Thursday, November 26, 2009

Prayer for Longsuffering, Part VI of X

Colossians 1:11-12

"Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light."

The Particular Kind of Patience in View

We must now inquire into the nature of patience, or, more specifically, the particular kind of patience which is here in view. It is a steady persisting in duty which keeps one from being deterred by opposition or fainting under suffering. Actively, it finds expression in perseverance, or refusing to quit the race because of the difficulties or length of the course.  Passively, it appears in a meek and quiet spirit, which endures afflictions without complaining.  Primarily, though perhaps not exclusively, it is the latter that is spoken of here, namely , that frame of heart which bears submissively whatever trials and tribulations the Lord calls one to pass through. It is very much more than a placidity of temper which is not unduly provoked by the common irritations of life, for often that is more a matter of healthy nerves than a virtuous exercise of the mind and will. Grace is more potent than nature: it can make the timid courageous, cool the most hotheaded, quiet the impetuous. Grace works submissiveness in the most impulsive. It makes our hearts calm when outward circumstances are tempestuous, and though God lets loose His winds upon us, He can keep us from being discomposed by them and lay the same command upon our passions as upon the angry waves: 'Peace, be still' (Mark 4:39).

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