There are plenty of verses in the Bible that we love, and others that we are just not as fond of. We like Psalms 23 and John 3:16. There are also certain words within verses that we like and some not so much. One of those places is 2 Peter 1:3-11. As you read through the verses, you find many promises. In verses 5-8, we learn about God’s addition for us. We are to add some things to our life in view of God’s promises. He adds so much to our lives; therefore, we have a responsibility to do our part.
Some of the things God asks of us seem like just too much and we want to say “enough already.” We like the part of 2 Peter 1 which says to add to our faith; all of us want more faith. Then we are to add virtue, then knowledge, sounds good so far, then with knowledge, add temperance or self-control. Then comes the part most of us would like to leave out: He tells us to add patience. He really has gone too far to ask us to add PATIENCE!
I remember hearing someone say, “I want patience, but I want it now!” However, it just does not work that way. To receive what God has for us, we must grow into it and sometimes that takes time and a little stretching and molding to fit into the master plan He has created for us.
The word “patience” occurs 34 times in 33 verses in the King James Version; therefore, it must be pretty important to God. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us that all scripture is given to us by inspiration of God for our good to equip us for all He has for us. That includes that dreaded word, “patience.”
According to blueletterbible.org, the word “patience” is “the characteristic of a man who is not swerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings.” To me, that is a large order, is it not?
Hebrews 5:8 tells us that Jesus learned obedience from what he suffered. If he had to go through things, then who are we to say that we are exempt from the same things? Romans 5:3-5 says, that “tribulation works patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope; and hope makes us not ashamed.”
We are living in a time of uncertainty in which we wonder what is going to happen next. Let us take courage from James 1:4. “But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”
You see, God wants to give us so much more than we can even imagine. There are so many wonderful things He has for us. We find it hard to receive them because we don’t want to go through the process that He has in place.
Surrender to God’s will, submit to his perfect plan for your life and enjoy his peace that passes all understanding. (Philippians 4:7)
“The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face to shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.” (Numbers 6:24-26)
Duane Williams is pastor of New Horizons Ministries in Kingsport.