“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.” James 5:11
The above verse is just one of several verses that I have read recently – all dealing with patience. Yesterday, part of my reading was James 1:2-4 – “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”
The other day, I read – “For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.” Hebrews 10:36
No, these verses are not new to me…I’ve read them many times. But, as I read and reread those first verses in the book of James yesterday morning, I just stopped and thought about the phrase “let patience have her perfect work”. In my Bible, above that phrase, I have written – “stop fighting!” For God to say “let patience…” indicates our human nature to resist.
If we are to “let patience”….if we are to allow patience to work in us, I think it would be a good thing to understand what patience is as well as what it is not. Can you guess what I did yesterday morning? Another little word study! 🙂
patience – “1) 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. 2) A calm temper which bears evils without murmuring or discontent. 3) The act or quality of waiting long for justice or expected good without discontent. 4) Perseverance; constancy in labor or exertion. 5) The quality of bearing offenses and injuries without anger or revenge.”
I don’t know about you, but I find that phrase “without discontent” rather convicting.
Here are some synonyms for patience:
synonyms – composure, diligence, endurance, fortitude, grit, humility, moderation, perseverance, persistence, poise, restraint, self-control, tolerance, backbone, calmness, constancy, guts, submission
I went ahead and scrolled down to see the listed antonyms for patience. Are you ready for this?
antonyms – agitation, arousal, cowardice, idleness, indifference, indolence, laziness, lethargy, weakness, fear, resistance, frustration, impatience, intolerance
Can anyone say, “OH ME!”
And now, the definition of impatience:
impatience – “Uneasiness under pain or suffering; not enduring pain with composure; restlessness occasioned by suffering positive evil, or the absence of expected good. Impatience is not rage, nor absolute inability to bear pain; but it implies want of fortitude, or of its exercise. It usually springs from irritability of temper.”
synonyms – anger, annoyance, anxiety, eagerness, edginess, excitement, nervousness, restlessness, uneasiness, agitation, fretfulness, hastiness, irritability, rashness
antonyms (a couple of these really stood out to me) – calmness, contentment, enjoyment, happiness, JOY, PEACE, control, endurance, forbearance, patience, waiting
This little word study, along with the verses mentioned at the beginning of this post, have really given me some food for thought the last few days. Is God waiting for me to stop resisting and “let patience have her perfect work”?
“We must let it have its perfect work. Do nothing to limit it nor to weaken it; but let it have its full scope: if one affliction come upon the heels of another, and a train of them are drawn upon us, yet let patience go on till its work is perfected. When we bear all that God appoints, and as long as he appoints, and with a humble obedient eye to him, and when we not only bear troubles, but rejoice in them, then patience hath its perfect work. (3.) When the work of patience is complete, then the Christian is entire, and nothing will be wanting: it will furnish us with all that is necessary for our Christian race and warfare, and will enable us to persevere to the end, and then its work will be ended, and crowned with glory.” ~ Matthew Henry