…etc.
Each fruit accompanies the other. Does that mean a Christian is always kind and patient? Unfortunately, not, but we should be…yet so MANY times the flesh gets in the way. But as we yield to God, who produces the fruit of the Spirit in our lives, we will see more of Jesus and less of ourselves. The things we loved a few years ago will not matter, if we are yielded to the Spirit– for it is God who is working on the inside of us. I have heard people say, “Oh I was a better Christian when I first got saved.” No, you THOUGHT you were because you did not know your own heart but as you grow in Christ, the Lord shows you other areas that need attention that you did not see when you first got saved and that is where repentance and prayer to God come into focus.
The following are areas in which we, as Christians, are called to be patient:
1Cor 13:4 Charity [love] suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
1) Bringing Forth Fruit With Patience
Luke 8:15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.
When you plant an apple seed in the ground, it takes years for the tree to grow– and even more time to produce apples but eventually the fruit appears. Christ is the Vine and we are the branches. We have heard His word, kept it and bring forth fruit by yielding to the Holy Spirit, who produces fruit within us.
2) Enduring Trials and Tribulations With Patience
Rom 5:3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
2Cor 6:3-6 Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed: But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings; By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned
James 5:10-11 Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.
Patient With All People
Col 3:12-14 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
A pastor is called to longsuffering with their congregations. There are people who may repeatedly try his patience week after week. Having patience with the sheep pleases God and the Holy Spirit further develops the spiritual character of the pastor. The pastor must never endorse sin in the church, nor compromise the Bible but he can have compassion with the person who is weak in the faith and lead that person in the right direction. This, too, takes patience.
2Tim 2:24-25a And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves;
4) Running the Christian race with patience.
Heb 12:1 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,
James 1:4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
Patiently Waiting For The Coming Of The Lord
2Thess 3:5 And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.
James 5:7,8 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.
Rom 15:5 Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:
Every day, we should be waiting for the Lord’s return but we should not sit in idleness as we wait. The Lord Jesus gave us the Great Commission, and where He leads us, we should go. What He enables us to do, we should do– by His power. Christ said, “Without Me ye can do nothing.”
The Lord may not return for 20 more years. We do not know when Jesus is coming. The question is are we allowing God to work in and through us each and every day?
Matthew 9:37-38 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest.
We are His hands and feet upon this earth. How shall we then live?
Eccl 7:8 Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.
Rom 12:12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;
Col 1:10-12 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:
Phil 4:6,7 Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known
unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
2Peter 1:4-8 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
May we look to the Lord to help us in all areas of our Christian walk. He has called us by His grace. As we yield to God, we find that He is more than able to meet our needs and He will continue a good work on the inside of us. Our confidence must be in the Lord and we must be yielded to His leading.
Php 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.