What do you think of when you hear the word patience? For me, it is far different than what I learned as I researched this round-up of Bible verses about patience in hard times.
I had thought of the soft-spoken mother quietly admonishing her dark-haired toddler or the teenage boy pushing his younger brother in the swing for the millionth time. But the meaning of patience in the Bible holds a much deeper concept that has grown my faith and changed the way I look at situations.
With this in mind, we are going to focus on Bible verses about patience in hard times because faith and trust, and perseverance are the running themes in this deeper meaning. I pray these grow your faith and bring you confidence.
Meaning of Patience in the Bible
Word studies are interesting to me, especially when we take into account language translation, culture, and traditions. The meaning of patience in modern-day America is undoubtedly a little different than the accepted understanding of ancient Israel.
Which is exactly why I want to begin this round up of Bible verses about patience in hard times with a study on how it is used in scripture.
The Old Testament doesn’t contain the exact translation of patience, but patiently is seen. In Psalm 40:1, David tells us that he waited patiently for the Lord and was heard. Patiently in this verse comes from the word “qawah” which means “to wait” or “to expect” especially something from God.
Psalm 37:7 also tells us to wait patiently on the Lord. Here we see the word “qul” meaning “to wait”, “to expect”, and “to hope for”.
Don’t you love the implication of expectancy? We cry to God and we expect Him to hear us. We pray and we expect Him to answer us.
In the New Testament, patience or steadfastness is translated from “hupomone” meaning “endurance” and “continuance”. We see this in Romans 5:3-4 when Paul tells us to glory in our tribulations, knowing that they produce perseverance.
“Makrothumeo” means to “bear long” or “longsuffering”. We see the use of this word when Jesus tells us the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant. The king tells the servant that he should have had compassion on his fellow man.
The Power of Patience in the Bible
Before we jump into a list of Bible verses about patience in hard times, let’s talk about the power of patience in the Bible. It’s difficult to imagine a word combination like patience and power going well together, but it does.
How can patience bring us power?
Patience brings us power when we put it all into God’s hands. When we pray with expectancy and faith, we are strong. When we follow God and allow Him to work His miracles in our life, we are conquerors.
Our attitude while we wait for Him to work also gives us power. If we sulk and feel sorry for ourselves, we rob ourselves of joy. If we continuously worry, it robs us of peace.
However, if we patiently endure, we are growing in faith and the characteristics of Christ fill us to the point that our hard times are not as hard.
Beautiful isn’t it?!
Bible Verses About Patience in Hard Times
We are going to begin our Bible verses about patience in hard times with the New Testament. Remember, the translation for patience here is along the lines of longsuffering, endurance, and perseverance. If you are in a difficult period in your life, take heart, stand strong, and hold to the faith.
rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; (Romans 12:12)
Take courage, friend!
But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance. (Romans 8:25)
This is another example of how patience and perseverance are used interchangeably.
I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love. (Ephesians 4:1-2)
Here, longsuffering is used instead of patience.
Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. (Colossians 3:12-13)
Just as we are to be patience and endure our hard times with longsuffering, we are to have that same attitude with one another.
I feel like this is getting more and more challenging LOL Not only do we have to rejoice in our difficult times, but we are commanded to show love and grace to difficult people.
2 Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)
What did we just say about showing longsuffering to our fellow man? If you are wondering why that is commanded of us, this verse answers your question. God has poured His love and grace upon us and is patiently working in our hearts. We should give that same grace to others.
1 Timothy 1:16-17
However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. (1 Timothy 1:16-17)
Praise God, my friend, for His longsuffering toward us who are sinners!
Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise. (Hebrews 10:35-36)
Confidence, endurance, promise. Don’t you love the way Paul encourages us?
Ok, let’s switch now to Bible verses for patience in hard times in the Old Testament. The theme with patience here is one of confidence that God hears and will act.
Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,
Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath;
Do not fret—it only causes harm. (Psalm 37:7-8)
I love this verse! Take comfort that God is working. Wait for Him. Do not worry about the evil around you, do not worry about how you are going to handle a situation, God is in control.
The end of a thing is better than its beginning;
The patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. (Ecclesiastes 7:8)
What does this teach us? That God is working and we can expect Him to do what He needs to do. Our attitude should not be haughty or determined to do things our own way, but one of confidence in the one that is higher than us.
Therefore the Lord will wait, that He may be gracious to you; and therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for Him. (Isaiah 30:18)
Ok, so this verse doesn’t actually have the word patience in it, “wait” has the same concept. What happens when we wait on the Lord? God is exalted and His mercy is poured upon us. Can you think of anything more comforting?
How are you feeling having studied these Bible verses about patience in hard times? Encouraged? Overwhelmed? Victorious? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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