And let us not be weary in well doing:
for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
Abraham – The Father of Many Nations
God promised to Abraham that he would be the father of many nations. But when the promise was first given (Genesis 12:1-3) Abraham and his wife Sarah did not have any children. God continued to restate His promise to Abraham through the years (Genesis 13:6; 15:1-6; 17:6-8; 18:10).
Abraham, though known as a man of faith, took his wife’s suggestion and had a child with Sarah’s handmaid. The son’s name was Ishmael. But this was not the son God intended for Abraham. (Genesis 16)
Finally when Abraham was 100 and Sarah was 90 years old God gave them their son Isaac. Though it took years of patiently waiting, they received the promise of God. Hebrews 6:15 says of Abraham, “And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.”
Joseph – From Pit to Prison to Palace – A Picture of Patience
Joseph’s brothers sold him as a slave (Genesis 37:27, 28). Though he did not understand all that was happening, he trusted God to work out His plan in His time. Joseph patiently worked faithfully in each situation he was in. He waited for God to fulfill His promise that Joseph would be a leader of his people (Genesis 37:5-11). He had to be patient as he believed God, but probably wondered why he was sitting in a prison cell.
God did lift Joseph up to great power and responsibility. Not only was he a leader of his people, but he ruled over the people of Egypt too. Patience was needed to allow God to accomplish His purposes in the life of Joseph and his family.
Job – The Man of Patience
Probably the best known story of patience in the Bible is the life of Job. To prove Job’s faithfulness to the Lord, God allowed the devil to destroy everything Job owned (Job 1). Job was a wealthy man. He lost his crops, property, cattle and servants. But most devastating of all was when Job lost his children. However, Job did not blame God. He accepted that God had a plan and would be patient for God to reveal His plan.
Job’s friends came to council him. They tried to find out what great sin Job had committed to deserve the punishment he received. Job would not admit to any sin. Job knew that sometimes bad things happen to good people.
Often people will talk about the patience of Job. He knew God had a plan and was willing to accept what God allowed in his life. In the end God restored to Job twice as much as he had in the beginning (Job 42:10).
Simeon – Eagerly Awaited the Messiah
Luke 2 tells the story of the birth of Christ. The angels announced his birth to the shepherds who then went to see Jesus in the manger. Later, in the same chapter, Mary and Joseph took baby Jesus to the temple to give an offering to God for the birth of their child.
The Holy Ghost had revealed to a man named Simeon that he would not see death until he had seen the birth of the Messiah. The Bible does not indicate how long Simeon waited for the birth of Christ, but the fact that it says he would not die until he saw the Saviour indicates that he waited some time.
After Jesus arrived in the temple Simeon was led by the Spirit to visit Him there. Simeon took Jesus in his arms and thanked God that the promised child had arrived. Joseph and Mary were surprised by Simeon’s actions. Simeon knew that he could depart in peace.
Jesus – An Example of Patience
Hebrews 12 says of Jesus’ death on the cross that it was something He “endured.” While His crucifixion was for our salvation, the Bible says His death is also an example for our lives. When we are worn down during our daily tasks we are reminded in Hebrews 12:2, 3, “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. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.”
Before Jesus arrived at the cross He patiently trained the disciples. Even after His miracles and proclamations of being the Son of God, the disciples were often confused as to who Jesus was. Today we think of the disciples as being mature men of faith. But as we read through the gospel accounts, Jesus was still trying to teach them how to persevere in prayer up until the moment He was taken in the garden to be crucified.
Patience for Us Too
Whatever the task is that God has called us to, we need to continue doing the work even if we don’t see the progress we would like to see. Even Jesus was teaching His disciples until the moment of His death. Jesus is an example of patience for us.
The Holy Bible, King James Version
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