Power for Patience by Scarlett Stough

Afflictions, troubles, suffering and pain come in many kinds and degrees. I've had my share in my seventy years. Most have proved to be minor and temporary. Some are ongoing. I've had injuries that made me question whether it was worth living through it. So when the Bible tells me to be "patient in affliction," my spirit agrees I should, but my body only wants immediate relief.

Many years ago my discouragement was so great I contemplated suicide. But I am so grateful to God that I listened to him and did not act on it. I am so happy to have experienced all the years since that time and the many blessings I have enjoyed, along with more troubles, but with the hope to stay motivated to work through them.

This morning my husband read 2 Timothy 1:7 aloud which got me thinking about the qualities which get us through those tough times. Paul was encouraging Timothy because of the suffering Paul was enduring as he went about preaching the gospel. Paul did not want Timothy to hold back to avoid the same suffering. He reminded Timothy, and us through this letter, we have been given the gift of God, his Holy Spirit.

Through the Holy Spirit, we have access to power, God’s power to work and to persevere. We do not have to remain timid and fearful. Whatever strength we need to remain in the will of God to do the will of God, he will give us.

I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time….
2 Timothy 1:5-9

The Holy Spirit produces love through us; love can motivate us—God's love for us, our love for God and our fellow man. Being considerate of the feelings and needs of others can motivate us to not quit.

Self-discipline is another tool God has given us. What the body is unwilling to do, our minds have the capacity to override that inclination to quit. "Mind over matter" is more than just an old proverb; we can will the body to keep running. We can will our hearts to keep hoping. We do not have to rely on human will and strength; we have the power of God available to us.

Courage, power, love and self-discipline along with patience (Galatians 5:22-25) are gifts God gives us and produces in us by his Spirit.


Volume 12 Issue 10 | Notes from Nancy | Women in Christ Commentary | Bible Study Guide | Abundance of the Heart | Exhortation

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