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What Is Patience? (Monday, September 1, 2014)

2 Thessalonians 1:4 So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:

Introductory Thoughts

Have you ever heard that it is unwise to pray for patience? Since “tribulation worketh patience” (Romans 5:3), it is thought to be dangerous to pray for patience. The idea may be quaint, but it does not make for good advice. The word patience is historically connected to the word passion which is biblically defined as suffering (Acts 1:3). True to its association, the word patience means to suffer or endure some time of trial. No wonder doctors and hospitals refer to a person suffering from health issues as a patient. The Bible bears further testimony to these truths by associating patience with waiting (James 5:7) and enduring (2 Thessalonians 1:4; James 5:11). The Bible also combines patience with the word longsuffering (Colossians 1:11). These words may appear the same, but they are not. Longsuffering has to do with the quantity (or length of time) of endurance, while patience has to do with the quality of endurance.

Devotional Thoughts

· (For children): The apostle Paul spent time in jail because of his preaching. Instead of complaining, he sang songs of praise to God, wrote some books of the Bible, and told others about the Lord. Those who wait for something unpleasant to pass without complaining are truly patient. 

· (For everyone): While in the midst of trials, do you endure those trials without murmuring? Are you able to give God glory through them? Are you patiently trusting the Lord to work in His time or in your time?

· Patience is not merely waiting on something but involves the manner in which we wait. What do you need the Lord to do in your life? Are you patiently praying for wisdom for what you need to learn through the trial?

Prayer Thoughts

· Ask God to show you whether or not you are patient.

· Ask God to build you into an example of patience.

Song: Day by Day

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