- Patience is vital to our growth in grace. Impatience, restlessness, and unwillingness to yield fully to the will of God will hinder or obstruct the work of God’s Spirit in our lives. It may take a long time for God to accomplish in our lives what He wishes to do quickly. “But we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope” (Romans 5:3-4). The aim is that we “may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing” (James 1:4).
- How would you define the word patient as related to this lesson?
- In James 5:7-11, you will find some specific situations which require patience. Find at least two and write them down. How are these situations similar or different from the situations we face in our day?
- Read 1 Peter 2:19-20. As Christians, how are we to take it if we are rebuked or “buffeted” for our faults? What is God’s attitude when His children do well and suffer for it patiently?
- Patience can only be developed by experience. Write at least five everyday situations which would require patience.
- In our text we find many promises for the one who has patience. List three of them and explain why they are important to you.
- Heat is a common element necessary to many refining processes. Read 1 Peter 4:12-13, and write what you think these verses have to do with patience.
- Read Malachi 3:2-3. In the refining of gold, there are certain steps which are necessary to achieve the perfect end results—steps which cannot be circumvented or abbreviated. Can you name some other areas where refining must follow certain steps to achieve the desired result?
The Apostle Peter, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, has given us a formula. We read: “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.” It is promised that “if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:5-8). With a promise such as this, we would do well to dig deep into the full meanings of these qualities. We, as Christians, must add them to our spiritual character so we can fulfill Christ’s charge to us to bring forth fruit.
It is possible that Peter presented these attributes in an intended progression. Taking these attributes as a basis for our quarter, we have included several others which are important to the development of Christian character.
As you study each of these lessons, be aware of how these attributes overlap and build on each other.