BY PASTOR T. O. BANSO
“For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, 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” (Hebrews 10:36-38 King James Version).
Lack of patience has cost several people the fruits of their labour. They labored but they were not patient enough for the fruits to mature; they gave up. That was wasted labour. You need patience. The Greek word translated “patience”, in the scripture, above is hupomone, which means “cheerful (or hopeful) endurance, constancy.”
Instead of the word patience used in that scripture in the King James Version, the New Living Translation uses the phrase “patient endurance” while the New King James Version uses the word “endurance.” They are all saying the same thing.
The patience of the farmer
“Meanwhile, friends, wait patiently for the Master’s Arrival. You see farmers do this all the time, waiting for their valuable crops to mature, patiently letting the rain do its slow but sure work. Be patient like that. Stay steady and strong. The Master could arrive at any time” (James 5:7-8 The Message). The New King James Version uses the phrase “be patient” instead of “wait patiently.” The Greek word for “be patient” is makrothumeo which means to be long-spirited, i.e. forbearing or patient.
God says we should cultivate the patience of the farmer. The farmer clears the land and plants. The rain falls and does its slow work. It looks as if nothing is happening but so much is happening inside the soil, not visible to the human eyes. It’s a slow but steady process. The seed dies and thereafter begins to germinate inside the soil. After some time, it sprouts and keeps growing over a period of time, while the farmer cultivates the land and waits patiently for harvest time.
The parable of the Kingdom of God that Jesus told in Mark 4:26-29 shows the patience of the farmer that we need to cultivate in the complete realization of the purpose of God for our lives. “Jesus also said, ‘Here is another illustration of what the Kingdom of God is like: A farmer planted seeds in a field, and then he went on with his other activities. As the days went by, the seeds sprouted and grew without the farmer’s help, because the earth produces crops on its own. First a leaf blade pushes through, then the heads of wheat are formed, and finally the grain ripens. And as soon as the grain is ready, the farmer comes and harvests it with a sickle’” (Mark 4:26-29 New Living Translation).
Luke 8:15 says, “But the seed in the good earth – these are the good-hearts who seize the Word and hold on no matter what, sticking with it until there’s a harvest” (Luke 8:15 The Message). Results require patience. You must stick to what you’re doing with patience until there is a result – harvest. Being patient means that you keep on doing what you’re doing, no matter what you are experiencing until your expectation begins to manifest, and until you begin to receive your desired end.
Hope has to do with the future, and you need patience to get what you hope for. Without patience, you cannot realize your hope. “Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled” (Romans 15:4 New Living Translation).
1 Peter 5:10 says, “In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation” (New Living Translation). The sad story is that some people quit because of the suffering, which is just temporary.
Patience is waiting on God to make things right for you! Will you be able to wait till God makes things right for you? If you don’t have steady patience, you can’t have great results; you can’t receive what God has in store for you.
The danger of impatience
Proverbs 19:2b says, “Impatience will get you into trouble” (Good News Translation). The New Century Version puts it this way: “If you act too quickly, you might make a mistake.” Impatience makes someone take shortcuts, which may cut him short! Impatience makes one produce another child other than Isaac that God has promised!
Impatience prolongs one’s journey; it delays and hinders one from getting to the destination God has for one. Learn from Abraham’s mistake in Genesis 16 – how he produced a child that God had not promised him. The problem that the mistake created is still with us today.
Don’t want everything “now, now” – immediately, without delay, instantly. There are things not meant for you immediately. Be patient. Sometimes when you’re not patient you may become a patient!
Don’t cheat. Don’t be unethical. Hebrews 6:12 tells us to be imitators of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. The Greek word used for patience, in this scripture, is makrothumia which also means forbearance or fortitude.
Don’t follow those who are desperate to have it now, by all means, those who don’t want to wait to receive from God. Faith and patience are usually the way of God and you can’t have too much of it. Hebrews 10:36 says, “For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise” (King James Version). Are you ready to wait for God? Isaiah 28:16 says, “Whoever believes will not act hastily” (New King James Version).
“When I was with you, I certainly gave you proof that I am an apostle. For I patiently did many signs and wonders and miracles among you” (2 Corinthians 12:12 New Living Translation). He again refers to the place of patience in his ministry, in his letter to Timothy, his son in the ministry. “But you, Timothy, certainly know what I teach, and how I live, and what my purpose in life is. You know my faith, my patience, my love, and my endurance” (2 Timothy 3:10 New Living Translation).
If you are impatient, you will be frustrated. Only God knows how many ministers have already given up in their respective ministries because of “lack of result.” Not because the result would not come, but either because their definition of “result” was wrong or they were impatient to wait for the result to start manifesting. Many others are on the verge of being frustrated. When this happens, only the devil and his kingdom actually benefit; it is a loss to the Kingdom of God. I pray that the LORD will strengthen such ministers and also reinstate those who have quit because of discouragement from the lack of visible results in ministry.
Let me show you an instance in the ministry of Paul with regard to patience. It will help you to appreciate the importance of patience in the ministry or any enterprise God has committed into your hands. “Then Paul went to the synagogue and preached boldly for the next three months, arguing persuasively about the Kingdom of God. But some rejected his message and publicly spoke against the Way, so Paul left the synagogue and took the believers with him. Then he began preaching daily at the lecture hall of Tyrannus. This went on for the next two years, so that people throughout the province of Asia — both Jews and Greeks — heard the Lord’s message. God gave Paul the power to do unusual miracles, so that even when handkerchiefs or cloths that had touched his skin were placed on sick people, they were healed of their diseases, and any evil spirits within them came out” (Acts 19:8-12 New Living Translation).
From this passage, Paul didn’t seem to be making any significant impact in Ephesus during the three months of preaching in the synagogue. In fact, some people rejected his message and publicly spoke against the Way. He relocated to the lecture hall of Tyrannus. He continued his lecture there for two years, during which the power of God broke loose in his ministry, with diverse kinds of signs and wonders. Before he got to that level, he needed to exercise patience.
Are you ready to wait long enough for God to do what He wants to do for you, in your ministry, and through your ministry? Are you ready to wait for God for a breakthrough in that business, project, etc.?
In 1Timothy 6:11, Paul, writing to Timothy, his son in the ministry, and by extension, every servant of God, said he should flee from certain evil things and pursue certain things. It is important to know that included in the list of what to pursue is patience. In other words, he should practise patience. You can’t succeed without it. Other things on the list are righteousness and godliness, faith, love, and gentleness. No matter how anointed, intelligent, hard-working, etc. you are, without patience, you will destroy what you have done.
Constantly strive for patience. Be known as a man of patience. “A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people” (2 Timothy 2:24 New Living Translation). People who teach, but are not patient, destroy their students. Effective teachers are patient. Ministers must be patient with people. You need enough time to make an appreciable impact.
Patience in relationships
In your relationship with people, be patient. Those who are not patient with people always have a problem keeping relationships. If you’re not patient, you may end up walking alone in life, because you won’t give people allowance – some measure of leniency! Ephesians 4:2b says, “Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love” (New Living Translation). Make allowance for people’s faults. Nobody is perfect, including you.
It takes time for people to change; give them time to change. And that means you have to be patient. I’m not talking about people who’re deliberately out to injure you or harm you. You can’t force yourself on people. It takes more than one party to be in a relationship. Friendship is not by force; it is by choice. What the Bible says is that you put in your best to live in peace with others. Romans 12:18 says, “Do your best to live in peace with everyone” (New Century Version).
The New King James Version renders Romans 12:18 thus: “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.” That means the Bible acknowledges that sometimes living in peace with everyone requires more than your own efforts alone. You can do all you should do, but the other person fails to do what he should do for peace to reign. You’re not responsible for what he should do that he didn’t do; you’re only responsible for what you should do. Do all you should do for peaceful relationships. The New Living Translation renders that scripture, Romans 12:18, thus: “Do your part to live in peace with everyone, as much as possible.” Did you see that? Do your part for peace to reign.
However, generally speaking, human beings don’t come as ‘ready-made’, including you. Everybody has issues that he is dealing with in his life. So be patient with people. If you’re not patient with people, you may get rid of them from your life too soon or they quit themselves. The other option is that they may be around you or with you, pretending to be who they’re not or what they’re not. That is not good for either you or them.
Some people change faster than others. It takes a long time for others to change. Remember 2 Timothy 2:24 says, “A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people” (New Living Translation). Be patient with people, but be also sensitive when the Holy Spirit is telling you to end a troubled relationship.1 Thessalonians 5:14d says, “Be patient with everyone” (New Living Translation).
Husband and wife, who are impatient with each other, may end up with separation or divorce, contrary to God’s will for them. God’s will for marriage is a lifetime commitment. Be patient with your spouse, but don’t continue to expose yourself to domestic violence that can lead to physical harm or death. You may have to leave the unrepentant abuser first, for the person to come to his or her senses or for the resolution of the dispute.
Develop relational skills
An impatient man will fail in life. Develop people skills; increase your social intelligence. With God all things are possible, but without the right people in your life and around you, you’ll achieve so little with your life’s dream. Without people skills, relational skills, you’ll be alone.
Don’t have a reputation for not getting along with people or of not being able to accommodate people. Be careful so that you don’t fall prey to the temptation of arrogance in leadership; always lead with humility, no matter the height of your success. Arrogance in leadership is self-destructive. Even if you tolerate such leaders, they still have a way of exhausting others’ endurance.
In order to be able to get along with people, recognize that people are different, and they have assets and liabilities just like you. They’re not perfect, and you are not perfect either. Therefore, walk in love and humility. Avoid strife. Be considerate and give people allowance – be tolerant; be forgiving. Show gratitude and approval. Honour people and appreciate the people God has given you; don’t frustrate them.
Hebrews 12:14 says, “Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord” (New King James Version). Pursue peace, just as you pursue patience, as I said earlier. 2 Timothy 2:22b also says we should pursue peace with those who call on the LORD out of a pure heart. Peace is such an important thing that you must pursue and secure. Do your best to live in peace with people and leave the rest to them and to God. On your part, do nothing through strife or vain-glory (Philippians 2:3a).
Conclusion: This earth is not meant for you alone; you need the right people to partner with you or work with you to realize your purpose in life. Except you have good interpersonal skills, you will put them off as they come close to you. If you want to live a productive life, learn to get along with people.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The LORD be with you.
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
WhatsApp No: +2349081295947