We are told to “make our calling and election sure” (2 Peter 1: 10). We do that by adding seven attributes of the divine nature of God to the faith of the Son of God now in us. Then the door will open into the “everlasting Kingdom of our Savior” (verse 11). God’s elect will take heed and make these seven additions.
The fourth one is patience. But what is it exactly? It is not the “patience” that we grew up with. Most of us thought that it was waiting, willing to stand by stoically until things improved. That is man’s concept of patience.
The biblical “patience” is God’s patience, translated from the Greek word hypomone meaning “endurance” or “perseverance” in some translations. Patience/endurance is a facet of God’s Spirit; it is a piece of His very Being that He transfers into us. God’s patience is His enduring all things.
Endurance only happens when we overcome a resisting force. We “partake of His divine nature” when we channel and show forth patience. For God has great patience as He endures until the harvest of the evil vine of the earth is complete. And He with great endurance waits for us to bring forth the spiritual fruit that we are destined to bear.
We need to add patience/endurance because we are called to add godlike qualities directly from His divine nature. His purpose is to multiply Himself—in us. Since endurance is a part of His nature, we need to add it to our faith, which is His faith (There is only one faith: Eph. 4:4-5).
Where do we get patience/endurance?
Since we are to be like our Father in full spiritual maturity, we are to endure like our Father endures. And He endures to bring His purpose and plan to pass. So we must endure to be like Christ who was all about doing the Father’s will. So, where do we get patience/endurance? How do we obtain it?
In order to endure, there must be something to endure. It is not any old “something.” It is not enduring a brain freeze caused by that bowl of vanilla ice cream. The endurance that God desires for us is the kind that Christ overcame—betrayals, temptations, sins against you, insecurities, fears, loneliness, deceit—real trials of the heart. Just think of the way everyone treated Christ; Peter denied Him three times. Paul killed His followers before his conversion. Trials can come before or after receiving Christ into our heart.
Trials can come through our own thoughts. I remember when I first became a Christian at 24. That first night a dark thought thrust through my mind. “You don’t really believe that He was raised from the dead, do you?” A frozen chill pierced my heart and shook me to the core. That was my first temptation. I brought the experience to my mentor, and he helped me get me back into His word.
Where does patience come from? “Tribulation works patience” (Rom. 5:3). Or “Suffering produces perseverance”/endurance (NIV). Or affliction and oppression bring forth endurance. It is tribulation that brings forth patience. In other words, one must go through the sufferings of Christ for tribulation to bring forth patience in our life. Patience is developed within us by enduring hardships in our Christian walk.
“The trying of your faith works patience” (James 1: 3). “The testing of your faith develops endurance” (NIV). These trials and tribulations bring about endurance, which we must have. For patience/endurance is a key spiritual component of the divine nature. We must endure like God endures in order to be like him. This patience/endurance is important, for only those who “endure to the end” will be saved (Matt. 10:22). Hard times are coming, brothers and sisters.
Adding patience/endurance is the catalyst that brings us to full maturity. Enduring the testings and trials is the rough road to agape love. “But let patience have her perfect work” [completed works of maturity]. We are to “go on to perfection.” And it is patience that brings about this spiritual growth to maturity in God’s life cycle in his people.
Agape love endures all things. Agape is the seventh addition. And it is patience/endurance that paves the way for God, who is Agape, to be fully formed in us. Kenneth Wayne Hancock