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Patience is a godly quality which each child of God should develop. ". . . O man of God . . . follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness" (1 Timothy 6:11). Patience in the life of a Christian is pleasing to God and contributes to personal happiness. "That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness" (Colossians 1:10-11).
The development of patience often occurs by enduring unpleasant circumstances. "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).
One word translated "patience" literally means "abiding under"; another word translated "patience" or "longsuffering" is defined as "long tempered." Patience, then, is learning to live with inconveniences and difficult moments.
The apostle Paul taught Christians at Rome that proper reaction to life's difficulties can result in patience. Therefore, these unpleasant circumstances are not to be despised. ". . . we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience" (Romans 5:3).
Paul also taught the Thessalonians to "be patient toward all men" (1 Thessalonians 5:14). Further, patience is especially useful to the Christian as he WAITS for the return of Jesus Christ; "Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh" (James 5:7-8).
Patience also helps the Christian successfully practice Christian living and prepares him for eternal life. "To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life" (Romans 2:7).
If life's difficulties can result in building patience, and if this patience helps one better endure life and leads to eternal life, then the difficult moments in our lives might be viewed as steps to heaven. As hard as it may be sometimes, all of us need to patiently endure life as we wait for the return of Jesus Christ.