It takes no patience to be born of a male and female and slip into this world – alive or dead. A fetus or unborn baby has no control over their environment, or over the choices of their caregivers. Likewise, a baby (very young child) is not expected to exercise patience; only to do those natural actions that they do – to laugh, cry, taste, kick and grasp. Yet, the young child is taught to learn many things – academics, activates, athletics; to care, read, and speak; morals, trust and respect; and a myriad of other things, including patience. But even the young child has very little control over their environment; and in their state of youth, they are not able or expected to exercise mature patience.
Now, the teenager (13-19) has reached an age that they must learn the patience of the saints. Though, based on their age, they are not expected to carry the same responsibilities of those two or three times their age, nor do most possess the same legal capacities; nevertheless, they must endure this life. The teenager is susceptible to life’s great struggles and stresses and pressures from many sides; as well as life’s joys and pleasures. And for this reason they need many character traits such as patience. And of course, adults who have any reasonable mental capacity are legally and morally subject to many laws and rules of man and God. And they must exercise great patience to endure this race we run – life.
Now there are many kinds of patience and many reasons for it; but here we will only examine a few. The Apostle John wrote in Revelation, “here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus (Rev. 14:12-20).” Before continuing, we discover a few things here alone: that God has commands, that there is a faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and Lord of all; and that there is a ‘patience of the saints.’
Saints here is used to mean righteous ones in Christ; the word for saints is used various meanings: ‘holy,’ ‘set apart,’ ‘sanctify,’ ‘to set apart or make holy,’ and ‘holy ones (can be angels or righteous living humans).’ Thus, the Apostle Paul said to the Romans, ‘to all you in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints…’ and to the Corinthians, ‘to the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling…’ And so here, John is saying to Christians – specifically, those who will die during the great tribulation, while keeping the faith. Thus, he says, ‘blessed are those who die in the Lord from now on… so that they may rest from their labors… (Rev. 14:13).’
In another place in Revelation John said, ‘these are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes (body, spirit, soul) and made them white (pure, righteous, holy) in the blood of the Lamb (through the sacrifice of Jesus who shall call us forth at the Resurrection of the Dead)… (Rev. 7:14).’ And in another place by the Spirit of the Lord, John said, ‘you will be tested and have tribulation… be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life (Rev. 2:10).’ So there is a patience which is needed to carry us through the greatest strains, burdens and battles of life; and there is a general daily patience to endure.
What is true general Patience?
Patience is the [God-given capacity, ability or character attribute or trait] [to accept, tolerate, suffer and or endure] [through life] [in reasonable peace and calm] [without allowing loss of control or such a level of anger] [that in the heat of passion, provocation, anger, rage, cares or pleasures] [we choose, allow or give ourselves over – voluntary or involuntary – and] –[we sin or harm ourselves or others by word or deed, or by gross negligence or recklessness]. Patience is to exercise self-control or forbearance.
What is the Patience of the Saints (followers of Christ)?
Patience of the Saints is the [God-given spiritual capacity, ability or character attribute or trait] [through Jesus Christ (John 14:26; Philippian 4:13)] – and [in and through faith and love in Christ and our Lord God; and remembering the requirements, commands of God and duties of servants of God (Deuteronomy 10:12-13; Ecclesiastes 12:13-14)] – [to accept, tolerate, suffer and or persevere or endure (Matthew 24:13; Romans 15:5)] [by the Spirit of God – which offers wisdom, knowledge, understanding, strength, counsel and teaches all things including love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Isaiah 11:2; Galatians 5:22)] [through life’s trials, tests, stresses, cares, burdens and pleasures (Jeremiah 17:10; Luke 8:14; James 1:12)] [reasonably in the peace of God which passes that of common man and with such restraint] [we do not lose control or are reach such a level of anger] [that in the heat of passion, provocation, anger, rage, cares or pleasures] [we choose, allow or give ourselves over – voluntary or involuntary]–[to sin or harm of ourselves or others by word or deed, or by gross negligence or recklessness]. Patience is to exercise self-control or forbearance through trials, hardships and wrongs by and against us.
PoS = F + E + O + L
Patience of the Saints = Faith in God and Christ Jesus + Endurance by the Spirit of God + Obedience to the commands of God + to Love the Lord our God and our neighbors
See: Who is our Neighbor?
Walk Worthy of the Lord
To walk with or in the patience of the saints is to ‘live or walk in a manner worthy of the Lord (Col. 1:10)’ our God and King; to walk in the salvation of Jesus Christ; to walk in the Spirit of Christ (Gal. 5:16; and endure life’s challenges and temptations from moral man or evil spirit. It is to ‘present ourselves, our mind, body or souls as instruments for righteousness – which is our reasonable sacrifice – to God and not to sin or the world (Rom. 6:11-14, 12:1; John 15:19).’
This is no easy task, and like the ‘strangers, pilgrims or foreigners on earth (Heb. 11:13)’ that the ‘world was not worthy of (Heb. 11:38)’ or like Christian the pilgrim in John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress (1678; translated into more than 200 languages, at one time second only to the Bible in copies sold worldwide), we fall and fail and sin; yet, are called to repentance and to rise up in the Spirit of the Lord and discipline ourselves to endure through difficulties, deceptions and despair.
The Heavenly City and Crown of Life
Our goal and reward in the heavenly city, John called the New Jerusalem, or the kingdom of Heaven; and to receive the ‘crown of eternal life.’ Live is not fair or easy and cannot be endured without the Helper or Comforter or Spirit of Truth which comes from God through Christ (John 14:26; 15:26). All souls enter the world and all human bodies die; but only some endure life’s trials and troubles, and ‘enter through the narrow gate that leads to eternal life (Matthew 7:14).’
The multitude of reasons that humans do not have faith in God, or fall to the temptations of the evil one and the world, are beyond the scope of this article. Likewise, the manner to ‘build ourselves up in the most Holy faith; even praying in the Holy Spirit, and keeping ourselves in God’s love and patience waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring us to eternal life (Jude 20-21)’ is also not for this article.
However, understand, there is a patience that we can have – through prayer and seeking and faith in Jesus Christ and our Lord God Almighty – that through his Spirit we can ‘do all things through Him who gives us strength (Phil. 4:13),’ and that in that patience ‘nothing – neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present or the future, nor anything else… can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom. 8:38-39).’
A final note: patience through life and death, is not one that is conquered by the evil one or evils that wishes to destroy us through cares, pleasures, lusts, sins, depressions, suicide and a myriad of other tactics and things common to mankind; but one that in joy or pain perseveres and finds (if necessary through battle or retreat, solitude or companionship; with friends and enemies, relatives and strangers) that place of ‘shelter of the Most High to rest or endure in the shadow of the Almighty and to abide in Christ our Salvation (Psalm 91:1; John 15:4; 2 John 1:9; Gal. 2:20).’