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.

Show details for 1. What is the importance of Patience as an element of Christian character?1. What is the importance of Patience as an element of Christian character?

Show details for 2. What is the common significance of this word?2. What is the common significance of this word?

Show details for 3. What is the deeper significance of this word as used in Scripture, especially in Rev 3:10 and Luke 8:15?3. What is the deeper significance of this word as used in Scripture, especially in Rev 3:10 and Luke 8:15?

Show details for 4. Why is ‘patient-endurance’ so necessary?4. Why is ‘patient-endurance’ so necessary?

Show details for 5. What is the relation between patient- endurance and self-control ?5. What is the relation between patient- endurance and self-control ?

Show details for 6. How should we endure our trials and thus ‘possess our souls’?6. How should we endure our trials and thus ‘possess our souls’?

Show details for 7. What is the relation between faith and patient-endurance?7. What is the relation between faith and patient-endurance?

Show details for 8. Why should we ‘glory in tribulation’?8. Why should we ‘glory in tribulation’?

Show details for 9. What particular thoughts constantly kept in mind will enable us to be ‘patient in tribulation’?9. What particular thoughts constantly kept in mind will enable us to be ‘patient in tribulation’?

Show details for 10. Does faithfulness to our covenant of self- sacrifice demand patience?10. Does faithfulness to our covenant of self- sacrifice demand patience?

Show details for 11. How should we meet persecution and opposition?11. How should we meet persecution and opposition?

Show details for 12. How can we be ‘patient toward all ‘?12. How can we be ‘patient toward all ‘?

Show details for 13. Why is there special need of patience in the Harvest of the Gospel age?13. Why is there special need of patience in the Harvest of the Gospel age?

Hide details for 14. Is it possible to pervert the grace of patience?14. Is it possible to pervert the grace of patience?

(Eph 5:11) And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

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Faith, fortitude and knowledge prepare God's people to have patience with every effort toward good, however weak,--patience with the poor, blinded world, with the "babes in Christ," with the slow and stupid, with the excitable and blundering, with the over-confident Peters and the skeptical Thomases. But to have patience or fellowship with "the unfruitful works of darkness" and sin, is the perversion of this grace; for these, wherever found, should be promptly and sharply reproved and rebuked according to their evil intent; with patience, nevertheless, toward the repentant prodigals, and always with meekness.

Show details for 15. Why does the Apostle rank patient-endurance above even Love ?15. Why does the Apostle rank patient-endurance above even Love ?

Show details for 16. What is the relation between patience and ‘enduring hardness as good soldiers of Jesus Christ’?16. What is the relation between patience and ‘enduring hardness as good soldiers of Jesus Christ’?

Show details for 17. How are we to run the race for ‘the prize of our high calling of God in Christ Jesus’?17. How are we to run the race for ‘the prize of our high calling of God in Christ Jesus’?

Show details for 18. Why is patient-endurance the final test ?18. Why is patient-endurance the final test ?

Show details for 19. How is God’s promise to those who ‘keep the word of his patience’ now fulfilled?19. How is God’s promise to those who ‘keep the word of his patience’ now fulfilled?

Show details for 20. What lessons do we learn from Jesus’ example of patience?20. What lessons do we learn from Jesus’ example of patience?

Show details for 21. What other notable examples of patience are recorded in Scripture?21. What other notable examples of patience are recorded in Scripture?

Show details for 22. Is patience an essential quality in an Elder?22. Is patience an essential quality in an Elder?

Hide details for 23. How can we cultivate patient-endurance?23. How can we cultivate patient-endurance?

(a) By prayer –

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In this connection notice specially that the privilege of prayer, or any other favor of God, is not granted for selfish purposes. A thing which might be properly desired and asked for in one case might be improper if asked for from some other motive. To desire and ask for something good in itself, in order that we might be glorified before our fellows, is a wrong request, because of a wrong motive.

The desire for a good thing, simply for ease and convenience, is an improper, selfish motive. The Apostle refers to such cases, saying, "Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, to consume it upon your desires,"--i.e., for vain-glorious purposes or other selfish reasons. (`Jas. 4:3`.) To ask for some good thing simply to make a test of it, thereby to establish our faith, is seemingly an improper request, for none but the faith-full are promised anything. Besides, God's plan is that we should walk by faith and not by sight. Hence, we not only should not ask anything unauthorized, but as we grow in spirituality our petitions will be chiefly for spiritual favors; and even in asking for these we should be particular not to specify how they are to come. And we should look for the answers to our prayers in natural rather than supernatural channels, since God's usual method is to use supernatural means only where the natural means are inadequate.

The graces of the holy Spirit are specially stated to be open to our requests and corresponding efforts: Your Heavenly Father is more willing to give the holy Spirit to them that ask it, than earthly parents are to give good (earthly) gifts to their children.--`Luke 11:13`.

“YE HAVE NOT, BECAUSE YE ASK NOT." --`James 4:2`.—

The trouble with many is that they do not avail themselves of the great stock of divine grace set apart for the benefit of those who, abiding in Christ, and his word abiding in them, do ask, do seek and do find. Let no one suppose that all prayer must be selfish. Quite to the contrary, we have a wide field of prayer-liberty in full accord with the Lord's Word and will.

Every trial of faith and patience is an occasion for prayer for the promised succor. Every failure to gain victory is an occasion for a prayer for forgiveness, and as well for divine blessing, that the lesson of our own weakness may be deeply impressed, so that in the next similar trial we may promptly apply for and lay hold upon the "grace to help" promised. Every victory over self is an occasion for prayer that we be not high minded and puffed up, but kept humble and watchful for the next attack from the great Adversary. Every service for the truth becomes an occasion for a prayer of thanks for the privilege of serving the Great King and mayhap to have suffered something for his cause; and a cause for supplication for further opportunities of service and grace to use them wisely.

If you have trials and temptations which you are able to overcome, and which are working out in your character patience, experience, brotherly-kindness, sympathy and love, rejoice and offer the prayer of thanksgiving and acknowledgment of divine mercy and help. If your trials seem heavier than you can bear, and likely to crush you, take the matter to the great Burden-bearer, and ask his help in bearing whatever would do you good, and release from all that would not do you good, but which would injure you. If your heart is full of a desire to obey the Lord's injunction and "forget not the assembling," and you are unreasonably hindered in a way that you have tried to overcome but cannot, take the matter to the Lord in prayer, and watch and wait and strive according to your prayer, and you will soon see a manifestation of divine power on your behalf. If you see a true brother, a true "soldier" faltering and in danger, let your heart be so full of love for all of the Lord's "brethren" that you will not only run to his relief, but also supplicate the throne of the heavenly grace unceasingly, until you have regained him, or until in his wilfulness he has renounced the "narrow way" entirely. And should the fault be your own, your prayers and efforts will surely be blessed and overruled to your own profit. If you have no burning zeal to preach the good tidings of great joy, pray earnestly and faithfully and persistently for it, and strive for it, and you will soon have it. If you have a zeal and love for the gospel, and lack ability to present it, pray for the ability while you make full use of what you have. If you have the zeal and the ability and lack an opportunity, take it to the Lord in prayer as soon as you can, telling him that you are faithfully using all the opportunities you have. Then watch for more opportunities without slacking your hand to use the very humblest and smallest within your reach.

Have you a quarrelsome disposition, or other bad habits, which you realize are a burden to your home and family, and to your brethren in the Lord's household? Take it to the Lord in prayer, asking grace and help to overcome, and meantime using your best diligence and effort in harmony with your prayer.

Do you lack wisdom, so that your efforts to serve the Lord and the truth are usually failures? Take it to the Lord in prayer, remembering the promise, "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth to all liberally and upbraideth not."--`James 1:5`.

Have you business complications brought about by your lack of judgment, or the dishonesty of others, or your generosity to the poor, etc.? And do these perplex you and hinder your progress in spiritual matters, and thus threaten your welfare as a "new creature?" This surely is a proper matter to lay before the Lord at the throne of the heavenly grace. And although it would not be right for you to attempt to dictate how your relief shall come, and you should not expect the Lord to work a miracle to prosper your imprudent venture, yet you can ask his wisdom to guide and overrule in the results, better than your wisdom could do it.

Here is a wide range of subjects (and it might be widely expanded) upon which we may go to the throne boldly in the name of Jesus and ask and receive, seek and find, God's grace sufficient. But the range of subjects upon which we may not approach God in prayer is also large. We may not ask anything to minister to pride or selfishness or ambition, nor anything which would injure another; nor anything which would conflict with the Lord's plan as revealed in his Word. Oh! how many "ask and receive not, because they ask amiss," that they may consume the desired favor upon their earthly desires.

(b) By growing in knowledge –

R3136 c1 p5 "Be patient toward all" seems to imply that the better balanced amongst the Lord's people should look with sympathy upon and exercise patient forbearance toward the classes above mentioned;--not only toward the weak and those who lack courage, but toward all; including those who have too much courage and self-push. The Scriptures repeatedly admonish us, "Ye have need of patience," and day by day the advanced children of the Lord realize the truthfulness of this, and come to appreciate patience as one of the chief Christian graces. (1) Growth in knowledge helps us to grow in this grace of patience, for as we appreciate more and more the heavenly Father's patience with us it helps us to apply the same principle toward others. (2) As we come to realize the great disaster that is upon our race as a whole--our fallen condition and how the fall has affected some more in one manner and others more in another--some chiefly mentally, some chiefly physically, and some chiefly morally, it enlarges our sympathy toward our fellow-creatures, and thus increases our patience in dealing with them. This is particularly true in respect to the household of faith, in which we recognize amongst those whom God has graciously called, some more blemished, perhaps, than ourselves in some particulars--though we may be more imperfect in others. The thought that our heavenly Father has favored and called anyone should make us extremely careful how we would co-operate with the Lord in respect to the call, and be as helpful as possible to all those who are seeking to walk with us in the footsteps of our Lord in the narrow way. We certainly should have special patience, therefore, with the brethren. --`Rom. 14:15`; `1 Cor. 8:11`.

(c) By increasing our faith –

R3245 c1 p6 "YE have need of patience," writes the Apostle. "In your patience possess ye your souls," instructs our Lord. "Let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing," the Apostle explains. Very evidently patience, therefore, includes other graces of character--implies their possession to a certain extent. Amongst the Lord's people patience surely must be preceded by faith, and the degree of patience very generally measures the amount of the faith. The Christian who finds himself impatient and restless evidently is lacking in faith toward the Lord; for otherwise he would be able to rest in the Lord's gracious promises, and wait for their fulfilment. After using reasonable diligence and energy he should be content to leave the results and the times and seasons with the Lord. (d) By recognizing the time-element in God’s plans –

R2155 c1 p5 The fourth addition is patience. Time is a very necessary element in the process of perfecting every good thing. The fruit hastily plucked is the unripe, hard, sour, bitter fruit. Time, as well as pruning and fertilizing and cultivating and shower and sunshine, is necessary to the ripe and luscious fruitage that delights the taste. So it is also with the fruitage of plans and purposes, of education and of grace. God's deep designs work out slowly, not only in his great universal government, but also in the hearts and minds of his intelligent creatures. God is operating all things according to his own will along the lines of the fixed principles of his wise and righteous laws--physical, moral and intellectual. To be impatient in any case is foolishly to insist upon having the unripe, hasty, sour, bitter fruitage, which, if the Lord grant it, will prove a sickening penalty for the impatience that demanded it. "Let patience have her perfect work," wait God's time: "Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him." Wait the Lord's time and way and the indications of his will in every case, both with regard to ourselves and others and "they that put their trust in him shall never be confounded." R2792 c2 p4 Indeed, we may expect the growth of this spirit in Christendom--the feeling that in the past they have been too patient, not sufficiently aggressive--the feeling that if they had taken matters into their own hands long ago the world might have been converted ere this. But those who have kept the Lord's word of patient endurance, and who have sought from him the needed wisdom from on high, that is first pure, then peaceable, easy of entreatment, full of mercy and good works, and patient endurance, have learned that he has a due time in which his purposes shall all be accomplished; and learning this has assisted them in cultivating patient endurance as their Lord endured the opposition of evil, its malignity, its spite, its falsehoods, its persecution--enduring all this cheerfully, patiently, as unto the Lord--realizing that it is the program which the Lord has not only permitted, but permitted for wise purposes in connection with the call and preparation of the "little flock" who shall be joint-heirs with Christ, their Lord, in the Kingdom.

24. What additional thoughts are suggested by reference to the Topical Indexes of ‘ Heavenly Manna ‘ and the ‘ Watch Tower Bible ‘?

PATIENCE.pdf