What does the Bible say about patience?

By: Douglas M. Williams, Sr

The subject of patience may remind you of the familiar Bible example of Job. James 5:11 states, “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.”

In the previous verse James said, “My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of patience and suffering.” “Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer” (Romans 12:12).

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience” (James 1:2-3).

“That we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope” (Romans 15:4).

Patience means to have constant perseverance with calmness; uncomplaining endurance under distress or annoyance; long-suffering. Everyone would probably agree that patience is not something that comes naturally. We learn it as we grow and observe that we must wait for some things to take place. For example, the farmer knows there are several weeks between planting and harvesting, and he cannot make the crops grow faster. James 5:7 states “See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain.”

Lack of patience causes people to do things, which they later regret. There are times when we must have patience and just wait. Don’t be like the fellow who prayed for patience, and said, “God, I want it right now!”

We have a lot of “instant things” and are sometimes impatient and want things immediately. But we need to learn to be more patient.

God is patient, or long-suffering with us (Romans 15:5; 1 Peter 3:20; 2 Peter 3:9, 15); and He wants us to practice patience as a fruit of the Spirit and one of the Christian graces (Galatians 5:22; 2 Peter 1:5-7).