Patience of the Saints Miss Wagner was worried. The afternoon field trip to the train museum with her class of second graders had gone well. The children had been interested and (for the most part) well behaved. She had been able to put a stop to Chad and Tim’s brief tussling match before anything had been damaged at the museum. She had been able to find a bathroom just in time for little Lindy, who, by rights, should still be in first grade. And all of the children had been picked up by their parents at the museum on time, all but one. Pamela Forsythe had not been picked up. Three o’clock had come and gone. Long gone, then four and now five. Miss Wagner did not have Pamela’s home phone number and, by this hour, there was no one left at the school of whom she could inquire. She did not know where Pamela lived and, what is more, little Pamela did not know either. Indianapolis, in the fall of 1964, was on edge with racial tension. The transportation museum was not in the best part of town and Miss Wagner was getting nervous. If she took Pamela home with her, she would have no way to let her parents know where the little girl was. With no way to contact them, she could do nothing but sit and wait. And wait. And wait. The teacher and the little girl played Eye Spy, Simon Says and various guessing games to pass the time. Repeatedly the teacher told the child not to worry, and little Pamela always said, “It’s alright, my Mom will come.” At a quarter after 5 o’clock, the man who ran the museum came out. He was worried, too. He did not like to drive off and leave a woman and child alone in
the gathering darkness of the parking lot. Finally, at 5:30 p.m., over two hours after the other children had been picked up, Mrs. Forsythe arrived in a flurry of apologies and explanations. She hugged her little girl who calmly climbed out of Teacher’s car and scrambled into Mother’s with a merry little wave, “Thank you, Miss Wagner! See you tomorrow!” Driving home, Miss Wagner marveled at how calm Pamela had been. She was not nervous. She was not scared. She was not worried. She knew that mother would come. The thought clearly never entered the little girl’s mind that mother might not come. Instead, she had been relaxed, cheerfully playing games and visiting with teacher. She had complete and total confidence that mother would come because mother had said she would. This total faith in her mother allowed Pamela to wait the long hours with patience. The New Testament is full of admonishments for believers to practice patience, and praise for those that do. It is very clearly an important spiritual attribute to possess. The problem is, most people do not understand precisely what is “patience,” as it is spoken of in Scripture. Remembering being scolded as a child to “Be patient!” they assume patience is nothing more than being calm when feeling bored at unexpected delay. Such a definition is supported by modern dictionaries which define patience as: “the will or ability to wait or endure without complaint.”1 Language, however, is fluid and few languages are more so than English, which is constantly adding words and changing definitions in its ever-expanding vocabulary. To grasp the full significance of what the Bible is referring to when it instructs believers to exercise “patience,” it is necessary to learn how the word was defined when the Bible translators selected it to represent the original Greek word. PATIENCE, The suffering of afflictions, pain, toil, calamity, provocation or other evil, with a calm, unruffled temper; endurance without murmuring or fretfulness. Patience may spring from constitutional fortitude . . . or from Christian submission to the divine will. . . . The act or quality of waiting long for justice or expected good without discontent.2
Far more than enduring boredom with a calm spirit, true Christian patience is founded upon faith and is a vital part of spiritual development. The trials that come into the lives of all are allowed by Yahuwah in order to develop spiritual strength and fortitude. In Romans five, Paul lays out the process by which patience is learned and the spiritual rewards that result: We glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of Yahuwah is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. (Romans 5:3-5)3 The struggles and trials that beset the path of all who follow Yahuwah are allowed by infinite Love. These very trials can be overcome only by faith and trust in divine power. This gives each person individual knowledge, individual experience that Yahuwah is trustworthy. “Patience” is available to all who will seek it. It is gained by choosing to trust Yahuwah in the daily life. This is a conscious choice. It is a decision that is not based upon feelings. Indeed, feelings (of fear, of doubt) must often be ignored when exercising faith. Faith is “the assent of the mind to the truth of what is declared by another, resting on his authority and veracity, without other evidence.”4 There are many things Yahuwah longs to do for His children, but if they do not choose to exercise faith, He is limited in what He can do for them. As Yahushua explained, “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.” (Mark 9:23)
When, in answer to the prayer of faith, Yahuwah works a mighty deliverance, gratitude is awakened in the heart. In turn, gratitude for blessings received inspires love. This is a self-perpetrating cycle for the love that is gained through this experience inspires still greater faith! Choose to believe the promises given in Scripture. These are Yahuwah’s words to you. Base your trust on your personal knowledge of Him as an all-powerful, all-loving Creator. It was for this very reason that Yahuwah has given countless promises in His Word. His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and piety, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust, and beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience [piety]; and to [piety] brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Master Yahushua the Annointed. (2 Peter 1:3-8) Those who trustingly submit to the divine will gain patience. They trust Yahuwah in all things, knowing that “man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of Yahuwah doth man live.” (Deuteronomy 8:3) When hurt or wronged by others, those who have patience do not seek revenge. They trust Yahuwah to right every wrong, claiming the promise: “Vengeance is Mine; I will repay, saith Yahuwah.” (Romans 12:19) Paul likened this experience to that of a long-distance race, encouraging: “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Yahushua, the author and finisher of our faith.” (Hebrews 12:1 and 2) The Christian life is like a long-distance race. It cannot be
won in a quick sprint. Rather it takes patience, a steadfast will and a willingness to wait long for the reward. The promises of Yahuwah’s Word are given to strengthen believers in their individual races. “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” (Romans 15:4) Revelation reveals that the final generation will possess the spiritual grace of patience. He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints. (Revelation 13:10) If any man worship the beast and his image . . . the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of Yahuwah . . . and the smoke of their torment ascendeth up forever and ever . . . Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of Yahuwah and the faith of Yahushua. (Revelation 14:9-12) It is interesting to note that each instance is given in the context of the final struggle between Yahushua and Satan. All who will overcome the devil in earth’s final struggle will do so only in the strength of Yahuwah. This strength is theirs through faith in their Redeemer. By exercising faith, based on their knowledge of His character, they will exercise patience. Like Yahushua in the Garden of Gethsamane, their faith will be tested to the uttermost. Like Yahushua on the cross, there will be times when, emotionally, they will feel as though their Heavenly Father has at last forsaken them. Like Yahushua, they will overcome by reposing their trust entirely in Yahuwah. They will submit their wills to the divine will and wait for Him to deliver in the way He knows best. They are content to wait long for justice, knowing deliverance and rewards beyond their wildest imagination will come to those who trust the Saviour. Yahushua’s words are part of their personal experience: “Ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolk’s, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake. But there shall not an hair of your head perish. In your patience possess ye your souls.” (Luke 21:16-19) The saints trust Yahuwah. They trust His promises. This trust has been built upon individual experience. They know that “Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.” (1 Thessalonians 5:24) They can endure hardship, persecution and scorn because they have complete confidence that Yahuwah will deliver them and the promised reward is sure. Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of Yahuwah, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul. (Hebrews 10:35-39)
All who develop patience through faith in Yahuwah shall be heirs of Yahuwah and joint heirs with Yahushua. But those who do not develop patience will be lost. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his Eloah, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. (Revelation 21:7 and 8.) This is a long, very comprehensive list of who are lost! It is no surprise that sorcerers, idolaters, liars, whoremongers and murderers should be lost. But the fearful? Why should a person be lost just because he is afraid? The answer is simple: the “fearful” are lost because they are “unbelieving.” Faith is simply taking Yahuwah at His word because of who and what He is (all-Love and all-Powerful), and needing no other evidence. Therefore, lack of faith in His promises is, in essence, calling Him a liar. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to Yahuwah must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (Hebrews 11:1 and 6.) This very vital yet personal experience was well summed up in the words of one gospel song: Faith is the essence of things unseen; The substance of things hoped for. Yahuwah’s Word has said it and I believe it For the miracle has happened to me. Yahuwah said it! And I believe it! And that settles it for me . . . Though some may doubt that His word is true I’ve chosen to believe it, now how about you? Yahuwah said it! And I believe it! And that settles it for me. If you do not have faith in Yahuwah to keep His promises, you will not have the patience to wait for Him to act on your behalf. You will not trust that He will send Yahushua to deliver all who trustingly wait for His return. Instead, you will fear. The Gospel of Matthew records the sad words spoken to all whom, through lack of faith, have failed to develop Biblical patience: Not everyone that saith unto me, Master, Master, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Master, Master, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (See Matthew 7:21-23.) But that does not have to be the fate of any! “The Master is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to
repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9) If you lack knowledge, if you lack faith, if you lack patience – ask Yahuwah for it! He will withhold no good thing from His children.
Because faith is not based upon feelings, make the simple choice today to trust in Him regardless of your feelings! Make it a habit to wait, trustingly, patiently upon Yahuwah. Count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of Yahuwah, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. (James 1:2-6) Make it a daily habit to rest in Yahuwah. Claim His promise, trust in His word. You, too, may have the patience of the saints and “inherit all things” with Yahushua our Saviour.
Faith is the Victory! This Day With Yahuwah 144,000: The Bride of Yahushua
Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary, Second ed., 1983.
Noah Webster, American Dictionary of the English Language, 1828.
All Scripture references taken from the King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise noted. The correct Names have been restored. 4