By - Virgil Crook
Part 2 of 2
THE WAY TO OBTAIN
I’m sure you are all familiar with the way that we obtain patience. There is only one formula, one way to obtain patience, and that is by way of trials and tribulations. You are probably like I am, you have looked for other ways. Haven’t we all? We all want to be patient. I think I can make that statement truthfully. I’m sure we all down deep want to be patient, but we look for some short-cut to do it, some way. Nowadays, we can boil water in lust a little bit by putting it in the microwave and, zip, its hot. We don’t have to wait for the water to come to a boil. And I guess that is also the way we think it should be in the spiritual sense. Still there just seems to be no shortcut. No doubt, you have tried to take shortcuts and they just do not end up with patience. They end up somewhere else.
“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.” James 1:2-3. Just look at what James says. Now remember that we said that patience is really an attitude of faith. Notice the third verse especially, what it is that is tried. When we are going through a trial or a temptation (hard place) we always say that ‘God is trying me,’ and that is true. Just what is it that He is trying? Our faith! You see, if He was trying only us there would be failure, constant failure. But God is not trying us so much as He is trying our faith. I think that you know it as well as I do that faith will never fail. When Peter was being so sorely tried, he said that he would never forsake the Lord, never deny Him; but Jesus knew what was going to happen and He told Peter, Satan wants you, Peter, He wants to sift you like wheat, but He said, “I have prayed for you (what?) that your faith fail not.” To me that is a great comfort to know that God is trying the faith which He Himself has given, “Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God” - Romans 10:17. We receive faith by the Word of God, but that faith must be tried, that we might know that it is genuine and true faith. “Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.” Again, I say, that this is the only way that patience comes.
“And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: KNOWING that tribulation worketh patience.” Romans 5:3. There is a word here that to me is a key word: ‘knowing’. Do we really know? Because the word here means to be acquainted with. Not simply some input that we have in the mind, but a real, honest acquaintance with this fact. Do we really know? Are we really acquainted with this fact? That it is only tribulation that brings patience. Or is it just simply a head knowledge we have? If we really KNOW, and it is a reality in our life, then we are not going to complain when trials and tribulation come our way. Because we know what is happening: God is working patience in our life. I repeat what the Apostle Paul told the Hebrews, we all have NEED of Patience.
PATIENCE IS NEEDED
This need is a subject I can touch on and know that I am not going to offend anybody, because I know what your need is. You NEED patience! No matter who you are or what the condition might be, I know that you need patience because the Scripture tells us that. I may not know your particular situation as of this moment, but regardless WE NEED PATIENCE! Nobody is so patient that you need no more patience. God knows exactly where we need patience and He also knows just exactly how to do it. That is the wonderful thing about trusting our lives into the hands of the Lord. You see, He knows just exactly how to bring about that which is needful in our lives. He knows that we have need of patience.
“Strengthened With all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness.” Colossians 1:11. Think of what he is saying here. He is talking about his desire for these particular saints and for us, that we might be strengthened with all might according to His glorious power. He could be talking here about going out and doing great deeds, maybe healing the sick or maybe doing something great. We need that, don’t we? Strengthened with ALL might according to His glorious power, but what is it for? “Unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness.” Where you find the word trial or tribulation, almost always you read about joy. No wonder people thought that Paul was just a little bit ‘off’. That is the way we are in the natural way, yet that is God’s way. It seems unbelievable, but it is incredible real, that a person can be sorely tried and yet be joyful. So Paul gives here his desire that these saints, as well as we, be strengthened with all might and with all His glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering, and that with joyfulness.
NEEDED FOR SOMETHING
Let’s look at some things that the Apostle mentions for which we reed patience. The patience we need is for some thing, not just to put in your pocket and carry around. It is for some purpose. There is the necessity for patience in service. When we are going to serve the Lord in any capacity whatever it might be we need patience. “Let us not be weary in well doing…” Galatians 6:9a. We need patience to do well, to do that which is pleasing unto the Lord. The Scriptures give us a line of conduct and that we must follow. We are told not to be weary, not to lose patience in doing well. There is One who is always watching, observing all these things and all that we do. Let us not be weary (don’t lose patience) in well doing, “For in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Galatians 6:9b.