Berean Studies / Ber05 - Patience
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Single Click a triangle below to see the references CT Russell selected for the associated question. The study questions (with the references) are also included as an attached Adobe PDF file at the bottom of this page.
1. What is the importance of Patience as an element of Christian character?
2. What is the common significance of this word?
3. What is the deeper significance of this word as used in Scripture, especially in Rev 3:10 and Luke 8:15?
4. Why is ‘patient-endurance’ so necessary?
R2791 c2 p1,2
THE NECESSITY FOR PATIENT ENDURANCE.
Here the question properly arises, Why is this so? In what sense is such endurance necessary? We answer that it is one of the conditions which God has attached to the call to joint-heirship in the Kingdom, and the wisdom of this is manifest when we consider the work to which we are called--the work of blessing all the families of the earth, as God's Millennial Kingdom, under and in joint-heirship with our Lord. That will be a great work, and it is eminently proper that the Lord should demand that those whom he would account worthy of it shall not only appreciate his goodness and his character, and prefer these to sin and iniquity, but that they should demonstrate their thorough loyalty to these principles to the extent of a joyful willingness to suffer on behalf of right, to endure patiently. A transitory endurance of one or two or three brief trials would not prove the person to have established character for righteousness; but a patient, cheerful endurance even unto death, would prove and demonstrate such a character.
We might illustrate this with the diamond. Suppose that we were able to make diamonds out of some plastic material, so that they would have the full diamond measure of brilliancy; and suppose that they became hard, but not so intensely hard as the diamond, would they have the value of the diamond? By no means. And so with the Christian; if we should suppose him possessed of every grace of character that could possibly belong to the sons of God except this one of firmness, of endurance, he would not be fit to be numbered amongst the Lord's jewels. Hence the Lord's demand is that the quality of firmness, cheerful endurance of whatever his providence may permit, shall be a characteristic of all those who will be fit for the Kingdom.
5. What is the relation between patient- endurance and self-control ?
6. How should we endure our trials and thus ‘possess our souls’?
7. What is the relation between faith and patient-endurance?
8. Why should we ‘glory in tribulation’?
9. What particular thoughts constantly kept in mind will enable us to be ‘patient in tribulation’?
10. Does faithfulness to our covenant of self- sacrifice demand patience?
11. How should we meet persecution and opposition?
12. How can we be ‘patient toward all ‘?
13. Why is there special need of patience in the Harvest of the Gospel age?
14. Is it possible to pervert the grace of patience?
15. Why does the Apostle rank patient-endurance above even Love ?
16. What is the relation between patience and ‘enduring hardness as good soldiers of Jesus Christ’?
17. How are we to run the race for ‘the prize of our high calling of God in Christ Jesus’?
18. Why is patient-endurance the final test ?
Heb 10:36; C212 ¶1; R2791 col. 1 ¶2, 3; R2792 col. 1 ¶2
(Heb 10:36) For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
But we are not to gather from this that all, as quickly as proved faithful, will at once enter into their reward. Possibly some such may live on, far into that dark night of trouble--though our expectation is to the contrary. "Here is the patience of the saints; here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus." Having put on the whole armor of God, and boldly withstood error by clear and fearless presentation and defense of the truth, during this evil day, when giant errors so boldly and defiantly stalk abroad, the saints are exhorted, "Having done all, to stand," clad in full armor, with the sword of the spirit ever ready for defense, and with watchfulness and perseverance and prayer for all saints. All will have need of patience, that after having done the will of God they may receive the promise. Rev. 14:12; Eph. 6:13; Heb. 10:36
R2791 c1 p2,3
Since our text mentions this patient endurance as being the Lord's "word" or teaching, let us glance backward to the Gospel narrative, and note the Lord's use of the word in his teaching. Twice it is recorded as a part of his utterance. In `Luke 8:15`, in the parable of the sower, we read: "That [sown] 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 [with cheerful endurance, constancy]." The thought here is that in order to be of the fruit-bearing class which the Lord will approve and accept to his Kingdom, it is necessary to do more than to receive the word of his testimony, even tho we receive it with joy--for that class in the parable is represented by the stony ground, which at first gave evidence of great fruitfulness and vigor, but which, when the sun of persecution arose, withered, because of lack of depth of soil. That stony, shallow soil represents, the Lord explains, a class of hearers who rejoice greatly in the truth, but do not endure, such as cannot withstand persecution or opposition, but wither under it, become discouraged. Such cannot be of the Kingdom class, all of whom must be overcomers.
In this parable our Lord shows us that patient endurance, constancy, is the final test, following after the readiness of preparation to receive the seed; following after the seed has been received and has sprouted; following after love and hope and joy and faith have caused it to spring forth and to give fruitage. Patient endurance, then, is necessary, in order that the grain may be developed and thoroughly ripened, and made fit for the garner. Ah! how important patient endurance seems to be, in the light of this our Lord's word--cheerful endurance; for we cannot suppose that he who judges the thoughts and intents of the heart would be pleased with his children, even if he saw them enduring much for his sake, if they endured in an impatient or dissatisfied or unhappy frame of mind. They would not, in that event, be copies of God's dear Son, our Lord, whose sentiment is expressed in the words, "I delight to do thy will, O God!" All of the Royal Priesthood are sacrificers, as was the Chief Priest, our Redeemer and example, who offered up himself: we, as the under priests, have also presented our bodies living sacrifices, and are to lay down our lives for the brethren--in the service of the truth. And God, who accepts these sacrifices through the merit of Christ, informs us that he appreciates or loves the cheerful giver, those who perform their sacrifices of a willing heart, cheerfully. And this thought, be it noted, is in the Greek word we are considering. It is cheerful endurance, patient endurance, that is commended.
R2792 c1 p2
Everything that will enable us to see the importance of this quality of patient, cheerful endurance will be helpful to us. Therefore let us notice some other instances in which this word is used in the New Testament. The Apostle Paul says, "But ye have need of patience [cheerful endurance, constancy] that after ye have done the will of God [reached the mark] ye might receive the promise." (`Heb. 10:36`.) Here, again, we see that it is not merely to do the will of God that is the test, but, that after having attained to that point, that mark of character in our hearts, in our wills (if only partially in the flesh) we should, by patient endurance, establish God's righteous will as the law of our hearts, the rule of life under all circumstances and conditions. Then, and not till then, will we be in the heart condition of fitness for the Kingdom. The Apostle `James (1:3`) says: "The trying of your faith worketh patience [patient endurance];" that is to say, if our faith stands the trial it will work this character of patient endurance; of course, on the other hand, if we do not attain to patient endurance, it will mean that our faith has not stood the test satisfactorily, that we are not fit for the Kingdom.
19. How is God’s promise to those who ‘keep the word of his patience’ now fulfilled?
20. What lessons do we learn from Jesus’ example of patience?
21. What other notable examples of patience are recorded in Scripture?
22. Is patience an essential quality in an Elder?
23. How can we cultivate patient-endurance?
24. What additional thoughts are suggested by reference to the Topical Indexes of ‘ Heavenly Manna ‘ and the ‘ Watch Tower Bible ‘?