The Patience of the Saints

Audio: mp3

Jesus Christ is my hero. As we look at the Bible, the photograph of his character we catch a vision of his character and we love him. He has such tremendous beauty in his character. He has such patience. Think of the time he was talking to the disciples when there were children around and they were making a lot of noise. The disciples are getting irritated and tell the children to go away. What does Jesus say? Suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not for such is the kingdom of heaven.

He has such patience where it would annoy adults. There is another story where he was getting jostled by the crowd around him and there came a woman who touched the hem of his garment and he stopped and said, ‘who touched me?’ for he felt virtue go out of him. He was sensitive and patient enough to notice the touch of faith. This attribute is one that draws me to him when I consider my own shortcomings and failures in view of his patience. How do you feel when someone is impatient towards you? It really cramps your growth. When people in church are un-Christlike others get irritated and then they themselves become un-Christlike. We read in Revelation at the end times God’s people will be restricted from buying and selling and at that time the patience of the saints will appear. I pray that we can all admire Jesus more and be like him. God is love. Everybody likes love. What is one of the biggest ingredients in love?

1 Corinthians 13:1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become [as] sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

You might have an eloquent speaker but if they aren’t patient, their messages just grate on you.

1 Corinthians 13:2 And though I have [the gift of] prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

13:3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed [the poor], and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

You might know every biblical truth but if you don’t have patience and love, you won’t be in Heaven. What is the first description that the Bible uses to describe love?

13:4 Charity suffereth long, [and] is kind; …

Can you suffer long and not be kind? The blending of suffering and kindness is patience.

1 Corinthians 13:4 …charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

 13:5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, …

How long can you put up with other people?

1 Corinthians 13:4 …thinketh no evil;

13:6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

13:7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

How many times did these verses talk about this attribute of patience? Four times. Suffering long, not easily provoked, bearing all things and enduring all things. These are the elements of patience. This is in the description of love. Do you think patience is a huge part of love a weightier matter of the law? Its so big God saw fit for it to be recorded along with the commandments and the faith of Jesus. These three are big issues. Patience is a vital salvation issue. God abounds in patience. The glory of God is given in the description of God.

Exodus 34 The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.

God did not show him all his creation or all the armies of heaven. What is the best thing about God for us to look at? His longsuffering as that is His glory. As we admire that we want to be like Him. I want to be like Jesus, to be as patient as Jesus. I want to be able to behold so that in the last days it can be said “Here are the patience of the saints”

Christ is our example in patience, in forbearance, in meekness and lowliness of mind. He was at variance and at war with the whole ungodly world, yet He did not give way to passion and violence manifested in words and actions, although receiving shameful abuse in return for good works. {TDG 263.2}

The disciples betrayed him, his closest friends. Do you have patience with the people in your own house and other people that you dwell with all the time? What about when Peter got fiery and chopped off the ear of the high priest’s servant? Jesus quietly said ‘put it away who ever lives by the sword will die by the sword’. Then he healed the man. Would we have healed our enemy? What about with John and James in Samaria who wanted to call out fire from heaven to destroy them for not being hospitable to Jesus? No. Jesus didn’t excuse the wrong but he was patient always.

He was afflicted, He was rejected and despitefully treated, yet He retaliated not. He possessed self-control, dignity, and majesty. He suffered with calmness and for abuse gave only compassion, pity, and love. . . . {TDG 263.2}

Could you suffer with calmness? Jesus possessed self-control. He knew how to control the lower nature.

Imitate your Redeemer in these things. {TDG 263.3}

It’s one thing to admire Jesus but we are instructed to imitate him.

Do not get excited when things go wrong. Do not let self arise, and lose your self-control because you fancy things are not as they should be. Because others are wrong is no excuse for you to do wrong… {TDG 263.3}

When someone isn’t listening to you, do you get annoyed? That is wrong. The wrong they do never excuses our wrong.

Two wrongs will not make one right. You have victories to gain in order to overcome as Christ overcame. {TDG 263.3}

Christ never murmured, never uttered discontent, displeasure, or resentment. He was never disheartened, discouraged, ruffled, or fretted. He was patient, calm, and self-possessed under the most exciting and trying circumstances. {TDG 263.4}  

To have the most hideous or disastrous things come your way and have perfect calmness, don’t we want to have this?

All His works were performed with a quiet dignity and ease, whatever commotion was around Him. Applause did not elate Him. He feared not the threats of His enemies. He moved amid the world of excitement, of violence and crime, as the sun moves above the clouds. Human passions and commotions and trials were beneath Him. He sailed like the sun above them all. Yet He was not indifferent to the woes of men. His heart was ever touched with the sufferings and necessities of His brethren, as though He Himself was the one afflicted. He had a calm inward joy, a peace which was serene. His will was ever swallowed up in the will of His Father. Not My will but Thine be done, was heard from His pale and quivering lips {TDG 263.4}

Never think that Jesus didn’t have any trials. He had huge temptations to be annoyed with the way people treated him when all he wanted to do was benefit others. Don’t we get upset when in trying to benefit someone we get slapped back? We retaliate back. He had the temptation but didn’t yield. The storm was raging but He sailed above it all. Isn’t this what we want to be like? It is so meek and beautiful. We need a lot of direction about being patience.

2 Thessalonians 3:5 And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.

Do you want Jesus to lead you? Where is he going to direct you to fiery emotions and zeal that is not according to knowledge? No. He will direct you to the love of Christ. That love is not sentimentalism. This love is pure dignity and so practical it is used every moment in the family life.

How Is Patience Developed In The Soul

What are the keys of patience? How can we become patient? How is patience developed in the soul? We will need this attribute very much in the last days.

James 5:11 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.

This patience is the end of the Lord. That doesn’t mean the Lord is gone. It means it is the purpose of the Lord, the result of following the Lord. Christ is the end of the law. That doesn’t mean there is no more law. No. Jesus Christ is the purpose of the law, to become like him. Was the lord pitiful and merciful to Job? The Lord allowed the devil to take Job’s children and all his belongings. He got boils and then his friends came and annoyed him. Was that a merciful Lord who did that? If you have seen the end of the law or the purpose of the law it is merciful. If we get to know God and how he works in our lives to give us patience we will see the end of the Lord in the story of Job. Job’s patience is what is required at the end of the world. Job’s patience is the patience of Jesus. It is the purpose of what God is trying to do. God is trying to work in our lives to be patient with one another.

The First Key

What was one of the keys Job possessed that gave him patience? It was trust. When everything in his life was negative he said, though the Lord slay me yet will I trust him. That is the first key. If you don’t trust God, it is impossible to be patient. Can you trust someone you don’t know?

Colossians 1:9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard [it], do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;

1:10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

1:11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;

The apostles were continually praying that they could know God’s will and the knowledge of how God works in wisdom and spiritual understanding. Notice the word ‘unto’ in verse 11. That word tells us what is going to be achieved by this knowledge. It will achieve patience. Trust cannot be trust unless you know God. This is eternal life that ye might know God and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent. A knowledge of God will product patience and longsuffering with joyfulness. The question is, do we really know God? Do we know his will for us?

1 Corinthians 2:11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned.

The Second Key

Unless we have spiritual understanding in this present day, we will be utterly discouraged with all the trials and difficulties that will come to us. We will not be able to understand them because we don’t understand God. Therefore the second key for patience is that we understand God’s will. God’s will is to produce in us the beautiful character we admire in him. Do you really want that character? If so we need to apply ourselves to God’s will and we will get that character by God’s intervention. Do we see Jesus and desire him? If we do and make it our primary goal our life will take a different path.

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose.

How many things were for good? All things. If you know that ALL things work together for good can you be patient? Yes. But if you didn’t know, then you’d see things are bad and be unhappy and impatient.

James 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;

1:3 Knowing [this], that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

1:4 But let patience have [her] perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all [men] liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

If you don’t know as God he will help you. When you count your blessings, the positives of the day, do you count the negatives too? The Bible says count it all joy when you fall into temptation. Falling into temptation is not sin as it is the test or trial. The Bible tells us to count this joy. We are usually happy when things are good. Do we believe that all things work together for good? Then are we always happy. If we are not always happy we have not counted all those things as good. Can you see how patience is developed by knowing that all things are working for good? Nothing is bad; there is no darkness in the sight of the LORD. We need this knowledge. When do you use your knowledge? Do we use knowledge at home when there are trials and annoyances? That is when you need to use your knowledge that all things work together for good to them that love God and are called according to his purpose. If we used our knowledge then the trial is gone. The trial will then turn from being bad to good.

1 Peter 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:

Don’t think it strange when things apparently seem negative. For example when you are having a bad day and everything seems to go wrong, such as having a flat tyre on the way to work and then your car breaks down and when you finally get to work the boss goes off at you and everyone else is in a bad mood. Don’t think it strange. The Bible says think and use your knowledge.

1 Peter 4:13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

Why rejoice? Because the negativity we suffer is what Christ had, and he overcame it. Is it good to be next to Jesus? If it is then you love him. If you love him we will be where he is. If we are with him in the negative, we will we be with him in the positive in glory. If we are going to be with him in glory we must have patience. Therefore to suffer with him is the only way to have patience. The sufferings of Christ lay in the daily life. When Jesus came back from the temple as a young boy he worked in his fathers shed for 18 years and he had the typical stresses of a tradesman. He counted it all joy because he knew the will of God in order to develop a perfect character so when the trials came he knew that it was the door to success.

We are forming characters for heaven. No character can be complete without trial and suffering… {TDG 263.2}

When we have trial and suffering we are getting ready for heaven. If we want to be in heaven it is good. If we don’t want to be in heaven with Jesus it is not good and we are miserable and unhappy. There is no happiness outside of Jesus that is a guarantee. Through Jesus we can cheer up because these trials are working out our sanctification and perfect character. Trials are needed to get that good character so God’s will for us is to have trials. Someone people think because Jesus died on the cross we don’t have to have any more sufferings. We are to be buried with him in baptism. Jesus Christ paid the price for the second death. We are to go through the experience of Jesus because he went through our experience therefore our experience is His and our experience together. Sometimes we want patience in a hurry but patience is waiting for the growth of the plant. Patience is the cultivation of the plant. If we get irritated at how slow it grows and rip it up, we won’t develop patience. Patience requires patience and that patience needs to be exercised in Him.

Romans 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

After baptism we are entering into Jesus’ trials. His death was a trial for him. It shouldn’t be a smooth road afterwards.

Romans 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

If we suffer then we will be glorified.

Romans 6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also [in the likeness] of [his] resurrection:

 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with [him], that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

God is trying to destroy the body of sin and he is inviting us to be like him. He says if you want to follow me we will go over the hill of Calvary. As we go over that hill our sins will be destroyed. If we want that then we must be willing for the trial and in knowing the trial is doing that work we can rejoice as we go through it.

Colossians 1:9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard [it], do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;

Without being born again we will never see the trails in the same way a Christian will see them. He has spiritual understanding. We need to know what the trial does.

The Third Key

Colossians 1:10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

 1:11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;

The gospel of Christ produces the happiest people on the whole planet as well as the biggest trials on the whole planet. We must learn to be happy in apparently negative circumstances. Then we will be patient. A happy person is more patient than an angry person. The keys to patience so far are 1. Trust in God, 2. Knowledge of his will, 3. Joyfulness.

The Fourth Key

1 Corinthians 9:24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.

 9:25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they [do it] to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.

What is this crown that we are striving for? Isn’t it the crown of life that Jesus wears? His character? If we want to be like Jesus, if he is the crown of our rejoicing, what must we do? People that try for a trophy have to be very temperate and healthy. Many athletes are either vegetarian or vegan because it is far better for them than a standard American diet. If we desire to be patient we must be temperate. If you feed a child sugar, are they patient? Can they sit still and listen to a sermon for an hour? No because they have had something that is not very good. Temperance is abstaining from the harmful and using that which is good moderately. There are some things that are harmful for us and make us impatient. When you’re on caffeine you can be a little bit more patient, but what happens when you’re off it? The Bible tells us to abstain from stimulating foods because when you come off them, your nervous system becomes on edge and irritated. Knowledge is one of the keys to patience.

“And to knowledge, temperance.” This is the third step in the path toward perfection of character. On every side there is indulgence and dissipation, and the result is degeneration and corruption. The inhabitants of our earth are depreciating in mental, moral, and physical power, because of the intemperate habits of society. Appetite, passion, and love of display are carrying the multitudes into the greatest excesses and extravagance. . . . The people of God must take an opposite course from the world. They must take up the warfare against these sinful practices, deny appetite, and keep the lower nature in subjection. . . . It is for us to “search the Scriptures,” and bring our habits into harmony with the instruction of the Bible. . . . {ML 97.2}

The instruction is to be temperate. We need to assess our kitchen cupboards to see if some of those things are preventing me from being patient We also need to consider the time we go to be and whether we over work because these things hinder us from being patient.

   “And to temperance, patience.” The need of becoming temperate is made manifest as we try to take this step. It is next to an impossibility for an intemperate person to be patient. {ML 97.3}

What is next to impossible? It is an intemperate person trying to be patient.

   Some of us have a nervous temperament, and are naturally as quick as a flash to think and to act; {ML 97.4}

Many say we don’t need to worry about these things because we will be changed in the twinkling of an eye.

but let no one think that he cannot learn to become patient. Patience is a plant that will make rapid growth if carefully cultivated. {ML 97.4}

If we want patience fast we need to get the knowledge of God’s will and have total trust and be happy and temperate fast then you will be surprised how quickly you will be come patient.

By becoming thoroughly acquainted with ourselves, and then combining with the grace of God a firm determination on our part, we may be conquerors, and become perfect in all things, wanting in nothing. {ML 97.4}

Let patience have her perfect work. This attribute of patience is very large. What attribute do those that keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus have? Here is the patience of the saints. Without patience you cannot keep the commandments of God nor have the faith of Jesus.

Patience pours the balm of peace and love into the experiences of the home life. {ML 97.5}

What a sweet beautiful home life that would be.

Patience will seek for unity in the church, in the family, and in the community. This grace must be woven into our lives. {ML 97.5}

A mere factual knowledge of doctrine does not bring unity into the church. Without patience the church will split up but patience with true doctrinal knowledge will bring unity into the church.

All should cultivate patience by practicing patience. AH 106.2}

When we begin to practise this we will first find we need to be temperate and then while we are learning temperance patience will develop. The lessons we learn from this will give us experience and the next time we will understand and be able to exercise more patience. Experience is needful for patience.

Romans 5:3 And not only [so], but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;

5:4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope:

5:5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

James 5:7 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.

5:8 Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.

To the degree that a farmer has to be patient he has made experiences so he can be patient but those who are young in the faith we must blindly go forward. Obey God and count it joy while ever we think we can’t see that it is joy. The Bible says it so lets believe it and not question. If we have this patience we will be able to survive the last days. The disciple said show us the signs of the end of the world. Jesus talks about these events and says;

Luke 21:16 And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and [some] of you shall they cause to be put to death.

 21:17 And ye shall be hated of all [men] for my name’s sake.

 21:18 But there shall not an hair of your head perish.

 21:19 In your patience possess ye your souls.

How would you go if your own family, extended relatives, ex church members or people you trusted betrayed you causing you to be put on death row? What is going to posses your soul in this situation? Verse 19 says in your patience possess ye your souls. Who betrayed Jesus? Judas one of his disciples was the church treasurer. His most zealous follower denied him and said, “I don’t know the man” but Jesus patience possessed him. He had a sound mind. This elements of patience is a key to get you through the time when there will be no buying or selling and extreme conditions but if you don’t have it you will go insane. The whole world will go insane.  

The season of distress and anguish before us will require a faith that can endure weariness, delay, and hunger–a faith that will not faint though severely tried. The period of probation is granted to all to prepare for that time. {GC 621.2}

We will need a faith and patience that will put up with hard trials. Probation is give for us to prepare for the time of trouble. We learn to prepare by having knowledge of Gods will and having joy in what it will produce.

Hebrews12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of [our] faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

12:3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.

We need a clear vision of Jesus character and a desire and earnestness to be like him as we go through the next trial. We need to exercise it as soon as it hits. You can know every other fact and be ready in every other department but if you don’t have patience just pack your bags and go home as it will not work. Jesus Christ is who we are to look in our trials. I pray we can admire Jesus and he can be the crown of our rejoicing and the focus of our life, it doth not yet appear what we shall be but we know that when he shall appear we shall be like him for we shall see him as he is. Every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself even as he is pure.

Amen.

Posted on June 7, 2011, in Divine Service Sermons, Sermons For Sabbath. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Awesome- A good write, keep up the good work, benYHVH at scribd

  1. Pingback: The Creative Spirit—All is New 061311 « Mennonite Preacher

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