God is patient with sinners. Jesus perfectly models that for me. Jesus is my example. Jesus shows me the way. I can’t do it on my own.
Romans 2:4 says that God’s patience leads to our repentance. Romans 9:22 points out that only God’s patience prevents Him from destroying “the objects of his wrath.” Paul glorifies the Master for His “unlimited patience” that saved him, “the worst of sinners” (1 Timothy 1:16).
Peter highlights the patience of God in 1 Peter 3:20, pointing out that God had immense patience with the evil people of Noah’s day, delaying judgment as long as possible (Genesis 6).
Today, “our Master’s patience gives people time to be saved” (2 Peter 3:15). Jesus wants me to change my mind (repent).
Patience then, which is an attribute of our God and of our Master Jesus the Messiah, is also to characterize each disciple. Paul’s prayer for the Colossians is that they might demonstrate this quality. It is one of the fruits of the Spirit, an attribute of love, and a virtue.
In addition, disciples are exhorted to be patient. If we are not, we will be treated as the slave in the parable which Jesus told. This slave pleaded with his Master, to whom he owed a great sum, for patience, promising to pay all. The Master was patient and forgave all the debt, until he found out that the slave had refused to show the same patience to a fellow slave who owed him a pittance in comparison.
- Ephesians 4:2 — 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love,
- Matthew 18:26–35 — 26 “So the slave fell to the ground and prostrated himself before him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you everything.’ 27 “And the Master of that slave felt compassion and released him and forgave him the debt. 28 “But that slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and he seized him and began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay back what you owe.’ 29 “So his fellow slave fell to the ground and began to plead with him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you.’ 30 “But he was unwilling and went and threw him in prison until he should pay back what was owed. 31 “So when his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were deeply grieved and came and reported to their Master all that had happened. 32 “Then summoning him, his Master said to him, ‘You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33 ‘Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, in the same way that I had mercy on you?’ 34 “And his Master, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him. 35 “My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.”
- 1 Corinthians 13:4 — 4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant,
- Galatians 5:22 — 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
- Colossians 1:11 — 11 strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously
- Colossians 3:12 — 12 So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;
- 1 Thessalonians 5:14 — 14 We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone.
- 2 Timothy 4:2 — 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.
- James 5:7–8 — 7 Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Master. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. 8 You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Master is near.