The Patience and Faith of the Saints
March 1, 2008

C. R. Oliver

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March 1, 2008

The Patience and Faith of the Saints

Endurance is not strong enough a word, neither is fortitude or long suffering. Persistence and forbearance might approach a modicum of understanding for the word patience, but they too fall short. Patience is an incorporative word. It has varied strands of meaning. Its resilience has no end. Knock it down and it will rise up again, like some wrestler who will not be pinned. When it takes over one's affairs, it is the overcoming spirit that never refuses to give in or give over. Its constancy is always standing in the background of any situation, watching for its moment of victory. Cheerfully it endures reversals, evil tidings, impertinence and insults, as it waits its turn to sit in the presence of its resisters, while holding a cup brimming over. It never quits. It always wins. Coupled with faith, it will always find the path to triumph.

Tenacity is also a quality which flavors patience with a bulldog-like focus. Faith and patience both have it. Time is not one of either of their measures. Saints wrap themselves in F & P and link arms for the long haul. It's one of their most powerful traits.
(Author's note: One of the greatest examples of F & P was a man I repeatedly ministered alongside, a man named Carlos Gruber. He was a native son of Riga, Latvia, born near the turn of the Twentieth Century. As a lad, he witnessed the fall of his nation to communism and its ravishing. He testified that the pastor of his Baptist church absented himself just days before the take-over and returned as an officer of the opposing forces. The former pastor proceeded to inform authorities about the entire church membership. Sadly, his family immigrated to Brazil. His father died of malaria their first year, so Carlos and his mother and sisters were left to the hardships of farming in a Brazilian-Latvian community.

Although Carlos excelled as a violinist, God had a call on his life and he eventually became a music-evangelist for the Baptists in Brazil and, ultimately, in the U.S. He spoke eleven languages. Underlying his passion for souls was his passion for his native country. For seventy-five years, he prayed and interceded for his people. I have seen him early in the morning in prayer about some pastor or family of a martyred friend. He published a Latvian Newspaper in N.Y. for many years, until operatives closed his doors. He re-emerged in Texas, where he published Newsbreezes, a monthly magazine about missions and martyrs. He raised millions of dollars among churches in order to assist missionaries and their efforts worldwide. He lent his linguistic talents to several agencies working in foreign missionary work. He never once gave up the dream of a free Latvia. When the Berlin Wall fell, the Baltic nations of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania were eventually freed. Carlos' patience and faith was rewarded. He gathered food, clothing and other supplies by the container load and shipped them homeward. Though now in his upper 80's, he spared no portion of life or limb. At the age of 90, he was awarded, by the national government of Latvia, the gold star, its highest award. He went home to be with Jesus four years later. Carlos Gruber was the quintessence of patience and faith.)
Any discussion about saints will eventually include the attributes of Faith and Patience. One of the great aspects of the end-time Revelation is its emphasis on the combination.
Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. If anyone has an ear, let him hear. He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity; he who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.
Revelation 13:6-10
(Saints and overcoming are linked. Revelation twelve emphasizes the three overcoming forces of "the blood of the lamb, the word of their testimony and they loved not their lives unto the death." Overcoming is woven into the fabric of Patience and Faith.)

Revelation 13:6ff describes a grim picture, however, of the saints being overcome. Although it is a temporary estate, the portrayal is dire. Perhaps this is why John was led to write quickly about the reward of the oppressors. Those who capture and kill will themselves be captured and killed. John rushed to say, "Here is the Patience and the Faith of the saints." Though separate in power (Note: use of the article THE), they are united in the saint. Because these are never ending quantities, the verb "is" signifies present tense to all generations. Saints know this! Regardless of the circumstances, they are to "stand," awaiting the final victory of Faith and Patience.
Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness…
Ephesians 6:13-14
(Word Study: "stand:" histemi (his'-tay-mee); to stand (transitively or intransitively), used in various applications (literally or figuratively): KJV - abide, appoint, bring, continue, covenant, establish, hold up, lay, present, set (up), stanch, stand (by, forth, still, up).)

There is a song in the Spirit that goes something like this:
Having done all, Stand
Having done all, Stand
Stand on the rock of salvation.
Having done all, Stand
Having done all, Stand
Stand on the Word of God…
Open up the ever-lasting doors
And let the King of Glory come in…
Having done all, we Stand.
(Sung like a spiritual, its words are completely biblical and convey the truths of "hestimi.")

Barely does one eclipse Revelation 13:6ff before encountering the invective of the next chapter.
Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, "Write: 'Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.' " "Yes," says the Spirit, "that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them."
Revelation 14:12-13
Patience and Faith will be rewarded, but require labor and works. In the next verses, the reader will see that they are also linked to tribulation and persecution. Seemingly, they attract each other.
We ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure… 2 Thessalonians 1:4
Throughout scripture one is seen in fray with the other. Faith and Patience work in tandem with each other to defeat all attackers. A good example is found in James 1:2-5.
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
Tested faith produces patience. It's like a formula. Squeezed saints exude a product called patience and endurance. They are perfected and complete by it.

Later, Paul addressed "the saints," who endured these kinds of trials, and re-iterated they would witness the punishment of their oppressors. He also promised a "saints day."
When He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed. Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling (called to be saints).
2 Thessalonians 1:10
Saints cannot be saints without the working of Faith and Patience in their lives. Obtaining their inheritance depends on it. Paul underlined this in the next scripture.
For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
Hebrews 6:10-12
Abraham inherited his promise by faith and patience. Noah got his the same way. None of those cited in Hebrews ever let loose of their promises but held them in their bosoms until faith and patience brought them to reality. Modern saints are not exempt. (Word Study: patience: Word Study on patience: NT: 5281 Hupomone [hoop-om-on-ay']; from NT: 5278; cheerful [or hopeful] endurance, constancy: KJV - enduring, patience, patient continuance [waiting]. Hupomeno [hoop-om-en'-o]; from NT: 5259 and NT: 3306; to stay under [behind], i.e. remain; figuratively, to undergo, i.e. bear [trials], have fortitude, persevere: KJV - abide, endure, [take] patient [-ly], suffer, tarry behind.)

Saints have endurance. Second Thessalonians accented this trait, keying its presence in the whole of the New Testament.
These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness; and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word's sake, immediately they stumble.
Mark 4:16-18

Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise:
Hebrews 10:35-36

My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and patience. Indeed we count them blessed who endure.
James 5:10-11
Three passages capture the essence of "endurance." Jesus pointed to it in the "seed" parable. James linked suffering and patience in his work. Many combinations like this appear in scripture. Romans 15:5 cites the "God of patience and comfort." (Comfort makes reference to "paraklesis [one who comes alongside].") Revelation linked the "kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ [Rev. 1:9]." Christ's example of patience is legend in Scripture. He has been waiting centuries for the earth to be made His footstool. "Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ (2 Thess. 3:5)."

When Jesus spoke to the church at Thyatira, He combined "works, love, service, faith, and your patience (Rev 2:19)." Although that church tolerated a Jezebel, He encouraged them, "But hold fast what you have till I come. And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations (Rev. 2:25-26)." To the church at Ephesus was written, "I know your works, your labor, your patience (Rev.2:2)."

Unfortunately in modern churches, congregations have been encouraged to be "overcomers" without the ingredients of faith and patience.

Paul instructed Timothy with a series including F&P. "Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness (1 Tim 6:11)." He also wrote in Colossians the link between "patience and longsuffering (1:11)." He commended others and himself as "ministers of God: in much patience (2 Cor. 6:4)." Paul gave accolades to the Thessalonians by using linkages to F&P, "Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ (I Thess. 1:3)."

Saints are faith and patience personified. Part of their fiber responds to those qualities when they are seen in others because an intense comradeship rises within them. Saints recognize other saints when they see their faith and patience. No passage in the word is so empathized among the true saints as the following:
And they cried with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.
Revelation 6:10-11
Here is the faith and patience of the saints!

Until Next month,

Dr. Cosby R. Oliver, PhD.


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