This was one of those times I was asking so many questions that my hubby found a book to help me. As you know (if you’ve read my posts about studying the Word), I’ve been trying to read the bible in chronological order and haven’t made it through. Why? I may only start to read in a scheduled amount of time, fifteen minutes to half an hour, but often I end up spending one to two hours because I just can’t put it down. Also, once I start looking at corresponding references, I often get lost in one of “those” chapters. Therefore, I keep going back to Genesis because there is so much to learn and I often feel I haven’t understood enough to keep going.
I’m actually trying to gain a mental picture of the events chronologically and as they correspond to what we have learned in world history. If I don’t know what history of the world has occurred at that time, I take even more time to look it up and check my Chronology of Ancient, Modern, and Biblical History Timeline Panels. If I figure out a better plan, I’ll let you know. For now, I decided to bounce on over to read the book of Revelation.
The book is called, Revelation Unveiled by Dustin Abbott and so far, I recommend it. (However, always check what others write. Don’t take their word as absolute. Rather, use what others write as stepping stones for your own study.) Abbott takes you through each verse in the book of Revelation and corresponding scriptures. When I read Rev 2:2&3 I saw the word patience and of course stopped to read it a second and third time. I had no idea there would be a correlation between the book of revelation and patience. John includes patience in these scriptures, as he commends the church while guiding them (warning them). As I started to paraphrase what the author wrote, I couldn’t do it in a way that had the same impact and eloquence. Here’s Revelation 2:2:
“2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:” Rev 2:2 (AKJV)
Abbott explains that Jesus is talking to the church of Ephesus, drawing attention to works, labor, and patience to endure. For this post I am only focusing on the word patience as it is the focus of the website.
Abbott writes, “The labor that would drive Ephesus and the early church to tears and sorrow was balanced by their third characteristic: patience. The literal meaning of the word patience is that they endured…and survived. They experienced grief. They went through trials. They pounded upon their breast in sorrow, but they endured. They have not given up, they have not returned to the world, but they have pressed on” (Abbott, 2007).
These are very important and key phrases: endured, survived, and pressed on! I wasn’t planning on hearing about patience in Revelation. But I’m glad I did! It further drives home the importance of my journey (your journey) “on the Road to Patience.” Verse 3 mentions the word patience again:
“3 And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.” Rev 2:3 (AKJV)
“According to Scripture, they performed the work of Christ patiently, which is the reason that they have seen results. “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Galations 6:9). They worked tirelessly and patiently, did not faint, and for this they were blessed with revival” (Abbott, 2007).
And while I’m on the topic of patience, I’d like note that it could help us be, “in the moment” a little more. I want to say that it could help us be better present, but that just doesn’t sound right. Being in the moment helps us connect with whatever is going on at that moment. I think Jesus would have something to say about all of our multitasking and distractions while attempting to connect with others. Oh wait! He did!
38 As they went on their way, he entered into a certain village, and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she came up to him, and said, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister left me to serve alone? Ask her therefore to help me.”
41 Jesus answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, 42 but one thing is needed. Mary has chosen the good part, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42 (WEB)
So often we are impatient, hustling about, trying to get things done, checking off our to-dos, or doing this and that, and before we know it, time has flown by. Think of how much less stressed you’d be if you were more patient in your day-to-day living.
Here’s a recent example of what could have been anger and stress, but because I was patient, all was right in the world. Today, after getting coffee, I went to get into my car. A man was in front of me and so focused on his cell phone that he didn’t see me walk up to my car door at the same time that he was walking up to his. I stopped and waited (without having impatience emanating from my body). He must have sensed my presence though because he looked up and said, “I’m sorry, please, go ahead of me. You know how electronics distract us from what’s going on around us. Sorry.”
I could have been sarcastic or rude and said something like, “Excuse ME!” to get him to stop reading his text sooner, but instead I stood quietly and watched him, waiting for him to get into his car that was parked very close to mine. He appreciated it and smiled as he apologized. We both smiled and went on with our day instead of allowing anger and frustration to take over, and letting it ruin that moment (and if you’re normal), the next half hour talking about it.
Patience my friends… That’s what it’s about. It’s a process to become patient in all things.
Remember this…the word patience or forms thereof are in the bible somewhere between 35 to 50 times, (could be more but I haven’t gotten that far). Think of how much you miss by not slowing down.
“‘I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first. Hebrews 12:1 ESV
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Luke 8:15 ESV
To those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 1 Thessalonians 5:14 ESV
If I find more on patience as I go through the book of Revelation, I’ll let you know. Better yet, how about you look them up and put them in the comments below with your own thoughts. That would be wonderful!!!
My prayer for you: May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy. 1 Timothy 1:12-17 ESV
© 2015 Susie Glennan
All Rights Reserved.
WEB – World English Bible
ESV – English Standard Version
AKJV – Authorized (King James) Version
More references of the word (or form there of) patience:
Rev. 2:19 – “I know your works, your love, faith, service, patient endurance, and that your last works are more than the first.
Rev. 3:10 – 10 Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.