2 Peter 1:6:
“… and to temperance patience…”
So, on to Patience.—You’re going to love this. First, let’s take a look at what James and Paul had to say on the subject:
“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers [trials]; 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.”
“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy [Spirit] which is given unto us. “
I was smiling all over doing this study. Patience has always been a challenge for me, but God, in His ultimate wisdom, just kicked it up a notch! I began thinking about this subject with the preconceived notion that the patience in this scripture was your basic sit and wait variety.
And indeed, there are two Greek words used in the New Testament translated “patience” or “perseverance” (NIV) that mean to be long-spirited, or long suffering. However, the word used in both the above scriptures as well as in 2 Peter 1:6 is “hupomone,” meaning—are you ready for this?—CHEERFUL or hopeful endurance—continually!
I understand that enduring trials perfects me, but, CHEERFULLY? That’s just not natural. Well, as I have written many times before, if we are in Christ, we are no longer “natural” beings, but SUPERNATURAL, as Christ himself is.
2 Corinthians 5:17:
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”
Okay. So I am a new creation, and God has given me everything I need to be victorious. I know that patience is a fruit of The Spirit, and therefore a holy gift, but how do I make that REAL in my life? How do I live that? How do I not only endure the pain that tempts me to “curse God and die,” but do it CHEERFULLY?
Beloved, I have found only one way. When life in the physical becomes too much for me to bear, I must turn my focus from myself, to The One who overcame the world.
“I can do ALL things through Christ which strengthens me.”
“The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.”
And, as I wrote on self-control, “The joy of The Lord is my strength.”—Nehemiah 8:10. And what gives Him joy is my acknowledging that I can’t do it without Him.”
For me, the blessing of being perfected in Christ, is secondary to the blessing of being forced to abandon myself to be one with my Creator. Perhaps they are one in the same, but there is no greater feeling in the world, and if it is pain—physical or emotional—that takes me there, let it come.
The day is coming when I will be one with my Father, and won’t even remember the pain. But, until that day, I will enjoy a little bit of Heaven on Earth. And that is worth rejoicing in!
God’s grace and peace be yours,