Patience is a Virtue

Look at all the examples in the Bible of patience, like Job, Moses, and David.

Job lost everything—his family, his fortune, and finally his health—but he kept on believing and obeying. “Though He slay me,” he said, “yet will I trust Him” (Job 13:15). He hung on and would not give up. The patience of Job has given Christians down through the ages a wonderful example to follow.

When Moses was in a hurry to deliver the children of Israel, he killed an Egyptian and had to flee alone for his own life. But after 40 years of humbly and patiently tending sheep in the wilderness, with plenty of time to listen to the voice of God instead of his own impulses, he was finally ready for the slow, laborious, patient work of the Exodus—slow, but sure!

David spent 17 years working under King Saul, and learned from Saul’s mistakes. Saul got all upset and tried to do things in his own strength, and he found he wasn’t strong enough. David learned he had to let God do everything, and wait for Him to work.

Learning patience is one of the most frequent lessons God has for us all, so “let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (James 1:4).

His discipline is love

God is just and merciful and loving. He deals with us, His children, with much love and long-suffering and patience, but He also deals with us firmly when He sees that we’re getting off the track.

Like a shepherd with an errant sheep, He sometimes has to let us feel His shepherd’s rod in order to turn us off the wrong path. He is a loving God, but He’s also a very good Father who knows how to correct us when we need it.

Although God’s corrections are sometimes hard to take, they’re a token of His love—His “intolerable compliments”—and are good for us if we learn our lessons and are thereby brought into harmony with Him and doing what He knows is best for us and others.

Therefore, don’t forget “the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: ‘My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; for whom the Lord loves He chastens’” (Hebrews 12:5-6). God’s chastenings are proof that He loves you.—2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV – All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

Hebrews 4:12 ESV – For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.