Patience: October 2021

Table of Contents

1. Patience
2. Patience for Today
3. Christ's Patience
4. Patience and Wisdom
5. Power in Patience
6. Patience in Pressure
7. Patience of Hope
8. Bringing Forth Fruit With Patience
9. Ye Have Need of Patience (Heb. 10:36)
10. I Waited Patiently for Jehovah
11. Faith and Patence
12. The Man of Sorrows, of Patience and of Joy


Hurry, worry, wait! Most know the meaning of those two first words! It is an oft-repeated expression, "Oh, do make haste! I am in such a hurry, I cannot wait!" Does not hurry bring worry and cause wasted strength?
Do we not remember, when we were children, the spirit of impatience that prompted us to help the crocus out of its silver covering? We longed to see them expand, but, alas! our childish fingers hurried God's work and spoiled that which would have been beautiful, had it had the whole time He intended to give it in which to expand. How many children ask for the unripe fruit and will take no denial! It looks pretty, though green; it must be nice. But it is not yet ripe.
The past year plus may have been one of worry and unrest. And if we have yielded to this, our peace has been disturbed, our spirits fretted, and communion lost. Trials have come and gone; have we learned in any measure the truth of Isaiah 28:16, "He that believeth shall not make haste"? Believing in the Lord and His power gives patience, and the questioning spirit of “Why?” and “How?” is lulled to rest.
There is so much said about waiting on the Lord in the Scriptures — so much to encourage patience. “Wait on the Lord all the day” (Psa. 25:5; 27:14). God, not man, is in control of the affairs of our lives. “Wait thou only upon God” (Psa. 62:5).
No hurry, no worry, can we have, and patience can we have, if we “wait on the LORD.”
Christian Truth, Vol. 20 (adapted)

Patience for Today

Patience has always been an important ingredient in the Christian life. It is an interesting observation that patience (or endurance) is not mentioned in the Old Testament, although doubtless that quality was necessary and exercised among Old Testament believers. For example, Abraham was not given an inheritance in this world — “not so much as to set his foot on” (Acts 7:5)—and he waited patiently for it in resurrection. However, in this dispensation of grace we are given far greater promises — promises of heavenly blessings—and are exhorted many times as to patience in waiting for the fulfillment of them. Yet how often this necessary virtue seems to elude us!
No Complaining
Patience may be defined as the enduring of that which is uncomfortable or painful, without complaining. This is a quality that is fast disappearing in the world of today — a world that is fast-paced and more and more self-centered. Of course, on the surface, there are many reasons for us to be impatient today, and all of us could make a list of what aggravates us the most. For some it might be something as simple as telemarketers; for others, it might be constant glitches encountered in navigating websites. Others find traffic jams to be a real problem, or long lines that must be endured in order to get necessary things. Still another frustration is that often people do not do what they are supposed to do, thus causing delays and a wasting of others’ time. The present COVID-19 pandemic has aggravated the problem greatly, as long lines have become even longer, goods are often not available, and restrictions on our socializing, travel and entertainment have become routine.
Many in this world are ready to be patient, as long as everything works out well within a reasonable time. Margaret Thatcher once famously remarked: “I am extraordinarily patient, provided I get my own way in the end.” However, everyone has his own definition of how long he can wait for something to happen, and we are now witnessing how the patience of many is, as the saying goes, “wearing thin.” COVID restrictions have, for the most part, been respected in Western countries, but as time goes on, more and more people are flouting the law. The problem has been exacerbated by multiple examples of leaders who impose regulations on others while secretly disregarding the same rules themselves. The usual apology and explanation is supposed to cover the matter: “I was acting with my heart, not my head.”
Defiance and Anger
Far more serious than these responses are the extreme reactions of a few, who, filled with impatience and frustration, assume an attitude of either despair or defiance, coupled with anger. This results in such entities as domestic violence, rude behavior, road rage, and, in some cases, mass shootings, often associated with suicide on the part of the perpetrator. This kind of behavior in turn is causing concern among many, as they perceive the world descending into chaos.
All of this is felt by believers as well as unbelievers, but surely our reactions ought to be different. Yes, we do feel the condition of things in this world, and we are surely sensitive to the general incivility, anger and impatience that are overtaking this world. The world around us may exercise a degree of patience, but eventually it will “wear thin,” for the horizon of this world is only the life down here. If the affairs of this life are impacted too severely, frustration erupts into disobedience and eventually violence.
Many verses in the New Testament bring patience before us. It is one of the positive results of tribulation (Rom. 5:3); it is one of the results of having a firm future hope (Rom. 8:25); it is one of the qualities that approved the Apostle Paul and others as ministers of Christ (2 Cor. 6:4); indeed, it was one of the cardinal signs of an apostle (2 Cor. 12:12). It was one of the characteristics of believers in the face of persecution (2 Thess. 1:4); it is how we run the race of the Christian pathway (Heb. 12:1); finally, and most important, it is characteristic of our blessed Lord and Master (2 Thess. 3:5 JND). In view of all this, patience should be part of us as Christians, for we have a hope beyond this world, and “the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Rom. 8:18). It is only a “little while” until the Lord will come for us, and then eternity will overtake time.
Indolence or Indifference
However, it is important to note that patience (or endurance) is not indolence or indifference. Sometimes what passes for patience is really an “I don’t care” attitude, where laziness overtakes us, and we have given up. Thus, we do nothing positive in our lives. No, patience for the believer is not passivity or resignation. Rather, the believer who is walking with the Lord will be steadily enjoying the Lord in His soul, while at the same time willing to do the Lord’s work down here, whatever that may be. His heart, soul and mind will be active, even if he may temporarily be immobilized as to active service, as was Paul when he was in prison. He accepts with patience what the Lord allows in his life, but waits in dependence for doors to be opened for him.
The End Reward
Most of the false religions in this world also emphasize patience, as if it were a virtue in itself, even though there is nothing to be gained by it. This is what Satan does; he advocates patience, but there is nothing at the other end. It is like waiting in a long line, only to find that when you finally get to the head of the line, there is nothing for you. It is this mentality that has caused many in this world to adopt the attitude laid out by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:32: “Let us eat and drink; for tomorrow we die.” If there is nothing beyond this world and the future appears bleak, then by all means let us recklessly enjoy the moment. But Christianity is all about giving up present gratification in order to have future gain. The Apostle John exemplifies this attitude when he says, “I John, your brother and fellow-partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and patience, in Jesus” (Rev. 1:9 JND). Tribulation, the kingdom, and patient waiting for it are all tied together, and in the name of our Savior — Jesus. The Christian’s patience will be well rewarded! “The Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patience of Christ” (2 Thess. 3:5 JND).
W. J. Prost

Christ's Patience

The present constant expectation of the coming of Christ stamps its own character on the Christian: “Ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding” (Luke 12:36). It is by this that the Christian in his mind and thoughts becomes associated with Christ Himself. You find this especially in the letter to the church at Philadelphia, for there, besides keeping His Word and not denying His name, you read, “Because thou hast kept the word of My patience” (Rev. 3:10). Whose patience? Christ’s. Christ is waiting, and He is waiting a great deal more truly and earnestly than we are. We are waiting for Him, and He is waiting for us with all the love that the Bridegroom bears to the bride.
True, He is waiting until His enemies be made His footstool, but for His friends He has perfected His work, and He sits expecting this subjugation of His enemies, and then He will rise up to judgment. He does not know the time in that sense (of course, as God, He does), for it is not a revealed thing yet.
He is waiting, and we wait for Him; so complete is the association, now in spirit and then in glory, that save His personal glory, He cannot take any glory until He has us with Him, for we are joint heirs with Him. In the address to the church at Philadelphia we get, “I know thy works,” but there is not a word said about them; the saints must be content to wait till the Lord comes.
“Because thou hast kept the word of My patience”; that was Christ’s own path down here, and we are to walk in it now, at the end of a dispensation which, as an outward system, has wholly departed from God.
J. N. Darby

Patience and Wisdom

James 1:3-5
The Christian is seen by James in trying circumstances, the common lot of faith in this world. The desired effect to be produced by God’s thus dealing with him is patience. But it is to be patience in continuance, otherwise it cannot be said to have its “perfect work” in him. Here Job failed. I learn patience by having my own will broken (brought into submission), and to this end the trials are allowed. I learn that God is for me (in the trials) in order that I should be content with and do His will.
But while patience must be thus learned because it is according to God, and we have to act on earth for Him, and patience is simply waiting on His will, yet it does not suppose indifference or inactivity. When it is a question of His will for me in everything, I know that His way must be right. Hence, I learn patience in ceasing from doing my own will. And then another thing comes in. I need wisdom in my daily path, for I must avoid slothfulness, so that in all I do I may be wise, that is, just doing as He would have me do in the circumstances of my daily life. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God.” It supposes patience first, as a thing already learned, and subjection to His will, to what He is doing. Then, needing instruction, I ask, What am I to do? This is where the need of wisdom comes in, and it is given to me liberally, if I ask with no will of my own in exercise. If I have my own will in exercise, I am a double-minded man: “Let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord.”
Finally, as to “patience” and “wisdom,” to be so much desired by and for us all as Christians, I would add that I believe that no “impatient” man will ever be found to be a “wise” man, either in his own things or in the church. These things must not be taken out of their divine order. But, on the other hand, there is every hope and every prospect that a “patient” Christian man, however humble, will be found someday, at some trying moment perhaps, to have become, to the surprise of some, a “wise” man. The divine order is first “patience,” then “wisdom.”
H. Anstey (adapted)

Power in Patience

I would like to take up the subject of power in patience, not in a doctrinal way, but rather in a practical way, as it relates to our path during the present day.
God gave us power to become sons (John 1:12). It was His mighty power that took us out of the condition of death and seated us together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Eph. 1:3). It is this same power which is the inner enabling that will give us to live a life and walk a path that agrees with our relationship to God and our standing in Christ.
Strengthened With All Might
Let us turn to Colossians 1:11: “Strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, unto all patience and long-suffering with joyfulness.” How far removed from our thoughts is the precious truth presented here! “All might” and “glorious power” are coupled with the simple, unobtrusive grace of patience — that attribute of love which “suffereth long, and is kind” (1 Cor. 13:4). This is the rarest of flowers now. God is not bestowing power to make us famous and illustrious in the world or in religious circles, for a man can be all this in the energy of mere nature. To walk the solitary way, disreputable and small, unnoticed and unappreciated, will require more than the activity of pious flesh. Restless man cannot endure this; he demands the intoxicating whirl of foes vanquished and victories won. I would not discourage any, neither would I encourage a spirit of laziness. But the word for the present is, “Hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown” (Rev. 3:11). Alas, how few are up to this, and in grasping for more, how many have let slip what God has already made ours.
By Weakness and Defeat
Many today miss the joy they might possess simply because they do not see it is their privilege to keep, not to conquer. Where there is conquest (as a rule), victory must come out of defeat. Thus, the Lord’s followers could say, “This is a hard saying; who can hear it?” (John 6:60), when He told them that only through His death could there be blessing for them. Doubtless this is the expression of many a zealous heart. I can only reply, Look at the cross:
“By weakness and defeat,
He won the mead and crown.”
Let us look further at our path as we are on the way to His victory. I know how inspiring it is to be pressing the foe, but how few have power to “having done all, to stand” (Eph. 6:13), when enemies are pressing us. It is very easy to shout, Victory! with the foe disabled and ourselves possessor of the spoils; it is quite another thing to be able to say, “For Thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter,” and then be able to add, “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors.” But how is this? “Through Him that loved us.” (See Romans 8:36-37.) We are conquerors, though for the present we are as sheep for the slaughter. Hallelujah! Love and praise belong to Christ.
Patience in Long-suffering
Stephen was one “full of power,” and he is the first who comes before us prominently after the ruin set in. His strength was displayed in what he endured. In the presence of the council he wears an angel’s face, and when the brutal mob makes his body a target for stones, is there any giving way? The poor “earthen vessel” breaks, but the “treasure” — “patience and long-suffering” — is there, for I hear him say, “lay not this sin to their charge.” The Christ in glory held his heart still (see Acts 7:55-59).
Paul and Silas are a happy illustration of this truth. Hear them singing praises to God at midnight, not in a big meeting; no, they are in prison, feet fast in the stocks, and backs bleeding. But there is perfect tranquility, not even a cry for deliverance. The power that enabled them to endure was sweeter to them than escape (compare 2 Cor. 12:7-10). “Patience” so blessedly possessed them that when the doors did fly open, there was no hurry. Thus, the grace of long-suffering had already made them free; their hearts had plenty of room even if their bodies were in a prison cell. They were in communion with One who is skilled in converting prisons into palaces and in making rugged stones shine like rubies. Perhaps walls quite as real and formidable surround us; are we in the secret of strength?
Glad Anticipation
Have we been looking for something great, and are we about to break down because we have not found it? Have we anticipated a brighter day for ourselves than this, and because it is not ours, are we getting to feel that we are out of the current of His will and, hence, where we cannot claim His support? Fear not, beloved ones; our very feebleness is our title to this. While we may not have the appearance of an army with banners, we may be seen leaving the wilderness leaning upon our Beloved. We must regard with suspicion that which is of large dimensions now. See in Philadelphia and Laodicea that which respectively characterizes the true and the false at the close (Rev. 3). It must be seen by all who are conversant with the course of time, as detailed in God’s Word, that only for a little longer, at most, will there be need for the exercise of “patience.” He is to be contemplated now as the Nearing One. So, let us in glad anticipation sing; it may not be an earthquake song; the bolts and bars may not jostle loose, nor the prisoners hear us, but we can make melody in our hearts to the Lord (Eph. 5:19).
We may sing just for Him. Men may not hear, but the songs of heaven will not shut out this symphony from His ear. “Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh” (James 5:8).
F. C. Blount (adapted)

Patience in Pressure

In all His ways with us, we trace that the blessed God is effecting His intentions, and not only in a governmental way. By “in a governmental way,” I believe the hand of God comes in upon us in pressure where the will is unsubdued and defiant to the will of God. I do not think that is true of many. I think with regard to most, speaking from observation of the children of God, they do not carry a will that is intentionally defiant of the will of God or that purposely goes contrary to what He shows to be right.
Intelligence and Communion With God
Where infirmity, failure and breakdown come in, it is generally the case that the motive is good, but both the intelligence and the communion with God are not good. But it is not the deliberate pursuing of a course which is contrary to the mind of God. When I say, “I am going to have that object at all costs,” that is where the will is asserted against God and where the governmental dealing comes in. I think that if you follow it through Scripture, you will find that this is so. But, on the other hand, most of those that are laid aside among us are those who, in large measure, accept the will of God. Many of those who are laid aside among us are absolutely the choicest ones of the flock. How often this has been verified! The other day I saw a dear sister in her early 40s who was afflicted with cancer, pain and suffering, knowing that very soon, in a few weeks at most, she would be with the Lord. Everyone who could flocked to her bedside. One got the impression that he must go there, to get her impressions of Christ, for she was in the hand of God.
Again, there is a similar case of a dear sister well-known to me, who has been with the Lord many long years now. She had pilgrimages to her bedside from all parts of England. It would be like sacrilege to say she was governmentally there. But why was she laid aside in the midst of her years, when so much of activity might be possible? There is plenty of activity. It is that kind of pressure which lays one aside to meditate, to pray, to bear up, it may be by name, each one individually in your own company where you are, to consider for you in all your circumstances, when you, in the bustle of your life, have scarce time to bend the knee to God morning and night. You may have among you some laid aside to whom you go, as an act of mercy, to visit, but who are considering you profoundly. You may be the debtor to that brother or sister who may be carrying you along in prayer before God, that He may preserve you in the temptations, trials and testings you have in your activity.
Rich Endowments From God
So, we should not look upon pressure, affliction and the like as being calamity or misfortune, but rather a rich endowment which proceeds from springs which have their origin in the heart of God Himself. At the outset of Christianity, He moved on the line of sacrifice and surrender, and He committed His beloved Son on the line of sacrifice and surrender. It is He who maintains His household on those same lines before the world. How beautifully it is expressed in those words, “We [also] ought to lay down our lives for the brethren” (1 John 3:16)! Consider what it means! Where is the perfection of it? In Christ! In what spirit did the blessed Lord come? In the spirit of the God who gave Him.
In view of these things, motives are clarified, actions are purified, and the wholesome atmosphere of the house of God is maintained. Breathing conditions, so to speak, are preserved in a world that is full of the foul gases of hell, corruption and violence, and an atmosphere pure and sweet is maintained along the lines that “in pressure, Thou hast enlarged me” (Psa. 4:1 JnD). So Peter addresses the beloved saints as regards their present place of trial, “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory” (1 Peter 1:7-8).
Glory in Tribulation
So, may we take all this to heart and not speak too much of misfortune — not speak too much of calamity — not speak too much of being shocked when this or that comes — but accept it in the quiet, peaceful serenity of peace with God, for it is along those lines that we reach it. You know your Savior — He “who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also” (Rom. 4:25; 5:1-3).
I just put it up to you: Do you glory — do you boast — in tribulation? Is it so? It is so if you understand it. If you see the place it has as an ordinary principle in the ways of God, you will “glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope; and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” (Rom. 5:3-5). So that link is perfect. God moved in divine love at the outset to sacrifice from Himself the blessed Lord Jesus, and He passes us through the same line. The link — the circle — is perfect. It ends up in the love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit given unto us.
F. W. Lavington

Patience of Hope

The expression “patience of hope” is taken from 1 Thessalonians 1:3, where Paul addresses himself to relatively new Christians in Thessalonica. They had enjoyed only a brief time with Paul, as he was compelled to flee from persecution after spending only a few weeks with them. However, during his time among them, he had specially instructed them in the blessed hope of the Lord’s coming for them.
The subject of hope also occupies a large place in the book of Romans, where it occurs 15 times in the KJV and 17 times in the JND translation. In this epistle, we are seen as having been redeemed and made fit for the Lord’s presence, yet still as men on the earth, working our way through difficulties, but with the hope of eternal blessing at the end of the pathway. It is important to see that the word “hope” in Scripture does not carry with it any degree of uncertainty as to the fulfillment of that which is hoped for; the only uncertainty is as to the timing of the realization of the hope. This is unlike the general meaning of the word in everyday speech, where hope usually denotes uncertainty in every way about a future event.
Eternal Salvation
The question of our eternal salvation is taken up in the first few chapters of Romans, and the matter is summed up in chapter 5, where we read, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God” (Rom. 5:1-2).
In this truth the believer can rest, for he has been justified by faith, has peace with God about the question of his sins, and can “rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” Scarcely any properly instructed believer would doubt the force of these words and the certainty of them. The work of Christ is complete; we stand before God in grace and have no fear of judgment for our sins. As another has remarked, “It is relatively easy for the believer to leave the matter of his eternal salvation and destiny with God, for we realize that it is entirely in His hands.” We do indeed rejoice in the hope before us.
Our Hope
However, we are not home yet, but rather have before us a hope, and as we read in Romans 8:25, “If we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.” The waiting in patience is connected with our faith, for it is in proportion to the strength of our faith that our hope is sustained. (It is noteworthy that the word “faith” is also prominent in the book of Romans, occurring no less than 40 times in the KJV.) If our faith is strong and we are fully convinced of the truth of what God has said, then our hope will be strong as well, and we will indeed wait in patience for the realization of it. However, we are still men and women on the earth, and the trials and sorrows of the way may occasionally threaten to overwhelm our faith and hope.
Hopes Connected With This Life
For every believer, there may well be certain hopes that are connected with this life — certain cherished dreams and ambitions that we would like to realize down here. These hopes can take many forms and, of course, are more strongly felt when we are young. It may be a hope that even a worldly person might have, such as financial success, possessions, fame or power. Such expectations may well still be present in the heart of the believer. However, it may be a hope connected with the things of everyday life — things that are not wrong in themselves. Perhaps there is a particular career that we would like to pursue, or it may be a hope for a marriage partner, and perhaps a family that can, in time, surround us. It may be a hope connected with spiritual things, perhaps for a home, which we would like to use for the Lord. In other cases, there may be a desire to serve the Lord in a particular way, or to see a group of believers going on well in a particular place. All these things may, at various times, take hold of our hearts and engender a burning desire for their fulfillment.
When time goes on and our hope is not fulfilled, our faith is tried. Although we may not give way to the despair that often takes over the man of the world, it is easy for discouragement to come in. We read in Proverbs 13:12, “Hope deferred maketh the heart sick,” and we see many people in the world today who are sick in this way. Sad to say, not a few of them are believers, whose hopes in this life have not matured and whose ambitions seem to have been dashed to the ground. Not only discouragement but also bitterness may come in, and perhaps even a feeling (although perhaps unspoken) that “the way of the Lord is not equal” (Ezek. 18:25).
What Is the Answer?
First of all, we must realize that as believers in this dispensation of God’s grace, we are not promised anything in this world. Israel’s blessings were earthly, but all our blessings are heavenly, and while God in His goodness to us may give us mercies by the way, we must realize that these are indeed mercies, not blessings. In the past 150 years, the Lord has given much in the way of temporal mercies to some parts of the world, particularly to Western Europe and North America. The result has been that many believers living in these areas today tend to look on these things as being normal and proper for them, considering them part of God’s blessings. The Lord Jesus could say to His disciples, “In the world ye shall have tribulation” (John 16:33), and in His prayer to His Father, He could say, “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world” (John 17:14). The believer can look back to Calvary’s cross and rest His faith on the work of Christ; he can also look forward to the glory and rest his hope on what God has promised. But he is not promised anything between the cross and the glory, except the privilege of following a rejected Christ and to have His joy fulfilled in them.
When this truth firmly grips the soul, we are freed from the anxieties and frustrations that so often tend to overtake us. We are not to wish for things such as power, money and fame, for “all these things do the nations of the world seek after” (Luke 12:30). However, it is not wrong to have certain hopes connected with life down here. The believer is dead to the world and dead to sin, but he is never said to be dead to nature. Such hopes as a career, a suitable marriage partner, a family or a home are not out of character with Christianity. Likewise, in the spiritual realm, it is quite in order to have a hope of serving the Lord in a particular way, to be used as an instrument of blessing to God’s people, and to see the saints of God go on well and in harmony together. However, in all of these things, we must allow the Lord to shape our circumstances, first of all for His glory, and then for our ultimate blessing. Any object, any hope, that falls short of Christ Himself, even something good in itself, is not worthy of the believer.
God Delights in Our Happiness
In saying all this, we do not want to give the impression that the Lord intends for us to lead lonely, ascetic lives. No, He delights in our happiness and has told us in Psalm 37:4, “Delight thyself also in the Lord; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” These desires surely include those natural joys that He has graciously provided for us. But we must allow Him to make that choice for us and not insist on our own agenda.
Our own hopes and ambitions may be very good in themselves, but the Lord’s purposes for us take us to a higher plane, where we live and move in the light of eternity, not merely for life down here. While God desires our happiness, we must remember that happiness is a state of soul, not a question of circumstances. It is in the pathway of His will that we will not only honor Him, but will also be supremely happy. More than this, we will be building for eternity, not for time.
This is true even in spiritual things, where unrealized hopes may be particularly hard to take. No doubt Paul felt it keenly when he had to say, at the end of a strenuous and faithful life, “All they which are in Asia be turned away from me” (2 Tim. 1:15). Yet there is not one hint of discouragement in the whole epistle, in spite of the general decline that was overtaking the profession of Christianity. Paul’s faith remained strong, and he could say, “I know whom I have believed” (2 Tim. 1:12). In more recent years, when a younger brother was occupied with troubles among the saints and wondered out loud, “Whatever is going to become of us?” an older brother wisely replied, “Scripture knows no future for the believer but glory.”
To have cherished hopes that we can happily submerge in the Lord’s will for us is the pathway of joy and blessing, for then our own will is not operative, but rather we say, as the Lord Jesus did, “Not My will, but Thine, be done” (Luke 22:42).
W. J. Prost

Bringing Forth Fruit With Patience

Concerning the parable of the sower, as given in Luke’s gospel, we read of the failure to produce any crop, where seed falls “by the way side,” “upon a rock,” or “among thorns.” These places represent to us, respectively, the sphere of the devil, the flesh and the world. However, we then read, “But that on the good ground are they which, in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience” (Luke 8:15). There may seem to the world to be fruits bright and blessed, but if people have not got Christ, they tire. There will be no enduring, unless Christ has possession of the soul, but if He has, there will be an abiding motive, and people will go on and “bring forth fruit with patience.” They that hear and keep it go steadily on, having their motive for action in the Lord. Trouble may come in, even in the church; disappointment may arise, even from brethren; but they go on just the same, because they have Christ before them. The Word that they have heard and that they keep connects them with Christ, and He is more than anything else.
The Practical Effect
This is a question, not of eternal salvation, but of the practical effect of the Word as seen in this world (vss. 16-18) — the growth of the Word in the soul, and that will not be hidden under a bushel. “Ye are the light of the world” and “the salt of the earth,” our Lord could say to His own. In those who only appear to be Christians it soon comes to nothing. “Whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that which he seemeth to have” (Luke 8:18). But those in whom the Word works effectually are to be as a “candle” set on a candlestick. Israel being set aside for a season, God sets up a new light in the world — a light lit up by God, because of the world’s darkness. When Christ was here, He was the light of the world, because of its darkness, and now we should be a light in the world, as we are “light in the Lord.” The light is here set up by Christ’s Word, and people are responsible for the Word received. Suppose you have heard the Word and bring forth no fruit, it will all come out, by-and-by, that you have heard the Word and lost it and the spiritual power accompanying it. Even if we are saints, all that we have heard without fruit or power resulting therefrom will come out, for nothing is hid that shall not be known or come abroad. “Take heed how ye hear.”
The Need to Keep the Word
Christ is looking for the results of His sowing. There must be not only the hearing, but the possessing, and in this rests the responsibility, for if you keep the Word which you have heard, more shall be given you. If, on hearing, I possess as my own that which I hear, then it becomes a part of the substance of my soul, and I shall get more. When the truth has become a substance in my soul, there is a capacity for receiving more. Suppose, for example, you hear the truth of the Lord’s second coming and see your portion as the bride of Christ, and you do not lay hold of it practically, you will presently lose the expectation of His coming and forget your place of separation from the world. The truth will gradually slip away, because you are not holding it in your soul before God. Consequently, your soul becomes dead and dull, and you lose the very truth you have received.
My Lord Delays His Coming
But if one lives daily as waiting for the Lord from heaven, there will be no planning for the future, no laying up for the morrow; such a man will learn more and more, as other truths will open round this one grand central one, and he will be kept in the truth. If, on the other hand, he drops this center truth by saying, “He cannot come yet; so many things must happen first,” then the progress of such an one’s communion with God is hindered. What is the use of teaching me that the Lord may come tomorrow, if I am going on living as though He were not coming for 100 years? Or where is the comfort and blessedness of the truth to my soul, if I am saying in my heart, “My Lord delayeth His coming?” Though I cannot lose my eternal life, yet if I am losing the truth and light I have had, I shall be merely floating on in the current of life, half for the world and half for Christ, and all power of Christian life will be dimmed in my soul. If the truth is held in communion with God, it separates to Himself. Truth is to produce fruit, and there is no truth that does not bear fruit. Truth must build up the soul. “Sanctify them through Thy truth; Thy word is truth” (John 17:17). Christ becomes precious in and by the truth that I learn, and if it has not that power, it all comes to nothing and is taken away. If Christ is precious to me, I shall be waiting for Him with affection and producing fruit with patience.
J. N. Darby

Ye Have Need of Patience (Heb. 10:36)

Patience! Sweet and lowly gift,
Much we need it, much would crave;
Its possession gives the lift
Which the wayworn heart would have.
Patience now to run life’s race,
Patience, to bear fruit to Thee,
In all lowliness of grace,
Lord of all humility.
Patiently to learn Thy will —
Whether to go forth and fight,
Or just patiently lie still —
Both obedience in Thy sight.
Patiently Thy path to own,
Yearning only to fulfil,
Oh, Thou patient, spotless One;
Not our own — our Father’s will.
Patiently to watch for Thee,
Oh, our long-expected Lord!
Patiently to wait to see
The fulfillment of Thy Word.
Strengthened by Thy Spirit’s might,
Unto patient Christlike grace!
Radiant with glory bright,
Suffering with joyfulness.
E. G.

I Waited Patiently for Jehovah

In Psalm 40 we have Christ taking the place of patience without failure, and so furnishing a ground for confidence even for those who failed, by taking His place with the remnant, (who after all were the saints upon the earth, the excellent) in their sorrows, and the path of integrity on the earth. Nor does He fail in this to place Himself under the burden of evil and sins under which Israel had brought itself. We know it in yet a deeper way; this way is not looked at here. But the way in which Christ identifies Himself with Israel, though in the integrity of the upright remnant, is profoundly instructive, and leads us into a wonderful apprehension of a special part of His sorrows. His death, and the sorrows of His death, are not viewed as atoning, or bearing of wrath, but as sorrows and suffering and grief. Here God is viewed as helping Christ when in sorrow, in which He is, and in which He waits on Jehovah. It lay on the remnant, as in Israel’s opposition, because of their faults and departure from God. Christ, who had been (as He states in this psalm) faithful to God in everything, enters into this sorrow in heavenly grace.
It is not His own relationship to God, but His entering into the remnant’s as connected with Israel. His own had been perfect: theirs, though founded on Jehovah’s faithfulness on one side, was actually the fruit of sin. It is further at the close of His life. It is morally closed as to service. During that He had been doing God’s will in the body prepared for Him, and faithfully declaring God’s righteousness in the great congregation, that is, publicly in Israel. Now, and as regards man (and so it will be with the remnant — their trials will come on them from the proud, because of their faithfulness and testimony: only they will have deserved it, as themselves involved in the sins of the people), because of this faithful testimony, the evils come upon Him. So, we know it was with Christ historically. His hour was come for it — the hour of His enemies and of the power of darkness.
It is Christ’s perfect life, and sorrows at the close of it, in which He refers to the faithfulness and goodness of Jehovah, so as to lead His people to confide in it, instructing them in this in which His perfection was shown. “I waited patiently for Jehovah”; patience had its perfect work — an immense lesson for us.
Flesh can wait long, but not till the Lord comes in, it cannot wait in perfect submission; and confiding only in His strength and faithfulness so as to be perfect in obedience and in the will of God. Saul waited nearly seven days, but the confidence of the flesh was melting away — his army; the Philistines, the proud enemies were there. He did not wait on till the Lord came in with Samuel. Had he obeyed and felt he could do nothing, and had only to obey and wait, he would have said, I can do nothing, and I ought to do nothing, till the Lord comes by Samuel. Flesh trusted its own wisdom, and looked to its own force, though with pious forms. All was lost. It was flesh which was tried and failed. Christ was tried: He waited patiently for Jehovah. He was perfect and complete in all the will of God. And this is our path through grace.
This is the great personal instruction of this psalm. Here He gives Himself as the pattern. “I waited patiently for Jehovah” — that is, till Jehovah Himself came in. His own will never moved, though fully put to the test. Hence it was perfectness. He would have no other deliverance but His. His heart was wholly right: He would not have a deliverance which was not Jehovah’s. This is a very important point as to the state of the heart; it would not have another than Jehovah’s. Besides, it knows that there is no other, and that Jehovah is perfectly right, when His moral will has been perfectly made good, and His righteousness vindicated when needed. There is the known perfectness of His will — His only title, and then perfectness of submission and the desire of only Him.
This sure faithfulness of grace — the deliverance of God manifested in One who had gone to the depths of trials — would be a resting-place for the faith of others, the rather as He had gone into it as the consequence of the state of the people in the sight of God. Hence it is applied to the condition of the remnant, though thus true of every saint in trial by others’ wickedness and the power of evil, perhaps brought on himself. “Blessed is the man that maketh Jehovah his trust, and respecteth not the proud.”
J.N. Darby (adapted)

Faith and Patence

If we would please our blessed Lord—
Our faith in Him would prove—
We’d lean upon His promises,
And rest in His great love.
Whate’er our lot or circumstance,
We would not fret or doubt,
But just commit our path to Him;
For good He works things out.
Nor would we try to hurry Him
To please our restless will,
But trusting Him, we’d bide
His time, His promise to fulfill.
For faith is linked with patience, and
Our times are in His hand:
So we can wait and trust, although
We may not understand.
We read of faithful Abraham,
Who patiently endured;
He staggered not in unbelief—
Of power divine assured.
And Job his faith and patience proved
Beneath the chastening rod:
Though tried and tested, he endured
And trusted still in God.
‘Twould give our hearts such peace and joy,
To patiently repose
In His great love and care for us,
For He our pathway knows.
God’s precious promises are sure,
Though He our faith may test;
Then let us keep our eyes on Him,
And in His wisdom rest.
Young Christian, Volume 25

The Man of Sorrows, of Patience and of Joy

We get three very different displays of Christ. In Christ down here, a babe in a manger — despised, rejected and acquainted with grief—you see the Man of Sorrows. Yet, nowhere do I find such divine glory as at His cross. But when I think of what I have been taken out of by Him, through that cross, and where I have been brought by Him, the next thought comes: Where is the Christ, whose death has done all this, now? And the answer is, He is at the right hand of God, where — as the Man of Patience—He has been quietly waiting for 2000 years, for the glory and the people.
If you and I have served, we are ready for our reward. But this Blessed One, the Man of Patience, has been going on for nigh 2000 years of patience — not claiming the reward. But what has He been doing? Why, turning to us and saying, “I am occupied with you in the glory. I am occupied with all your sorrows. Turn your eyes upward; open your hearts to Me; let Me see everything. As a shepherd, I am occupied with each of My sheep, binding up each wound.”
He is now the Man of Patience, but soon to be the Man of Joy, “anointed  ... with the oil of [joy and] gladness above [His] fellows." Most blessed to think of seeing the One who was emphatically the Man of Sorrows anointed with the oil of joy! But it is well often to think of Him as the Man of Sorrows in connection with what we are passing through down here. Oh, talk of your sorrows, if you can in the presence of His life, of all you have had of sorrow by the way, that has worn you down, and what will you say in the presence of One who says to you, “Was ever sorrow like unto My sorrow?” And He, the Man of Sorrows, is now at the right hand of God, sitting there as the Man of Patience for nearly 2000 years and saying to each, “You and I have to do one with the other. Rob Me not of My service, of My glory. Let Me be occupied with you; let Me serve you this little while?” Soon, He will be the Man of Joy, as He was the Man of Sorrows and of Patience.
Is the thought of Christ's joy sweet to your hearts? Do you love to think there will be no face so beautiful, no face so bright as Christ's? No heart so happy and so perfect in its joy, as the heart of the Lord Jesus Christ? Surely that ought to give you a little patience now, as you pass along the wilderness! Are your loins weary? Are you tired by the roughness of the way? Is all around tending to distract you? Christ says, “Be of good cheer. What are all those troubles? What are all your sorrows in the presence of My cross? Nothing! Your patience. What is it compared with Mine, waiting for the glory and stooping down to interest Myself with all that interests you?”
Only “a little while” and you will soon be with Me, and I will write on you My new name — My name of joy. Christ's heart is not fed with the externals of glory, but it is fed with the joy of serving God. When all the children God has given Him are brought home and the new name written on them, that will be Christ's joy.
Do you want comfort? I am sure you do; you want something to give you a little bit of courage? Well, nothing can do it as much as the thought of His coming. There will then be joy enough in the morning, though there be sorrow now in the night. There will be fullness of joy in that morning when we see Him as He is, in fullness of joy forevermore.
F. G. Patterson (adapted)