James 5:10 Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.
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.
Likely, no mere mortal endured more difficulty over a short period of time than did Job. Job suffered several awful trials with most of them coming simultaneously. Perhaps Job should not be remembered so much for the trials, but for how he handled those trials. When Job received the news that his children had perished, he said, “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD” (Job 1:21). The verse which follows Job’s statement conveys volumes, “In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.” Job’s endurance of such trials led the Lord to point to Job as an outstanding example of patience (James 5:11).
· (For children): God knew the apostle Paul would suffer through some hard times for Him (Acts 9:16) and Paul testified that he certainly did (2 Corinthians 11:23-28). Through it all, Paul kept serving God. Paul was a good example to Timothy and told him to follow after patience (1 Timothy 6:11). When things go wrong, are you a good example for others?
· (For everyone): Have you had to endure the amount of trials that Job endured? Most would honestly answer no; but even if you had, would you like to display that same level of patience through it all?
· We remember Job for the trials, but we should remember him for his patience. How will you be remembered when you leave this world? Will people remember you as a person of patience?
· Ask the Lord to give you the patience of Job.
· Ask God to make you an example of patience.
Song: O God, Our Help
Revelation 2:2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
Romans 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
5 Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:
Modern society dictates that everything needs to be fast and ever increasing in speed. If our food, news, communication, and technology are not delivered at lightning speeds, we will look for solutions to end the delay. We lack the patience for any obstacle impeding our instant gratification. Yet, the Bible declares that men need patience (Hebrews 10:36). Where can patience be found in such a fast paced world? God! He alone understands the reality of time, patience, and longsuffering. Not only does He understand, but He wants us to have patience; so much so, that He will, at times, allow difficulties to enter our lives merely for the purpose of teaching us patience. Fortunately, the God who allows the trials also willingly grants the patience to endure any trial.
· (For children): When you are hungry, it is sometimes hard to wait for supper. Regardless, we need to learn to be patient. Mom delays serving the food for our own good. If food isn’t cooked properly, we could get sick. Sometimes we want things from the Lord and He makes us wait. It is always for our own good.
· (For everyone): Do you need patience? Do you endure trials with grace and joy? Do you need to ask God to do a work of patience in your heart? Are you willing to trust Him fully to fulfil this need?
· Have you allowed the pace of this world to fill your mind with doubts concerning the timeliness of the Lord’s aid in your life? Do you believe your doubts are pleasing to the Lord?
· Ask the Lord to give you the patience that you need in order to endure the present difficulties of life.
· Ask God to help you realize that He works in His time.
Song: Day by Day
Psalm 37:7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.
In this Psalm, David spoke of a perceived injustice that even today tempts many believers to envy. David recognized the prosperity of the wicked and the corresponding trials of the righteous. Yet, believers are admonished to “Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him.” Why would the righteous be instructed to wait patiently? Because “yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be” (Psalm 37:10). The Lord in His time will work everything out. As believers, we will face trials. There are going to be times of injustice. There are going to be times of loss and mourning. However, we can wait patiently knowing that the Lord will right every wrong and settle every injustice.
· (For children): The apostle Paul told the Christians at Rome to do good to those who did them wrong and not to respond with evil. Why would he say this? Because the Bible says that vengeance belongs to God (Romans 12:14, 17, 19).
· (For everyone): What trials do you face? What causes you to fret? Are you waiting on the Lord in these areas? Are you exemplifying patience in your waiting on the Lord? Do you murmur and complain about what you perceive as the Lord’s delay in responding to your needs?
· In Deuteronomy 8:2, the Bible reveals that God led the Israelites through the wilderness to prove them. Is it possible that the Lord might allow you to go through trials to prove your patience?
· Ask God to help you patiently wait on Him.
· Ask the Lord to help you trust Him more in times of trial.
Song: Be Still, My Soul
Sunday, Day 253—Church Day (no devotional)
Monday, Day 254—Wait Patiently for the Lord
Tuesday, Day 255—The God of Patience
Wednesday, Day 256—Church Night (no devotional)
Thursday, Day 257—The Patience of Job
Friday, Day 258—Run with Patience
Saturday, Day 259—Patient in Suffering
Psalm 40:1 I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.
1 Thessalonians 5:14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.
Today’s text includes the exhortation to be “patient toward all men.” Every sincere Christian realizes and recognizes the graciousness that God displays toward His children. Regardless of the goodness of God toward us, it still remains difficult to consistently demonstrate patience toward others. However, exhibiting patience is especially important for anyone in a leadership position, especially those involved in the work of God. According to God’s word, the apostle Paul exemplified patience in his dealings with other believers (2 Corinthians 6:4; 2 Corinthians 12:12). This should come as no surprise since one of the basic requirements for the man of God involves patience (1 Timothy 3:3; 1 Timothy 6:11; 2 Timothy 2:24). God’s people ought to be known for their patience toward others. In the homes, we should be patient with our spouses and children. At work, we should be patient with our coworkers, employers, and employees. In the Lord’s work, we ought to be especially patient with those striving to grow in the Lord.
· (For children): Do you get upset when a younger child takes your toys and plays with them? You know that they should learn to ask politely before doing this because you are older. You need to be patient toward others and help them to learn what you have already learned.
· (For everyone): Do you get frustrated because others might be slow to show progress? Do you think the Lord could get frustrated with you because of your pace of growth?
· Are you patient with your children or your spouse; your coworkers; and those you lead in Christian service? Were others patient with you?
· Ask God to give you patience in your dealings with others.
· Ask the Lord to remind you of His graciousness with you.
Song: O to Be Like Thee!
Luke 8:15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.
Hear God’s word, keep it, and it will “bring forth fruit with patience.” Today’s passage comes from a series of verses (Luke 8:11-15) wherein the Lord explained the interpretation of a parable to His disciples. The Lord’s interpretation incorporates another wonderful truth concerning patience. He likens patience to planting a seed and waiting for the fruit of that seed to develop and grow. Of course, the growth and maturation process takes time. A farmer going into the field every day to look for growth shows a lack of patience and wisdom. This truth equally applies to the Christian life; growing in the Lord takes time. Expecting maturity overnight is both unwise and unfruitful. A newly born-again Christian certainly cannot expect to bear the fruit of an established believer in a short period of time. In fact, the Lord promises that fruit will be brought forth only with patience. Consider the truth taught concerning the husbandman who “waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it” (James 5:7). We must all patiently wait for the seeds of life to develop into fruit in the Lord’s time.
· (For children): A baby drinks milk for a period of time after birth. Eventually, his teeth develop and he can eat meat. Likewise, the Bible is food for the child of God. He first learns the easier parts which the Bible calls milk. As he grows and matures, he will be able to understand the harder parts called meat.
· (For everyone): Do you know anyone who ever planted a fruit tree? They would love to get the immediate benefit from the tree, but it takes time. How is your growth in Christ like a fruit tree?
· Like a seed in the ground, you should be always growing; yet the results may not be always visible. Look back over your life since you trusted Christ. What kind of fruit do you have to show?
· Ask God to help you bring forth fruit with patience.
· Ask the Lord to help you grow every day.
Song: Take My Life, and Let it Be
Romans 5:3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
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.
The previous devotion explored the importance of patience in the life of the believer. That study revealed how God’s word challenges us to have boldness and to pray for patience. Today’s study reveals why Christians are frequently taught not to ask or pray for patience. The scripture points out a four step process by which the believer increases in hope. This process includes wonderful aspects like patience, experience, and hope; however, the step preceding patience troubles most believers. “Tribulation worketh patience” (Romans 5:3). Since patience develops through enduring times of difficulty, the difficulties present the best opportunity to gain true patience. James reinforces this truth by stating that “the trying of your faith worketh patience” (James 1:3). People should not be discouraged from praying for patience since the inevitable tribulation and trials develop the patience, experience, and hope that God desires in the Christian’s life.
· (For children): Samuel anointed David to be Israel’s second king while Saul was still on the throne. David waited for God to remove Saul although Saul repeatedly tried to kill David. When David became king, the trials and tribulations helped him to wait on God when his own son Absalom tried to take his throne away.
· (For everyone): “Ye have need of patience” (Hebrews 10:36), but do you love God enough to go through tribulations in order to attain to the patience that God would have for you? Are you willing to endure the trials to gain the necessary patience?
· As a believer you will never experience the hope you want without allowing God’s process described in Romans 5:3-5 to develop it in your life. Do you ever wonder why Paul would say that he gloried in tribulations (Romans 3:5)?
· Ask God to help you more fully comprehend the benefits of patience.
· Ask God to give you a heart like Paul’s concerning tribulations.
Song: Have Thine Own Way, Lord!
Psalm 33:20 Our soul waiteth for the LORD: he is our help and our shield.
Hebrews 10:36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
Patience functions as an essential attribute in the life of every faithful believer. The Bible clearly points to patience as necessary for the development of experience and hope (Romans 5:3-5). Additionally, patience makes the believer “perfect and entire, wanting nothing” (James 1:4). In fact, Peter’s second epistle promises that the believer possessing patience “shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:5-9). Therefore, the Bible seems to emphatically proclaim that men “have need of patience” (Hebrews 10:36). Patience is especially necessary in times of trial and during periods of uncertainty. Patience will not be necessary in eternity, but life on earth presents times that demand the utmost patience.
· (For children): Do you have trouble waiting in lines at the store? Do you want to do better? Ask the Lord to give you more lines in which to wait. Then practice making the waiting better: practice your Bible verses, talk to other children close by, thank God for the things you are able to purchase.
· (For everyone): Do you want hope? Do you want to be more complete in your Christian walk? Do you want to know more of the power of Christ in your life? If so, patience serves as your source for these things.
· Many people have been taught to avoid praying for patience, but the Bible is clear that we need patience. Do you want what God says you need? Will you trust God to work out matters so that patience comes in God’s time and His way?
· Ask God to give you a desire for things that accompany patience.
· Ask God to give you boldness to pray for patience.
Song: God Will Take Care of You