“Gentle” describes an important attribute of the patient person. In our typical usage, this connotation of patience is often overlooked.

We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance (makrothumia); perseverance, character; and character, hope. (Romans 5:3, 4)

The concept of patience or perseverance describes a process that does us more good than the troubles or pain can harm us. It is the picture of steel being tempered by fire, or raw silver being purified to sterling.

I waited patiently for the LORD; He turned to me and heard my cry. (Psalm 40:1)

As the translation of qawah, or “to wait,” or “to expect, ” this word is used frequently in the Old Testament and typically expresses the type of patient, trusting faith in God

Like moss covers scorched earth after a forest fire, patience is a harbinger of greening growth after one of life’s devastating calamities. The thought of learning patience should not make us fear, but give us hope that via the life-giving Spirit, the pain we experience will produce in us this rare and nourishing fruit that reclaims the minutes, hours, days, and years stricken by Satan’s curse.

Patience is the sentinel of faith, the guardian of peace, the protector of love, and the drillmaster of humility

Patience governs the flesh, commands the spirit, overrules the temper, guards anger, and subdues pride.

Patience bridles the tongue, harnesses energy, tramples temptations, endures persecutions, and gives victory in martyrdom.

Patience sounds the tone of unity in the church and harmony in families and communities.

Patience softens the edges of poverty and diminishes the illusionary shine of wealth.

Patience forces us to our knees in prosperity, elevates us in adversity, and is cushions the blows of reproach. It teaches us to forgive our enemies and to be the first to seek forgiveness of those whom we have injured.

Patience makes us more like Christ.

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Rebekah Montgomery is the editor of Right to the Heart of Women e-zine, a publisher at Jubilant Press, and the author of numerous books on spiritual growth. She can be contacted for comments or speaking engagements at rebekahmontgomery.com.