Daily Thought for: 23rd July
PATIENT IN TRIBULATION
Romans 12. 12; 2 Thessalonians 3. 1-5
All of the great men and women of God learned to be patient. Patience does not simply mean to idly wait for something, but, rather, it is to bear up underneath pressure and opposition. It means to keep going on steadily even when people and circumstances are against us. This is not a call to be stubborn or obstinate, but, assuming our pathway is the will of God, we keep on going despite the temptation to quit.
Patience is commanded throughout the New Testament. Paul, Peter and James all exhort us to be patient. Paul demonstrated this frequently in his own life. We should not assume that living for the Lord will be ‘smooth sailing’. No one lived more for the Lord than Paul yet his life and ministry were almost always in figurative or even literal storms.
Consider Paul’s words to Timothy, ‘Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes’, 2 Tim. 2. 10. Paul was prepared to endure opposition and suffering for the sake of the gospel. He saw his personal pain as a small thing and the winning and care of souls a much bigger thing. We too need to be patient and endure because there is a bigger picture.
Peter reminds us that this was the way of the Lord Jesus Christ. He tells us that when we suffer patiently this is acceptable with God and was exemplified by the Lord Himself, 1 Peter 2. 20, 21. The writer to the Hebrews tells us much the same, Heb. 12. 3, 7.
James emphasises that those who are patient have occasion to be ‘blessed’ or ‘happy’. Such trials that demand patient endurance will be compensated by the Lord: ‘he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him’, James 1. 12.
Being patient today equips us to reign with Him in a future day, 2 Tim. 2. 12. It was this that characterized Paul’s life. He saw that trials here were but stepping stones to a glorious future and in fact are equipping us for days of eternal reward and service. The human tendency is to quit when things get difficult. But quitting is not for the believer. The Lord is in control despite your present trial. Therefore, ‘be .. . patient in tribulation’.