Patient endurance

The verse posted on the homepage of Logos Bible Software on July 18, 2019, comes from one of the scriptures discussed in yesterday’s post: Hebrews 12:1(New Living Translation):

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.

The phrase “run with endurance” caught my attention, as I recall some translations use the word “patience” or “patient endurance.” Since patience or perseverance is a fruit of the spirit that seems to be an important part of my life at this time, I decided to examine one of the expressions used for patience: patient endurance. The term involves remaining under some discipline, subjecting one’s self to something which demands the yielding of the will to something against which one naturally would rebel. It means cheerful (or hopeful) endurance, constancy — enduring, patience, patient continuance (waiting). It is a bearing up in a way that honors and glorifies our heavenly Father, not merely to grin and bear it. As a noun, the term appears throughout the New Testament being translated: endurance, patient enduring, perseverance, and steadfastness.

In 2 Thessalonians 3:5 (NLT), Paul speaks of his desire for believers:

May the Lord lead your hearts into a full understanding and expression of the love of God and the patient endurance that comes from Christ.

Romans 5:3-4 speaks of the end-product of going through various trials and difficult situations we encounter as believers:

3 And not only this but [with joy] let us exult in our sufferings and rejoice in our hardships, knowing that hardship (distress, pressure, trouble) produces patient endurance; 4 and endurance, proven character (spiritual maturity); and proven character, hope and confident assurance [of eternal salvation].

James 5:11 (NLT) provides an excellent example of someone who embodies the character trait of patient endurance: Job.

11 We give great honor to those who endure under suffering. For instance, you know about Job, a man of great endurance. You can see how the Lord was kind to him at the end, for the Lord is full of tenderness and mercy.

Chuck Swindoll described him as a “man of heroic endurance,” a real person who illustrates the spiritual principles that God is “full of compassion and tender mercy” and that he rewards those who demonstrate “patience.”

Hebrews 10:36 (AMP) also reinforces the message patience precedes what one is striving to achieve:

For you have need of patient endurance [to bear up under difficult circumstances without compromising], so that when you have carried out the will of God, you may receive and enjoy to the full what is promised.

Previously, while working on a teaching related to patience, I read about an apple orchard run by “Farmer Johnson” in Washington State, an individual with whom I spiritually identified. Reading about the apples produced by this individual also inspired the following poem which opens with Hebrews 6:12, another reference using “patient endurance” or patience.

Farmer Johnson

That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who
through faith and patience inherit the promises.
Hebrews 6:12

He leadeth me, He leadeth me,
By His own hand He leadeth me;
His faithful follower I would be,
For by His hand He leadeth me.
Lyrics by Joseph H. Gilmore

Farmer Johnson owns orchards in Washington State.
His apples are renowned and said to be the best.
As scriptures remind us to labor and to rest,
This Farmer Johnson is patient and learns to wait
For the bountiful fruit of his harvest season.
Patience now abounds to complete and perfect me,
As I walk by faith, despite all that I may see.
I assess my times and unfold the real reason
For all the trials and seeming setbacks that came.
At times I felt as though being torn asunder
But like Job, I still abide and bear up under.
God yet delivers those who call upon His name.
Committed to go wherever the Lord shall send,
A faithful follower, I endure to the end.

As a youngster I recall singing this hymn “He Leadeth Me” countless times, performed here by the Michael Curb Congregation.

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