Whenever we think of great displays of strength we rarely think of patience. Yet Scripture teaches us that patience requires remarkable strength. Proverbs 16:32: “He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.” Equally demanding is long-suffering. Long-suffering is patience under assault or provocation.
In this prayer, the apostle takes notice of the hardest of all duties and thereby argues from the greater to the lesser: “unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness.”
We need patience to
- Bring forth fruit.
- Run the race set before us.
- Bear all afflictions and tribulations.
- Wait for the things promised by God.
- Wait for the coming and appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ.
As if patience and long-suffering are not taxing enough upon our feeble resources, notice Paul prays a step further: “with joyfulness.” This requires strength above that of nature. Let us pray for patience, longsuffering, and joy in the many of the trials of life. The Lord answers prayer!
“[Patience is] a grace as difficult as it is necessary, and as hard to come by as it is precious when it is gained.”—C. H. Spurgeon