© 1999 James A. Fowler

You are free to download this outline provided it remains intact without alteration. You are also free to transmit this outline electronically provided that you do so in its entirety with proper citation of authorship included.


I. Representative Biblical references

    A. Old Testament
         Exod. 34:6 - "Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger..."
              cf. Neh. 9:17; Ps. 86:15; 103:8; 145:8; Joel 2:13...
         Prov. 14:17, 29 - "He who is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who is               quick-tempered exalts folly"
    B. New Testament
         1. Greek makrothumia. makro=long; thumos=wrath. "long-temper"
              I Cor. 13:4 - "love is patient"
              Gal. 5:22 - "fruit of Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience.."
              I Thess. 5:14 - "be patient with all men"
              James 5:7,8 - "be patient until the coming of the Lord"
         2. Greek hupomeno. hupo=under; meno=to abide. "abide under"
              Rom. 5:3 - "tribulation works patience"
              Rom. 15:5 - "the God of patience"
              Heb. 10:36 - "you have need of endurance"
              James 1:3,4 - "test of your faith produces endurance"

II. Defining patience

    A. Patience is not a natural trait
         1. Not to be confused with
              a. Stoicism - "bear it"
              b. Fatalism - "put up with it"
              c. Passivism - "roll with it"
              d. Escapism - "move away from it"
              e. Isolationism - "shut it out"
              f. Humanism - "deal with it"
         2. Differing personality patterns
              a. Some personalities have natural tendency to be flexible, tolerant, restrained, leisurely,                    lenient, reserved, acquiescent, easy-going, unruffled, cooperative, complacent, to defer, to                    overlook faults, etc.
              b. Is this patience? Why? Why not?
              c. Is such behavior motivated by a fear of, or avoidance of, confrontation, alienation,                    disharmony, disloyalty, making someone feel bad, etc.?
    B. Patience is a divine attribute
         1. Character of God
              Exod. 34:6 - "Lord God,...slow to anger"
              I Pet. 3:20 - "the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah"
         2. Exhibited in/by Jesus Christ
              II Thess. 3:5 - "the steadfastness of Christ"
              I Pet. 2:23 - "while being reviled, He did not revile in return,...but kept entrusting Himself                    to Him who judges righteously"
              II Pet. 3:9 - "The Lord is patient toward you"
              II Pet. 3:15 - "the patience of our Lord...salvation"
         3. Divine implementation in behavior of men
              a. "not a virtue achieved, but a character received"
                  Gal. 5:22 - "fruit of Spirit...patience"
                  Col. 1:11 - "strengthened with all power, for the attaining of all steadfastness and                        patience"
    C. Contexts of patience
         1. Patient with people - when wronged, offended, rejected, falsely accused, slighted, assaulted,               treated unjustly; when people don't do it right
              Eph. 4:2 - "conduct yourselves with patience, showing forbearance to one another in love"
              Col. 3:12,13 - "put on patience, bearing with one another"
              I Thess. 5:14 - "be patient with all men"
              II Tim. 2:24 - "patient when wronged"
         2. Patient in trials, inconveniences, events, when things go wrong
              Rom. 5:3 - "tribulation brings about perseverance"
              James 1:3 - "the testing of your faith produces endurance"
         3. Patient with yourself, personal expectations, aspirations, weaknesses.
    D. Finding definition in the Greek words for "patience"
         1. Makrothumia - "long temper"
              a. Delayed reaction of anger, wrath, irritation, retaliation, judgment ­ avoidance of impulsive                   "fight" response.
              b. Positive response connected to "love"
                  I Cor. 13:4 - "love is patient"
                  Gal. 5:22 - "fruit of Spirit is love...patience..."
                  II Tim. 3:10 - "patience, love, perseverance"
         2. Hupomeno - "to abide under"
              a. Delayed reaction of frustration, despondency, despair, panic ­ avoidance of impulsive                   "fright" response.
              b. Delayed reaction of escape, withdrawal, isolation, running away ­ avoidance of impulsive                   "flight" response.
              c. Positive response connect with "hope"
                  Rom. 5:4 - "perseverance brings about proven character, and proven character, hope..."
                  Rom. 8:25 - "if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it"
                  Rom. 12:12 - "rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation"
                  I Thess. 1:3 - "steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ
         3. Together they provide more comprehensive definition
              a. Delayed reaction to circumstances of life.
              b. We do not make a quick reaction, because...
                  (1) God has a bigger perspective
                  (2) God has a purpose in it all
                  (3) God is in control
                  (4) God wants to act in control through you
                       (a) in grace - His activity by His character
                       (b) in love - that seeks highest good of others
                       (c) in thanksgiving - that recognizes His grace
                       (d) in joy - gladness of grace
                       (e) in hope - confident expectation that He does all things well
                       (f) by faith - our receptivity of His activity
                            Rev. 13:10 - "perseverance and faith"
                       (g) in action - persistence, perseverance, constancy
                            Ps. 37:7 - "Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him"



 Outlines index