A few years ago and for a couple of years, I set aside the month of October to write on one topic for 31 Days. One year I chose to write on Bible Verses About Patience. And let me just say, I would think the fact that I didn’t complete those 31 days and am coming back for a re-visit should endear me to you. I’m imperfect and impatient and we should be friends! Or something like that.
When I sat down in my chair and thought, “Oh how fun! I think I’ll spend 31 days on patience in the Bible,” well, someone (Hello Holy Spirit) should have warned me or scared me off because Oh my gracious! This verse today we’re going to dig into today, this is why, “And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.”
Bible Verses About Patience
Let’s take this verse apart, backward to forward. Let’s start this Bible Verses About Patience Post by defining who we are supposed to be patient with. The NLT Translation states, “EVERYONE.” Emphasis mine. And the verse above translation states, “WITH THEM ALL.”
Well then and goodnight! I mean what more can we say? We are called to…supposed to be patient with everyone and everyone means EVERYONE, no wiggle room there.
Help the Weak
I think working backward on this verse will be a slow build that will gently prepare our hearts and minds for a sometimes hard truth. Right before “Be patient with them all,” the author states, “Help the weak.” I don’t know about you and maybe it’s just me, but it always seems easier to be patient with someone who is weaker than me. And this weakness can be mental, spiritual or physical.
I don’t think it is just me. It seems our hearts are just a little more tender towards the weak. It’s easier to feel an empathy, sympathy, and even a protectiveness for the weaker ones of society. That’s why babies, puppies, and the elderly pull our heartstrings.
Encourage the Fainthearted
I am a total Thesaurus lover! The online Thesaurus lists two definitions for encourage: stimulate spiritually, give support; help. And some synonyms: boost, buoy, inspire, reassure, restore, strengthen, cheer, comfort, console, ease, support. We are called to do that every day for others and ourselves. Is it just me but my ability to do those for others seems to constantly be tested. And yet others seem to easily show up for me, with bells on! I do think as we consider these Bible Verses about patience, we also recognize we all have different gifts.
I heard a sermon the other day that said “God likes variety. If you’re wondering how we know, look at how many different bugs He created!” And as many bugs as there are, there are even more varieties of gifts in the natural and supernatural realm, patience being one of them.
Now, that doesn’t mean we can just step back and say, “Oh well, I guess I didn’t get the gift of patience.” We may not have gotten the gift but we can certainly strive to grow in the virtue of patience.
Encourage the Fainthearted
The words that most stood out to me in this Bible verse about patience were, “…be patient with them all.” And these words circle back around to, “Encourage the fainthearted.” Do you or I know how often we really see and understand what’s going on in other people’s lives? Everyone is struggling with something. Everyone…something.
I think we would do a great service, maybe the greatest of all kindnesses to each other if we could remember, everyone is carrying some cross, even if and sometimes especially if we can’t see it.
I know when I was in the depths of a dark anxiety, scared of my own self years ago, someone commented how I seemed so calm and put together. I almost screamed, “Don’t you know I feel like I want to crawl out of my skin or pull all my hair out this very moment!” And the honest to goodness truth was, they didn’t. They had no idea the struggles I was facing–the mental torment and the emotional anguish I was hiding at that very moment we were speaking.
So often, we don’t share those “I need some serious prayer because you know how the Bible mentions the fainthearted? Well, I’m totally fainthearted right now,” moments with others. Sometimes we’re afraid of what others might think. Somtimes we don’t want to be a burden to another person. Sometimes, and I know this to be true, we are afraid to say “it” out loud.
Not only is our silence a perfect tool of the enemy to keep us quiet and separate us from each other, but it also sets up a perfect atmosphere for some serious hurt feelings and wounded spirits. Another isolation trick of the enemy by the way. If the enemy can sow discord among friends and family, ou better bet he will! In our Examen for Children, the last point we make is to assume the best and forgive the worst.
Admonish the Idle
The NLT Translation uses the phrase, “Warn the lazy.” Remember how I mentioned above that it’s easier for us to help the weak? Well, the rest of that sentence, if we were to say it out loud, would look something like, “It’s easier to be patient with the weak than with the lazy.” I mean really, if we broke this verse to a simplified version and in an everyday sort of understanding, that’s what it would look like.
I’d like to propose a thought though. There are some people who are idle because they just don’t know where to start. They haven’t been given the right tools to start anything, so they do nothing. Now, we can start to warm up to ignorance over idleness, can’t we? And remember above, we never know the cross someone else is carrying.
Which brings us full circle in this post on Bible Verses About Patience, “Be patient with them all.”