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Jan 09, 2022


Preacher: John Repsold

Series: Essentials for Spiritual Strength

Keywords: culture, suffering, patience, longsuffering, impatience, forbearance


This 2nd in a series on "Essentials for 2022" deals with the divine characteristic of patience. In it we answer six important questions related to patience.



ESSENTIAL Qualities Needed to Triumph in 2022…or Anytime

January 9, 2022

INTRO: Welcome to the 2 nd in a short 1-monnth series on
“Essential Qualities Needed to Triumph in 2022…or Anytime.”
Changes in our world and lives over the last couple of years due to
this never-ending “pandemic” are calling all of us to address
certain issues, challenges and frustrations in our lives that we
simply can’t ignore under the new rules at work in our culture.
Last week we looked at what God has to say in His word
about COURAGE. (If you missed that, it’s on our YouTube
channel or you can find the printed message on-line at our church
website.) This week we’re going to address the quality of
PATIENCE. (I hope not to ‘test your patience’ with this message.
So, let’s start with our own culture. As you know, we live in a
very impatient world, don’t we? Think for a moment about how
we’re actually trained to be impatient. What about our modern
lives conditions us to be impatient? (Group)
 Obsession with small time increments—hours, minutes,
 Food-service industry: “fast-food” we get in under 2 minutes
vs. taking most of our days to harvest, clean, prepare, cook and
eat together. Everyone “orders” their own preference rather
than having to eat what mom or dad puts before you.
 Microwaves: even when we do cook at home, we’re used to it
taking seconds, not hours.
 Speed of life: on the road (fast), in the office. Employers
continue to downsize requiring more work in the same amount
of time.
 Communication: the internet, next-day delivery, email,
texting, etc.
One of the differences that used to exist between “1 st -world
nations” and “3 rd -wold/emerging nations” was the speed at which
business was transacted and commerce was carried out. In 1 st
world countries, you used to be able to…

 go to the stores and buy pretty much anything you wanted.
Been to the store lately? Not been able to buy what you used
to last year? How many of us have been told recently when we
went to order something, “Oh, that will be 6 weeks to 6 months
out” or “We’re not really sure when that will be in”???
 Deal with a government agency and get an answer in a few
days. Tried making an appointment with Social Security or
Immigration or the Planning Department or City Hall lately?
Having lived and traveled in quite a few 3 rd world countries, I can
tell you that their people are usually more patient than Americans.
They grew up expecting to have to wait for things or go back and
back and back to find something. That was normal life. So, for we
Americans trained to think everything in life should be immediate,
patience has not been one of our outstanding virtues. Perhaps it’s
now our turn to learn patience.
So, I have a few questions I want us to get biblical answers
for about patience today. We probably won’t get to them all but
let’s give it our best. Here are the ones I’ve come up with. Feel
free to contribute ones I’ve missed.
1. What IS and ISN’T patience?
2. WHY is patience so important?
3. What happens when it is missing verses when we are
4. When does God call us to demonstrate patience?
5. How does He (God) express patience?
6. Perhaps most importantly, HOW do we grow & develop in
patience while shedding impatience?
7. Any others???
How about we start with #1—a simple definition of patience?
Anyone care to try? (You can’t use the word “patience” in your
 Being able to wait for something without being annoyed or
 the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering
without getting angry or upset.
 the ability to wait, or to continue doing something despite
difficulties, or to suffer without complaining or becoming

These all imply suffering, enduring or waiting, as a determination
of the will and not simply under necessity
A few other OBSERVATIONS about patience:
 Patience is actually a character quality.
 It is commanded multiple times in the N.T. (See 1 Thess.
5:14; 2 Tim. 4:2; Col. 3:12; Eph. 4:2.)
The Bible consistently presents God as being patient and
exercising patience towards sinful human beings. Here are just a
few examples of God’s exercising of patience:
 Romans 2:3-4-- So when you, a mere human being, pass
judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you
will escape God’s judgment?  4  Or do you show contempt for the
riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing
that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?
 1 Timothy 1:15-16-- Here is a trustworthy saying that
deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to
save sinners—of whom I am the worst.  16  But for that very
reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners,
Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an
example for those who would believe in him and receive
eternal life. 
 I Peter 3:19-20-- After being made alive, he went and made
proclamation to the imprisoned spirits—  20  to those who were
disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of
Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people,
eight in all, were saved through water
 Galatians 5:22-- But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy,
peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness
 1 Corinthians 13:4—Love is patient….
So, what can we observe about GOD’S PATIENCE?
 It is part of His nature (love, Holy Spirit).
 It’s usually expressed towards us, sinners. It is called for
when people are acting poorly, sinning, rebelling. You
never see a specific reference to God being patient towards
 It often has to do with our salvation (Rm. 2:4; 2 Pt. 3:15,
1 Tim. 1:16—Paul)

So now we’ve also answered #5—How does God express
patience? Essentially by waiting and waiting and waiting for us to
turn from evil and embrace Him!
STORY: According to an old traditional Hebrew story, Abraham
was sitting outside his tent one evening when he saw an old man,
weary from age and journey, coming toward him. Abraham rushed
out, greeted him, and then invited him into his tent. There he
washed the old man’s feet and gave him food and drink.
The old man immediately began eating without saying any
prayer or blessing. So, Abraham asked him, “Don’t you worship
God?” The old traveler replied, “I worship fire only and reverence
no other god.”
When he heard this, Abraham became incensed, grabbed
the old man by the shoulders, and threw him out his tent into the
cold night air.
When the old man had departed, God called to his friend
Abraham and asked where the stranger was. Abraham replied, “I
threw him out because he did not worship You.” To which God
answered, “I have suffered him these 80 years although he
dishonors me. Could you not endure him one night?” [Thomas Lindberg]
While the story is certainly apocryphal, the message is not.
Since God is constantly exercising amazing patience towards us
and those who are outright enemies of God, shouldn’t being more
like Christ and walking in the Spirit lead us to be patient towards
others who deliberate seek to attack us let alone be patient when no
intentional insult was intended?
A related Question: Is patience something only needed towards
other sinful, flawed and imperfect human beings OR do we sinful,
flawed and imperfect human beings need patience with/towards
God as well?
 Job—we don’t know how long it lasted?
 Noah—it was 120 years from when God pronounced the
judgment on mankind until the flood?
 Abraham—waiting 25 years from age 75-100 for
promised son?
 Joseph— 22 years since the sons of Jacob had last seen
Joseph—13 years of slavery and prison for Joseph, 7
years of plenty, and 2 years of famine (see Genesis

45:11)—before Jacob's family was forced to go to Egypt
for grain.
 David—from the time of being anointed to assuming
power was about 15 years?
 Jeremiah—40 years of prophesying to a rebellious people?
It isn’t just imperfection and sinners with whom we need to learn
to be patient! Imperfect people need to learn patience with our
perfect God. But it’s not for the same reasons God is patient
towards us. His flows naturally towards lost sinners. Ours must
grow spiritual towards a perfect God.
ILL: The purposes of God often develop slowly because His
grand designs are never hurried and much bigger than ours. The
great New England preacher Phillips Brooks was noted for his
poise and quiet manner. At times, however, even he suffered
moments of frustration and irritability. One day a friend saw him
feverishly pacing the floor like a caged lion. “What’s the trouble,
Mr. Brooks?” he asked. “The trouble is that I’m in a hurry, but
God isn’t!”
Our human “hurry” tendency runs counter to God’s divine
design tendency.
Some of the greatest missionaries of history devotedly
spread the seed of God’s Word and yet had to wait long periods
before seeing the fruit of their efforts.
 William Carey, for example, labored 7 years before the first
Hindu convert was brought to Christ.
 In Burma, Adoniram Judson toiled 7 years before his faithful
preaching was rewarded.
 In western Africa, it was 14 years before one convert was
received into the Christian church.
 In New Zealand, it took 9 years.
 In Tahiti, it was 16 years before the first harvest of souls
Thomas a Kempis described that kind of patience in these words:
“He deserves not the name of patient who is only willing to suffer
as much as he thinks proper, and for whom he pleases. The truly
patient man asks (nothing) from whom he suffers, (whether) his
superior, his equal, or his inferior…But from whomever, or how

much, or how often wrong is done to him, he accepts it all as from
the hand of God, and counts it gain!” [Italics added.]
This is a different approach to people and things that
demand patience: God’s hand is somehow right in impatience-
provoking situations. Can we say that about the biblical
characters like Abraham, Joseph, Job and David? Well, if we can,
then why do we think our small and big inconveniences and
interruptions off that script?
This naturally leads us to Question #4-- When does God
call us to demonstrate patience? Let’s look at a few passages of
Scripture that call US to patience.
 James 5:7-8, 10—Therefore be patient, brethren, until the
coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce
of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late
rains.  8  You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the
coming of the Lord is near.  9  Do not complain, brethren,
against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged;
behold, the Judge is standing right at the door.  10  As an
example, brethren, of suffering and patience, take the prophets
who spoke in the name of the Lord.
--God calls us to patience about the “coming of the Lord”, i.e.
our entire lifetimes with God’s timing in the working out of
human history.
--God calls us to patience in suffering and persecution (like the
 Ephesians 4:1-2—Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, 
implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with
which you have been called,  2  with all humility and gentleness,
with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love….
--God calls us to patience with each other…whenever needed.
Where does patience come from? “Humility and gentleness”.
 Colossians 3:12-13—So, as those who have been chosen of
God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion,
kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;  13  bearing with one
another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint
against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should

--Again, patience is connected to humility, compassion,
kindness and gentleness towards one another.
 I Thess. 5:14—We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly,
encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with
--The ‘unruly’, the ‘fainthearted’, the ‘weak’…everyone!
 Galatians 6:9—Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due
time we will reap if we do not grow weary.
--Whenever we’re tempted to just give up, it is safe to say God has
another quality He is wanting to build into our character: patience.
Commenting on our need for this virtue, M. H. Lount has
said, “God’s best gifts come slowly. We could not use them if they
did not. Many a man, called of God to…a work in which he is
pouring out his life, is convinced that the Lord means to bring his
efforts to a successful conclusion. Nevertheless, even such a
confident worker grows discouraged at times and worries because
results do not come as rapidly as he would desire. But growth and
strength in waiting are results often greater than the end so
impatiently longed for. Paul had time to realize this as he lay in
prison. Moses must have asked, ‘Why?’ many times during the
delays in Midian and in the wilderness. Jesus Himself experienced
the discipline of delay in His silent years before His great public
ministry began.”
God wants us to see results as we work for Him, but His
first concern is our growth. That’s why He often withholds success
until we have learned patience. The Lord teaches us this needed
lesson through the blessed discipline of delay.
Question #3: What happens when we’re patient vs. impatient?
Another way to ask that would be, “What are the respective fruits
of patience and impatience.
Take a minute or so to talk to the people around you about this.
Divide a piece of paper into 2 columns.
--Wisdom --Folly
--Peace --Strife & conflict
--Love --Hatred
--Gratitude --Anger
--Bonded relationships --Broken relationship

--Fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22+) --Deeds of the flesh (Gal. 5:20)
-- Less stress/better health -- Health problems
HEALTH: When we are impatient, the body releases the stress
hormone cortisol. A study published in the Journal of the
American Medical Association (JAMA) showed that “stress
hormones stimulate platelets, making them more likely to clot in
arteries already narrowed by heart disease, a process that can result
in a heart attack. These hormones also cause the body’s fat cells
to release fat into the bloodstream.
This question naturally leads us to Question #2—Why is
patience so important? Besides the things we’ve just listed, it’s
pretty self-evident, especially if you’ve ever lived with an
impatient person. �� There is a whole lot of relational fallout or
benefit that comes from impatience or patience. Whenever we’re
lacking in a quality that God wants us to carry as His image-
bearers, there will always be negative consequences with other
people. But when those qualities are present, it is beautiful and
STORY: Perhaps you’ve heard the story of the New York City
taxi driver who arrived at the final stop of the day for his shift.
Nobody was there. So, he honked and waited. After a few
minutes, he honked again. Because it was his last stop, he was
tempted to just pull away and call it a day. Instead, he put the car
in park, turned off the engine and walked up to the door.
As he knocked, he heard an elderly woman’s voice, “Just a
minute.” Then there was some shuffling of bags across the floor.
The door opened. It was a small woman clearly in her 90’s with a
slight smile wearing a plain print dress and a pillbox hat. As she
answered, the taxi driver caught a glimpse inside the house. It
looked as if no one had lived there for years. All the furniture was
covered in sheets, no clocks or pictures on the wall, and no
knickknacks on the counters.
“Could you carry my bag?” the woman asked. The cab
driver walked her slowly down the steps of the front porch to the
cab. Once in the cab, the lady handed the driver an address and
asked, “Could you drive through downtown on the way?”
“That’s not the shortest way,” The driver answered.
“I’m in no hurry. I don’t mind.” Then she paused slightly, “I’m on
my way to hospice…”

The driver shared a quick glimpse in the rearview mirror, enough
for her to see his concern. She continued, “I don’t have any family
left. And the doctor says I don’t have very long.”
The driver quietly reached over and shut off the meter then asked,
“What route would you like me to take?” For the next two hours,
they drove through the city. She showed the driver where she once
worked, the neighborhood where she and her husband first lived, a
furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom when she was a
girl. There were a few parts of town she asked the driver to slow
down and she would gaze, staring into the darkness, saying
After a couple hours, she suddenly said, “I’m tired. Let’s
go now.” They drove in silence to the address she had given him.
When they arrived, two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as
they pulled up. They must have been expecting her. The driver
opened the trunk to take out the suitcase. As he shut the trunk, she
was already in the wheelchair.
“How much do I owe you?” She asked, reaching into her purse.
“Nothing,” said the driver.
“You have to make a living,” she protested.
“There are other passengers,” he responded.
Almost without thinking, the driver bent and gave the lady a hug.
She held on tightly.
“You gave an old woman a little bit of joy today,” she said.
“Thank you.”
The driver gave a final squeeze of the lady’s hand and the
two turned to go their separate ways. As he got in the car and
glanced her direction, the door to the facility was already shut.
He didn’t pick up any more passengers that night. In fact,
he could hardly see to drive. What if that woman had gotten an
angry or impatient driver? What if he had refused to get out and go
to her door? What if he’d been too impatient take the time driving
around the city? The taxi driver couldn’t shake the feeling that this
single elongated event could well have been one of the most
important moments of his life.
APP: We don’t usually receive such monumental decisions about
patience or impatience. But the reality is that patience can pay
such rich dividends while impatience always impoverishes our
souls…and usually our closest friendships.

But there in another side to why patience is so important: it has
everything to do with God and our relationship with Him.
 Lack of it will lead us into frustration, anger, accusing God.
How many people have torpedoed their faith because of their
impatience with God? How many of us have wasted years
angry at God because of our lack of patience?
 Lack of patience will grieve the Holy Spirit and rob us of His
fruit in our lives, cutting us off from a fresh, continual flow of
the life of Jesus in us. Has being impatient ever caused you to
feel closer to God? Ever made you feel more Christ-like? ☹
 On the other hand, the presence of patience will give us a trust
in God, a settled-ness with His sovereignty, an ability to be at
peace with whatever unfolds, knowing that God is working the
life of Christ into us every time we face situations that are
 Patience will always bond us to the Father’s heart more.
 It will always lead us into more faith in him and less
frustration with others. Hebrews 6:12 tells us that it is
“through faith and patience” that God’s people “inherit the
promises” of God has made to mankind.
Finally, #6: How do we shed impatience and grow in patience?
 Shift our THINKING. Patience is all about what is going on
in our heads, not really so much about what is going on in life.
It’s about life’s undesirable/unwelcomed events and our
responses to them. Instead of seeing them as things to be
avoided at all cost, why not see them as God’s hand and
another opportunity to experience God? Here’s some good
perspective from the 19th-century preacher A. B. Simpson:
“Beloved, have you ever thought that someday you will not
have anything to try you, or anyone to vex you again? There
will be no opportunity in heaven to learn or to show the spirit
of patience, forbearance, and longsuffering. If you are to
practice these things, it must be now.”
 Do some REFLECTING: Take some time to honestly
reflect on ourselves and our lack of patience. Ask yourself,
“When do I you feel most impatient (commute, end of day,
etc.)? What are my triggers?” Ask the Holy Spirit’s help in

doing this. Then make some adjustments. [Take TIME right
now to do this.]
o If the traffic makes me impatient, leave 5 minutes
earlier and start yielding to other drivers instead of
swearing at them.
o If dealing with government entities reveals my
impatience, pray before making the call or visit or
writing that letter.

 Ask a QUESTION: Learn to ask ourselves simple questions:
Will this matter later today? Next week? Next month? Next
 Change our PRACTICE: patience (instead of impatience) in
small ways each day: letting someone into traffic, holding the
door for another, listening to someone undistracted for 5 min.,
helping someone else who is expressing impatience find relief,
using stress and impatience as a prayer-trigger for me.
Patience does have a lot to do with not expecting to be treated a
certain way—with respect or kindness or consideration or even
common decency. That doesn’t mean we’re called to be doormats.
That has more to do with boundaries. And we have a whole
specialty class/group for that! �� But impatient people definitely
have themselves at the center of their universe while patient people
simply do not. Which is another reason why we all so desperately
need Jesus Christ!
[Call to faith in Jesus…especially if your impatience is destroying
the relationships around you.]
As we move into a time when more and more people are
self-absorbed, patience is going to be one of those virtues that not
only helps us to survive; it will help us live triumphantly in an
increasingly hostile world.