1. The suffering of afflictions, pain, toil, calamity, provocation or other evil, with a calm, unruffled temper; endurance without murmuring or fretfulness. Patience may spring from constitutional fortitude, from a kind of heroic pride, or from christian submission to the divine will.
2. A calm temper which bears evils without murmuring or discontent.
3. The act or quality of waiting long for justice or expected good without discontent.
Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. Matt.18.
4. Perseverance; constancy in labor or exertion.
He learnt with patience, and with meekness taught.
5. The quality of bearing offenses and injuries without anger or revenge.
His rage was kindled and his patience gone.
6. Sufferance; permission. [Not used.]
7. A plant, a species of rumex of dock.
Noah Webster's 1828 American Dictionary
“A wise man is superior to any insults which can be put upon him, and the best reply to unseemly behavior is patience and moderation.”
“Affliction is the wholesome soil of virtue, where patience, honor, sweet humility, and calm fortitude, take root and strongly flourish.”
“All men commend patience, although few are willing to practice it.”
”Deliberately seek opportunities for kindness, sympathy, and patience.”
”Endurance is nobler than strength, and patience than beauty.”
”Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness. It is far better take things as they come along with patience and equanimity.”
”God's way of answering the Christian's prayer for more patience, experience, hope and love often is to put him into the furnace of affliction.”
”It is easier to find men who will volunteer to die, than to find those who are willing to endure pain with patience.”
”Patience can't be acquired overnight. It is just like building up a muscle. Every day you need to work on it.”
”Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.”
”Patience is necessary, and one cannot reap immediately where one has sown.”
”Teach us, O Lord, the disciplines of patience, for to wait is often harder than to work.”
“You will conquer by patience.”
“There are nine requisites for contented living: HEALTH enough to make work a pleasure; WEALTH enough to support your needs; STRENGTH enough to battle with difficulties and forsake them; GRACE enough to confess your sins and overcome them; PATIENCE enough to toil until some good is accomplished; CHARITY enough to see some good in your neighbor; LOVE enough to move you to be useful and helpful to others; FAITH enough to make real the things of God; HOPE enough to remove all anxious fears concerning the future.”
Patience means the ability and willingness to endure waiting without complaining or being upset when faced with a difficult or challenging situation. Being patient is a virtue because it is a respectable quality. Being tolerant does not mean that you allow yourself to tolerate anything that someone does or accepts everything without questioning. It is not about complacency and does not mean that you accept whatever happens in your life without attempting to change. You wait and accept any delay only after you have done your best and the right thing. A person once said: "The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it."
At times people disappoint you. Many times your expectation takes time to materialize. No matter how bleak or slow things seem to move, remember that the dark waiting hour is still 60 minutes. It is not what happens that matter but how you react. Do something constructive while waiting. It keeps your mind and your time occupied and helps you avoid unnecessary stress from worrying and getting yourself uptight. Remind yourself that sometimes it takes a longer time to reach your outcome, see changes or be accepted.
Stay unperturbed when annoyed or provoked. Bear in mind that little things affect little minds as Benjamin Disraeli quoted. Your ability to always remain cool and unruffled from people who poke and push you shows a high level of tolerance and gives you an advantage over them. Everyone has his own ways of seeing and interpreting things and each one is the product of his own attitude and values. Even if you disagree with someone, give the person the chance to vent out his anger. What he does to you may only show that he is trying to get or compensate for the lack in his life. Other people can't break you. Only you can do that to yourself. By maintaining poise and composure, you separate yourself from the crowd.
Difficulties and tragedies happen to teach and test your faith. Believe that there is an advantage behind every misfortune, that there is a silver lining. Stay calm when you are faced with adversities. Find methods or seek advice to help you cope. You can use the experience to challenge yourself to stay strong and become closer to your creator.
When everything is going our way, patience is easy to demonstrate. The true test of patience comes when our rights are violated—when another car cuts us off in traffic; when we are treated unfairly; when our coworker derides our faith, again. Some people think they have a right to get upset in the face of irritations and trials. Impatience seems like a holy anger. The Bible, however, praises patience as a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22) which should be produced for all followers of Christ (1 Thessalonians 5:14). Patience reveals our faith in God’s timing, omnipotence, and love.
Although most people consider patience to be a passive waiting or gentle tolerance, most of the Greek words translated “patience” in the New Testament are active, robust words. Consider, for example, Hebrews 12:1: “Therefore since we also are surrounded with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily besets us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us”. Does one run a race by passively waiting for slow-pokes or gently tolerating cheaters? Certainly not! The word translated “patience” in this verse means “endurance.” A Christian runs the race patiently by persevering through difficulties. In the Bible, patience is persevering towards a goal, enduring trials, or expectantly waiting for a promise to be fulfilled.
Patience does not develop overnight. God’s power and goodness are crucial to the development of patience. Colossians 1:11 tells us that we are strengthened by Him to “great endurance and patience,” while James 1:3-4 encourages us to know that trials are His way of perfecting our patience. Our patience is further developed and strengthened by resting in God’s perfect will and timing, even in the face of evil men who “succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes” (Psalm 37:7). Our patience is rewarded in the end “because the Lord's coming is near” (James 5:7-8). “The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him” (Lamentations 3:25).
We see in the Bible many examples of those whose patience characterized their walk with God. James points us to the prophets “as an example of patience in the face of suffering” (James 5:10). He also refers to Job, whose perseverance was rewarded by what the “Lord finally brought about” (James 5:11). Abraham, too, waited patiently and “received what was promised” (Hebrews 6:15). Jesus is our model in all things, and He demonstrated patient endurance: “Who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2).
How do we display the patience that is characteristic of Christ? First, we thank God. A person’s first reaction is usually “Why me?”, but the Bible says to rejoice in God’s will (Philippians 4:4; 1 Peter 1:6). Second, we seek His purposes. Sometimes God puts us in difficult situations so that we can be a witness. Other times, He might allow a trial for sanctification of character. Remembering that His purpose is for our growth and His glory will help us in the trial. Third, we remember His promises such as Romans 8:28, which tells us that “all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” The “all things” include the things that try our patience.
The next time you are in a traffic jam, betrayed by a friend, or mocked for your testimony, how will you respond? The natural response is impatience which leads to stress, anger, and frustration. Praise God that, as Christians, we are no longer in bondage to a “natural response” because we are new creations in Christ Himself (2 Corinthians 5:17). Instead, we have the Lord’s strength to respond with patience and in complete trust in the Father’s power and purpose. “To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life” (Romans 2:7).
V.vii.13. Abba Pastor said, "It is in temptations that the character of the monk is made manifest."
V.vii.16. Syncletica said, "When the devil fails to subvert us through the rigours of poverty, he uses riches in his endeavours to seduce us. And if he can't prevail through insults and indignities he makes use of honour and glory. But if he can't seduce us by means of pleasures and bodily satisfactions he tries to gain possession of the soul by unlooked for vexations. He can devise all kinds of burdens to be cast on to one whom he wishes to tempt, by means of which he reduces monks to a state of fear and upsets the charity which they ought to have towards God. But even though the body be chastened and afflicted with severe fevers or even intolerable thirst, remember that you are a sinner who suffers these things, and compare them with the punishments and everlasting flames of eternity, the torments which justice demands, and then you will not be overwhelmed by your present troubles but will rather rejoice that God has visited you. Let this pre-eminent saying be upon your lips, 'The Lord has chastened and corrected me, but he has not given my soul over to death' (Psalm 118.18). If you are like iron, by being put through the fire you will lose the rust. If you undergo all these things with integrity you will go from strength to strength. You will be like gold which is purified by fire. A messenger of Satan has been given to you to buffet your flesh. Rejoice therefore at the thought of who it is to whom you are being likened, for St Paul himself was found worthy of a similar visitation (2 Cor.12.7). If you are afflicted by illnesses or by excessive cold remember that when Scripture says, 'We went through fire and water', what follows is that 'we were brought out into a wealthy place' (Psalm 66.11). While you are in the middle of the one, hope confidently for the other, using what strength is given you. Shout aloud the words of the prophet, 'I am poor and in heaviness' (Psalm 89.30). It is through tribulations of this sort that you will be made perfect, as it is written, 'Thou hast set me at liberty when I was in trouble' (Psalm 4.1). It is in these practices above all that he tries our spirits, for then we have our adversary always before us.
V.vii.9. Abba Macarius the great visited Antony in the mountain, and after knocking at the door Antony came out and asked, "Who are you?" "Macarius," he replied. Antony sent him away, shut the door and went inside, but later, when he saw him patiently waiting, he opened up and welcomed him with the words, "I have heard of you and have wanted to meet you for a long time."And he offered him hospitality and refreshment, tired as he was from the exertion of his journey. When Vespers had been said Antony took a few palms and put them to soak. Macarius said, "Give me some too that I may soak them and work." "This is all I have", said Antony, and made a larger bundle to soak. So sitting together late into the night, discoursing of the things of the spirit, they wove away at their mats, till they stretched right out through the window into the cellar. And when Antony went out in the morning and saw the mats of abba Macarius he marvelled, kissed his hands and said, "These hands are hands of great power."
V.vii.10. This same Macarius once went on a journey to a place called Terenuthin, where he found an ancient tomb to sleep in where many pagans had been buried, and he laid one of the bodies under his head for a pillow. But the demons seeing his fearlessness were furious, and wishing to frighten him, they began to call out as if beguiling a woman, "What about coming to the bathhouse with us, lady." And another demon replied as if from those very dead bodies underneath him, "I can't, because of this traveller lying on top of me." But the old man was not afraid. With perfect composure he gave the corpse a hard punch saying, "Get up and go, if you can." When the demons heard this, they cried with a loud voice, "You've beaten us", and they fled in confusion.
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