‘Let perseverance finish its work’ (James 1:4)
Perseverance (or ‘patience’ in some versions) supposes trials and troubles; it signifies to remain under a burden; it is opposed to fretfulness, murmuring, haste, and despondency; it produces submission, silence before God, and satisfaction with His dealings.
The Holy Spirit produces this grace by means of afflictions; tribulation works patience. Every Christian is supposed to possess it, and is required to exercise it; yes, to let it have its perfect work.
To this end let us study the examples of suffering and patience set before us in the Bible; let us take up and plead God’s promises; let us remember that eternal love appointed every trial and trouble; that Jesus forewarned us of tribulation (John 16:33); that He has set us an example which we are required to imitate.
Impatience dishonours our profession, and grieves the Spirit; patience benefits others, and is of great advantage to ourselves. Let us watch against every temptation to impatience, and in patience possess our souls. So shall we fill up our character as Christians; complete the evidence of our sincerity; and prove our divine principles.
Dear Lord, though bitter is the cup
Thy gracious hand deals out to me,
I cheerfully would drink it up;
That cannot hurt which comes from Thee.
The gift of patience, Lord impart
To calm and soothe my troubled heart.
THE DAILY REMEMBRANCER by James Smith (1802-1862)
‘The Lord be praised, that in this way, he often keeps me back from evil. The question proposed in the book of Job, may very well be proposed to me. “Should it be according to thy mind?” Are you so wise, so prudent, of such importance, that you should be consulted, and everything be arranged according to your judgement and decision? My judgement says “No” – but my feelings and natural pride, would, if it were not for shame, say “Yes”.
I have been struck anew with the fact, that if the Lord’s people act improperly toward each other, and the matter be referred to him, he will correct for it, and that consequently we ought not to resent it.’