The patience of Job

James 5--11

On May 17, 2017 let us take a look at the one of the “longest words in the dictionary”: “patience.” Although it has only eight letters, this enduring virtue has a familiar synonym “longsuffering.” In teaching children a Scripture Memory Song of the fruit of the spirit in the King James Version, the first syllable of “l-o-n-n-n-n-g-g-g-g-g-g-suffering” was sung strongly for several seconds in an exaggerated way to emphasize the meaning of the term. In looking at patience in the Bible, we can learn much about this essential component of life.

Recently the Verse of the Day looked at James 1: 2-4, a passage that ends with a reference to patience:

“But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”

That blog entry also brought to mind a more extensive discussion of patience from which the following excerpt is taken:

The passage pinpoints the importance of the character trait of patience or endurance or perseverance, steadfastly bearing up under and remaining faithful while waiting. Patience is a fruit of the Spirit that should be evident in our lives, as we wait on the Lord. One of the words related to “patience”  or being patient as a verb means “to stay, remain, abide”, literally abiding under; figuratively, to undergo, i.e. bear (trials), have fortitude, to persevere — abide, endure.  The word translated patience as a noun is also translated: endurance, patient enduring, perseverance, and steadfastness.

Another passage from James stresses the importance of patience, providing an excellent example of both the verb and the noun in a particular individual who embodies the character trait of patient endurance:

James 5:7-11 (AMP):

Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. 8You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. 9Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned. Behold, the Judge is standing at the door! 10My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and patience. 11Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord—that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.

In discussing Job, whom Chuck Swindoll described as a “man of heroic endurance,” we also note some distinctive features of the Book of Job. Although it is not listed with the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible, E.W. Bullinger and other Bible scholars believe that the first book written was the Book of Job, believed to be composed by Moses. Job, was, indeed, a real person, and his account is one of the first demonstrations of many spiritual principles: God is “full of compassion and tender mercy” and that he rewards those who demonstrate “patience.”

Recall Job 42:10:

And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the     LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.

Nate Wolf  in The Gatekeepers: Whatever God Can Get Through You, He Will Get to You further comments about the classic Biblical example of endurance:

Job’s patience was the golden secret that helped him overcome the pain he faced. Patience is more than just having the ability to not become angry in a difficult situation. Patience is the power that will carry you through the painful moments of life into the pleasurable moments of life. . . . The patience of God within you will always outlast the pain that’s trying to come upon you. .  . . Patience is the power that will keep you in the proper place and mindset, during discomfort or pain, until you possess your final promise and reach your ultimate purpose.

This discussion of the importance of patience also brings this to mind:

A Prayer for Patience

“My suggestion for people in a season of birth or 

is to write out a prayer for patience and pray it every day.”  

Graham Cooke


For you have need of steadfast patience and endurance,

so that you may perform and fully accomplish the will of God,

and thus receive and carry away [and enjoy to the full] what is promised.

Hebrews 10:36 (Amplified Bible)


We look back and pause and then look ahead to see

All that God is and all He plans for us to be.

We still journey down the road less traveled by

And pray that patience may serve as a trusted ally.

We must say “No” to the pressures of this life

And say “Yes” to the rest God gives, despite the strife.

As we stay our minds on Him, we abide in peace.

When we praise God, works of the enemy decrease.

May we remain and not fall by the wayside as some

But like Job wait until at last our change shall come.

Patient endurance seems delayed for some reason,

But fruit abounds to those who wait in this season.

We pray that in this time of transition and shift

That we embrace waiting as a wonderful gift.

We conclude with John Waller offering “While I’m Waiting”:




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