Patience is an active endurance of opposition, not a passive resignation. (Romans 12:12) Patience and patient are used to translate several Hebrew and Greek words. Patience is endurance, steadfastness, longsuffering, and forbearance. Patience is one of the characteristics of God. “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)
The Lord was patient with Israel for many generations. By his Spirit, he admonished them through prophets. But they did not listen or pay attention to them. Eventually, he sent them their enemies who defeated them. (Nehemiah 9:30) A person who is patient displays the character of God. A patient person has great understanding and love (Ephesians 4:2). Love is patient (1 Corinthians 13:4). Having the gift of faith in God enables me to be patient.
How can I be patient with enemies? How can I be patient with someone who shows no remorse or grief? How can I be patient with another who shows no sign of mature growth? How can I be patient with someone who commits the same error and sin over and over again? I can first remember that God is patient with me in those ways.
James 5:7-11 says, “Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. Don’t grumble against each other, brothers, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door! Brothers, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.”