Patience, the Necessary Grace
"You have need of patience, that, after you have done the will of God, you might receive the promise." Hebrews 10:36
The present is a state of exercise and trial. It is not intended for rest or indulgence — but for labor and the exercise of all the Christian graces. Our employment is to do the will of God; our own will must be merged in His; and we must from His word, ascertain what He requires of us in every state, in every place, and under all circumstances. We must learn to . . .
renounce our own will,
give up our own way,
and deny ourselves —
because our God requires it.
Having ascertained what God commands, we must do it — and do it promptly, cheerfully, heartily, universally — not choosing one part of His will and refusing the rest.
We often find our own will running counter to God's will; and our own way, just the opposite of God's way; but when this is the case, the path of duty is plain, SELF must be mortified — and the flesh denied. So the dispensations of providence are often very trying, and we find it more difficult to suffer the will of God in a proper spirit, than to do it; but whether doing or suffering — we shall find grace necessary, for nature is inefficient and very often opposed; and grace is provided for us, and promised to us.
We have especially need of patience, by which alone we can quietly bear the burden laid upon us — and persevere in the way marked out for us.
We need patience — to preserve us from fretting against the Lord, or murmuring at His dealings with us. Patience will close the mouth, and cause the heart to bow down in silent sorrow before the Lord. Patience will not allow us to speak against God — but will cause us mentally to say, "I will be silent, I will not open my mouth, for it is God's will, it is the Lord's doing."
We need patience — to prevent apostasy. Saul had no patience, and he lost the kingdom, and became an apostate; only the patient will persevere.
We need patience — to enable us to wait the Lord's time for deliverance; it often travels but slowly, and we have long to pray, wait, watch, and expect, before it comes; and if there is not patience, we shall wickedly say with one, "Why should I wait for the Lord any longer?"
We need patience — to suffer privations, which are often very painful and distressing; we looked for light — but beheld darkness; we expected liberty — but found a prison; we anticipated plenty — but are left in poverty! And now without patience, where would we be?
We need patience — to press through difficulties. The further we go, the greater our difficulties often appear! Our corruptions within appear to grow stronger, and our troubles to increase in number and weight; and now — but for patience, we would certainly turn back. We need patience to travel the whole length of the wilderness, and then to enter into the promised land, "that having done the will of God, we may receive the promise."
Our need of patience will appear, if you look . . .
at the number and variety of our trials;
at our sore and powerful temptations;
at our many and great disappointments;
at our painful and grievous vexations;
at the conflict within our own bosoms;
and at our liability to mistake the wise and holy design of our God and Father.
He intends to prove us and try us, and show us what is in our hearts! He intends to manifest the power and tendency of His grace, and to exhibit to all, His faithfulness and love.
My brother have you this precious grace? If so — then you feel your impatience. Mourn over your lack of exact conformity to the will of God; and plead with God as the God of patience and consolation, to perfect you in this grace. Only the patient discover and grieve over their lack of patience! It is generally by trials, troubles, and disappointments — that the Lord draws forth and increases our patience; as the Apostle says, "We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces patience; patience, character; and character, hope." Hence also the exhortation of James, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops patience. Patience must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything!"