“…patient in tribulation…” – Romans 12:12
An elderly lady was enjoying her walk in the park when she noticed a young father seated on the end of a bench. He was giving his undivided attention to a toddler who was in the middle of a temper tantrum. She overheard him saying, “Easy Henry, have patience Henry, calm down Henry.”
She marveled at the young father’s composure and really wanted to help out. As she approached the two she spoke to the toddler, “Now Henry, is that any way to act?” To this the young father replied, “His name is Tommy, I’m Henry!”
Patience and restraint are very important, no matter what the form of tribulation we face. Paul told the Roman Christians: that being committed to doing the will of God involves being patient in tribulation. “Rainy days and Mondays” may get a lot of people down but Christians are to be prepared for and fighting the good fight of faith every day!
The word “patient” in Romans 12:12 carries four very practical facets of application for anyone who faces hard times while seeking to do the will of God. “Patient” carries with it a command to stay. It means “to remain or tarry behind.” In other words, if we are committed to doing God’s will, we will not run away at the first sign of hardship!
A second facet of application found in the word “patient” is stand. This means “abide” or “to live in or through a situation.” We are to dig our feet in and establish a firm footing against the winds of tribulation that seek to uproot us!
A third facet of application found in the word “patient” is stick. This means to “persevere under misfortunes and trials and to hold fast.” By “sticking,” we actually begin to flourish in the midst of our trials. We grow through them!
A fourth facet of application found in the word “patient” is suffer. This means to “endure; to bear bravely and calmly the ill treatments you face.” This calls for a life of courage and surrender to the will of God and that He knows what is best for us!
Those who are committed to the will of God for their lives will welcome these applications of patience knowing, “…our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!” (2 Corinthians 4:17)