9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives,[a] 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you[b] to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. (NIV)
[to exercise] every kind of endurance and patience (perseverance and forbearance) with joy, (AMP)
I. ENDURANCE / PATIENCE – bearing negative circumstances with a hopeful attitude and constant faith in God
G5281 hypomone: cheerful (or hopeful) endurance, constancy: – enduring (1), patience (29), patient continuance (1) (waiting (1)).
literally hypo (a preposition meaning ‘under’) and moneo (a verb meaning to ‘remain’ or ‘abide’)
Steadfastness, constancy, endurance
- Patience which grows only in trial (James 1:3)
May be passive, i.e. “endurance”
- “By your endurance you will gain your lives” (Luke 21:19)
- Matthew 16:25 (in EVERY gospel)
- For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
Includes in trials incident to service in the gospel AND chastisement viewed as coming from the hand of God our Father, AND in undeserved affliction AND in well doing AND in fruit bearing AND in running the appointed race.
Patience perfects Christian character (James 1:4) and fellowship in the patience of Christ is therefore the condition upon which believers are to be admitted to reign with Him
- (2 Tim 2:12 – If we endure, we will also reign with him).
God strengthens us according to HIS power and might so that we might remain under whatever circumstances we are dealing with. It is the same steadfastness that Jesus had and exhibited while He lived on the earth.
- (2 Thess 3:5 – May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ)
II. PATIENCE – LONG SUFFERING – bearing with people who injure you without avenging yourself and losing your temper
3115 – MAKROTHYMIA
Longanimity – long + soul: a disposition to bear injuries patiently : forbearance
Longsuffering (14), patience (2)
constancy, steadfastness, perseverence
slowness in avenging wrongs
Longsuffering (makrothymia) is that quality of self-restraint in the face of provocation which does not hastily retaliate or promptly punish; it is the opposite of anger, and is associated with mercy, and is used of God.
Patience (hypomone) is the quality that does not surrender to circumstances or succumb under trial; it is the opposite of despondency and is associated with hope. It is NOT used of God.
PATIENCE – in the NT, it is the characteristic of a man who is not swerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings
WHAT IS YOUR DELIBERATE PURPOSE?
PURPOSE is the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists. DELIBERATE purpose means you have consciously chosen to make this your purpose, your reason for doing everything. Every decision you make is guided by your desire to achieve that purpose.
What is it that you have consciously set your sights on, that motivates you, that moves you forward in whatever direction you go? What is it that makes you do the things that you do?
Is it to be happy? Is it to obtain something or someone to bring you peace, joy and satisfaction? Is it to change yourself or someone else to be some other way?
I read a quote from someone that seemed to epitomize what we all want from our fleshly perspective:
- “For me: I want to live happily without too many outside influences. I want to eat great food, travel and surround myself with loved ones. The goal: Living simply, whatever that means.” Alex Elle
However, Christians who want to please God and be godly CANNOT have that as their purpose. Not having outside influences simply means doing whatever I feel like whenever I feel, without having to feel guilty about it or explain myself to anyone or be told that there are negative consequences to my actions. Living simply for Alex Elle means simply doing whatever I want or feel in order to make myself happy.
For Christians, God is our outside influence which we cannot live without. Our lives are not meant to revolve around our fleshly appetites and desires. Our lives are called to revolve around God’s purposes, God’s kingdom, and how He calls us to play a part in all of it.
SOME OF US HAVE CROSS PURPOSES – we have multiple purposes and intents in our lives that actually work against our other purposes. We want to be healthy, but we also want to eat and drink and smoke whatever we want. We want to be godly and righteous and obedient to Christ, but we also want to do whatever makes us feel good. One purpose normally cancels the other purpose out. Continuing in CROSS PURPOSES is INSANITY.
What is your ETERNAL PURPOSE? According to God, it is to be CONFORMED into the image of JESUS CHRIST.
- Romans 8:28-30:
- 28 And we know that [k]God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He alsojustified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.
When THAT is your overall, overriding, all-consuming purpose, IT will guide everything else in your life. It will cancel out the point of sub-purposes. You will view everything that happens in your life through one filter:
“If I will allow Him to do this, God will use what has happened (or is about to happen) as his tool for conforming me into the image of Christ. Every time I surrender to His Holy Spirit and act according to His leading and teaching, I am achieving my purpose in life.”
And if my main purpose is to become more god-like, more Christ-like every day, then NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS TO ME, I will achieve God’s purpose for me.
I can remain steadfast in my loyalty to God and His purpose for me in any circumstance, around any person, because my overriding goal in life is to be changed into Jesus Christ in character and in love and in power. My actions confirm my unshakable belief that He will use this uncomfortable situation to achieve that purpose.
He can use even my failures a chisel to remove my flaws and imperfections.
CHRIST IS LIFE. The rest is details.
WHY DO WE LOSE OUR PATIENCE?
IMPATIENCE occurs when I don’t believe that what I am doing will achieve what is most important to me. I give up because I don’t see the goal line or the end result of my highest personal purpose coming to fruition.
I believe that our CROSS PURPOSES cause us to have impatience and give up, because although we want to be godly and please God, we also want to satisfy ourselves (instead of leaving it to God’s timing and choices in how we are satisfied). So when we are faced with a situation or person that is causing us discomfort, we have to DELIBERATELY CHOOSE WHAT OUR OVERRIDING PURPOSE IS. Is it to “feel better”, or is to to be “changed into the image of Christ”?
- 2 Tim: 3
- But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive ,disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good,4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
- 6 They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7 always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. 8 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers oppose the truth. They are men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. 9 But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.
- 10 You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance,11 persecutions, sufferings—what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. 12 In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse,deceiving and being deceived. 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Are we lovers of self or lovers of God?
Are we godly, or do we try to look godly on the outside, but on the inside we have no power?
We MUST examine our personal purposes, our guiding and leading motivations. If our overriding purpose is not to be conformed into the image of Jesus, our attitude and our actions will be swayed by every circumstance and every relationship that doesn’t go our way.
Every decision we make, every action we take, tells the world what our purpose is – whether it is to serve ourselves, or to serve God.
CHRIST IS LIFE. The rest is details.