14 Scriptures that teach us how to be patient
The word patience is mentioned many times in the Bible. It is a quality that each follower of Christ needs in order to endure trials, have faith in God and his provision, and receive His promises. Here are some Bible verses that will help you to better understand patience.
What is the meaning of patience in the Bible?
The meaning of patience is, "the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like".
Patience in the Bible means long-suffering. In Galatians 5:22 the King James version uses the word longsuffering instead of patience. In some instances patience may be similar to showing mercy and forgiving others.
The parable of the unmerciful servant is one example where the meaning of patience is the same as mercy and forgiveness.
How does the Bible teach us to be patient
The Bible teaches us to be patient with the help of personal testimonies, parables, admonitions, and promises. In these examples we see how praying, depending entirely on God, and waiting for His response teaches us to be patient.
Hannah prayed and patiently waited for God to bless her and her husband with a child. In Psalm 40:1, David testifies that, "I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry".
Here are some Bible verses that look at patience as: the fruit of the Spirit, a sign of mercy, a Christian trait needed for hope, faith, and endurance, and the final reward for all those who are patient.
1. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith," Galatians 5:22 KJV
In this text Paul is admonishing us to walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh. He listed the works of the flesh and their punishment. "...they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God" (Galations 5:21).
He then moved on to listing the fruit of the Spirit. Patience, which is referred to as longsuffering in this text, is among nine traits that make up the fruit of the Spirit.
The same way that it is important to have love, joy, gentleness, and goodness is the same way it is important to have patience/longsuffering. These are traits that we need if we are to walk after the Spirit.
2. "The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all." Matthew 18:26 KJV
This text is a part of the parable of the unmerciful servant. In this case patience means to forgive and show mercy. The servant owed the king and the king was patient with him. The king showed mercy and forgave the servant.
The same servant saw someone that owed him a small debt. He didn't show any mercy and he didn't forgive. Instead of being patient, he had the servant thrown into prison.
This text is important because we need to treat others the same way we would expect to be treated. If you want people to be patient with you, then you have to be willing to be patient with others.
Another lesson we can learn from this parable is, if you find it difficult to be patient and compassionate with persons who you can see and touch it will be even more difficult to be patient and wait on God.
It is very important to be patient with others. The parable of the unmerciful servant ended by stating that if we are not patient/forgiving/merciful when dealing with each other then we shouldn't expect God to be patient with us.
The Lord's prayer reinforces the point that we should be patient and show kindness in Matthew 6:12 where it stated, "And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors".
3. "But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience." Luke 8:15 KJV
This Bible verse is a part of the explanation for the parable which speaks about sowing seeds. Each follower of Christ is like a seed which is planted. The type of soil that the seed falls on will determine if it grows and bears fruit.
Many of the seeds did not grow. Meaning only a few of the persons on the Christian journey endures to the end. This is, "Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it". (Matthew 7:14)
The Christian journey is one of patience. If we are quick to give up, we will not be able to grow, bear fruit or endure to the end.
4. "In your patience possess ye your souls." Luke 21:19 KJV
This Bible verse is an admonition given by Jesus. In the twenty-first chapter of Luke, Jesus was telling the disciples about trials, tribulations, and other signs that will point to His second coming.
Though these are extremely terrifying signs there is still hope. Jesus promised that no harm will come to those who in faithfulness endure in patience. Patience means long suffering. We may have to go through long periods of suffering but we should not give up.
We may even have to suffer alone because our family and friends do not support us but there is hope. Jesus promised in Luke 21:18 that, "...there shall not an hair of your head perish".
Jesus' second coming may seem like it's taking a long time and that is why it is important for us to not become complacent or lose hope as we anticipate His return. In your patience you will win your soul/life.
Jesus has promised that even in great tribulation He will protect us. All we have to do is remain patient and wait on Him.
5. "And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;" Romans 5:3 KJV
In this scripture passage Paul is offering wisdom on how tribulations are necessary for us to develop patience.
Being a child of God does not mean that everything will be perfect. What it means is that, before we are able to dwell with Him in heaven where there will be no suffering we will have to master endurance here on earth.
Both Paul and James speak about glorying in tribulations because tribulation produces patience. "My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience". (James 1:2,3)
We can have joy in our hearts knowing that our patience in this life will help us to claim the plan of salvation and the promise of eternal life with our Lord and Savior.
6. "And patience, experience; and experience, hope:" Romans 5:4 KJV
This Bible verse is a continuation of the previous text that further links tribulations and patience to experience and hope.
For us to develop patience we have to experience tribulation/tests. These tests don't find out how good we are or how strong we are.
These are tests that find out how much we are willing to depend on God as our source of strength and hope. The longer we can go without relying on our own strength and solutions to our trials the more patient we will be.
The good thing about tribulation is that God will not give us more than we are able to endure. We were promised in 1 Corinthians 10:13 that, "...God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."
There is a popular quote that says, "If God took you to it He will take you through it". This quote captures the promise given to all of us in 1 Corinthians 10:13 and will be a powerful reminder and a source of hope when we face trials and tribulations.
7. "But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it." Romans 8:25 KJV
This scripture on patience is both an admonition and a promise wrapped in one. In Romans chapter 8 starting at verse 18 Paul looks at how we suffer on our Christian journey while also looking at the reward that awaits us at the end of this journey.
This gives us hope that one day things will be better. This is the hope that Paul is referring to in this verse. We cannot see the future, but we believe in it and we will be patient as we wait for it.
In verse 28 of the same chapter Paul further comforts us saying, "all things work together for good to them that love God…".
If we are patient in our trials, we have the blessed assurance of a glorious future.
8. "For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope." Romans 15:4 KJV
This Bible verse is an admonition from Paul that encourages us as Christians to have hope.
We may use 'whatsoever things were written aforetime', meaning the Bible as a source of hope. There are many parables and stories in the Bible to encourage us, comfort us, and provide hope for us as we endure our crucibles.
We can turn the holy pages and be reminded of how other persons in the Bible endured and how God has chosen to take interest in our salvation even during our sufferings.
The story of: Job and his suffering, Hagar thinking her son was going to die, the three Hebrew boys being placed in the fire, and Joseph being sold by his brothers are great examples of how God takes us through our suffering and leads us to a place of victory.
These stories provide us with the hope that we can count on God as we patiently endure and wait for Him to take us through our sufferings and lead us to our victories.
9. "Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus'' Romans 15:5 KJV
This verse is a continuation of the admonition given by Paul in the preceding text. However instead of focusing on the scripture as a source of hope while being patient, it points to the very nature of God.
God is patient and understanding and He wants us to be like Him. This means we have to be patient as we relate to each other. In the parable of the unmerciful servant, the king showed patience by putting the needs of the servant above His own needs. In being patient we are better able to live in unity.
This is also what Jesus did when He died on the cross. He puts our needs before His so that we may be united with God.
10. "But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses," 2 Corinthians 6:4 KJV
In this verse we see Paul describing to the church of Corinth some of his experiences as a minister of Christ. Patience, affliction, distress, and even imprisonment were some of the things that he endured.
As followers of Christ we too will have to endure a lot of things throughout our Christian journey. God's timing is not our timing. This is why it is important for us to be steadfast and embrace patience as a necessary character trait.
11. "Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;" Colossians 1:11 KJV
This scripture passage is a part of a prayer that Paul prayed for the Colossians. He prayed that: they would be fruitful, be filled with the knowledge of God's will, and also be strengthened by God's power in patience and long suffering with joyfulness.
Like Paul and so many others in the Bible, we need to pray that God will give us the strength to be patient in our sufferings.
Another lesson we may learn from this Bible verse is, when we see others suffering we shouldn't hesitate for a moment to pray for them so that they will be patient and endure as they wait on the promises of God.
12. "Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;" 1 Thessalonians 1:3 KJV
In this letter Paul acknowledged the zeal of the Thessalonians. They received the word of God, claimed repentance, and became saved by grace.
Much affliction came with their newfound faith but they had endured in patience believing in the hope that Jesus will save them from the wrath to come.
Like the Thessalonians, followers of God today can have patience of hope as we, "...wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come". (1 Thessalonians 1:10)
13. "So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:" 2 Thessalonians 1:4 KJV
In this scripture passage Paul highlights the zeal of the Thessalonian church another time in his second letter.
Patience was one of the qualities that Paul admired about the Thessalonians. Even though they endured persecutions and tribulations, they had faith, patience, and hoped in God.
As followers of Christ we too have to be patient as we endure tribulations and wait in hope for the second return of our bright and morning star-Jesus Christ.
14. "But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness." 1 Timothy 6:11 KJV
This Bible verse is an admonition from Paul. In the preceding verses Paul pointed out how riches and the love of money may cause believers to fall into temptation.
He urges us not to fall into temptation and lust but instead live Godly lives. Righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and meekness are the character traits that we should strive for as we "fight the good fight of faith".
Final thoughts on patience
Patience is a character trait that each follower of Christ needs to have. Being patient during suffering and tribulations, means remaining hopeful and enduring until the end as we claim God's promises.
Remember, "if God takes you to it, He will take you through it".