The patience of God and the patience of Job

The Verse of the Day for June 28, 2017 brings to our remembrance that God is faithful to fulfill each of His promises, and that He is also patient:

2 Peter 3:9 (Message Bible):

[The Day the Sky Will Collapse] Don’t overlook the obvious here, friends. With God, one day is as good as a thousand years, a thousand years as a day. God isn’t late with his promise as some measure lateness. He is restraining himself on account of you, holding back the End because he doesn’t want anyone lost. He’s giving everyone space and time to change.

The New Living Translation renders the verse this way:

The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.

At times it may appear that our Father is slow when He does not respond to our requests when we think that He should. Just as God is patient, He instructs us to be patient. We must remember that God may not be early, but He is never late. Just as God is being patient toward us, we are, likewise, encouraged to be patient toward God and toward one another:

Another related verse is found in Hebrews 10:36 in the Amplified Bible:

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.

The following excerpt from a previous blog post offered a more detailed discussion of the character trait of patience or endurance or perseverance, meaning steadfastly bearing up under and remaining faithful while waiting. Patience, as a fruit of the Spirit 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.

In addition, another passage from James 5:7-11 stresses the importance of patience and provides an excellent example of both the verb and the noun in a particular individual who embodies the character trait of patient endurance:

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.

In his book, The Gatekeepers, Nate Wolf has this to say 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.

The Verse of the Day and other related passages along with the Book of Job demonstrate the compassionate and merciful qualities of God, who is patient and who rewards those who demonstrate “patience.” Our discussion also brings to mind a statement from Graham Cooke  used to introduce this poem:

A Prayer for Patience

“My suggestion for people in a season of birth or

upgrade 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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