The Patience Of Christ

The Patience Of Christ

John Bramhall

The longing hearts of many believers for the return of our blessed Lord can be expressed in the words of Judges 5:28, “Why is his chariot so long in coming? Why tarry the wheels of his chariot”? The multiplicity of violence and corruption upon the earth today, coupled with increased testings of various kinds, may also tend to produce the spirit of impatience for our final deliverance, to the spiritual heart. “Lord, When are you coming? Why do you not come today?” may often be expressed. This is where our need of patience appears. We need the prayerful exhortation of Paul —”The Lord Direct Your Hearts into the Love of God, and Into the Patience of the Christ” — (2 Thess. 3:5 JND).

Note how the Scriptures link our blessed hope with “patience” in Romans 8:23-25; in James 5:7, 8 and Revelation 1:9; and above all is the Lord’s example in Hebrews 12:1-3. If we are impatient we should consider how long the Lord Jesus has been waiting in the presence of the Father above, waiting for all the longings of His heart to be fulfiled; and waiting with patience! What are the longings of His heart; that for which He has been waiting and for which He desires that we should share His patience as we also wait? What is He waiting for? He is waiting for:

The Day of Re-Union With His Own: He remembers His promise, “I will come again and receive you unto myself, that where I am ye may be also” (John 14:3). He longs to have us with Him in His glory (John 17:24). He longs to meet us at the designated meeting place “in the air” (1 Thess. 4:16, 17). He longs to “present us to Himself a glorious church,” etc. (Eph. 5:27). He longs to look upon His beloved Bride in her glory, when she will be the perfect object of His eternal love (Revelation 19:6-9). He is patiently waiting for His “pearl of great price” (Matthew 13:45, 46). Could we not say that He has More to wait for than we have? If so, do we not need His Patience while we wait for Him to come?

The Day of His Rewards: “Behold, I come quickly and my reward is with me, to give to every man according as his work shall be” (Revelation 22:12). It will be His Day! when in the greatness of His loving heart He can bestow upon His own their eternal rewards. It will be the great prize day! It is called “the day of Christ” (Philippines 1:6; 2:16). “The day of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:8; 5:5). “The Day!” (1 Corinthians 3:13). “That Day!” (2 Timothy 1:12; 1:18) and 2 Timothy 4:7, 8). It will be The Day when He will compensate all of His servants for their faithfulness, their sufferings, their patience and their labor for Him, etc. (2 Timothy 2:12). If we are longing and waiting for “That Day” — His heart is longing and patiently waiting to express His eternal appreciation of us!

“Oh, how will recompense His Smile, the sufferings of this little while!”

The Day of His Power: “Thy people shall be willing in The Day of Thy Power.” Read Psalm 110. It will be the day when He shall be personally, visibly and gloriously manifested to the whole world! (Matthew 25:31; 26:64; Revelation 1:7). He will be “King over all the earth” (Zech. 14:9). He will be “King of Kings and Lord of Lords” (Revelation 19:16). It will be the demonstration of His power! How? By the destruction of His enemies.

How long-suffering and patient He has been with His enemies, both celestial and human, but in “the day of His power,” “His enemies shall lick the dust” (Psalm 72:9). What day of divine retribution that will be! (See 2 Thessalonians 1:3-10 also 2 Thessalonians 2:8, 9; Revelation 6:17; and Psalm 2:4-9). How fortunate that His patience is greater than ours! When we become impatient with the wicked may we have our hearts directed “into the patience of Christ”.

The Day of His Glory: It is a long time since the resurrected Lord spoke on the Emmaus road of doubt, despair, disillusionment and discouragement to His two disciples —”Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into His glory?” (Luke 24:26). He has not yet entered into all His glory, but still continues to wait for it. Likewise, we should too (1 Peter 1:6-8; 2:20, 21). What is the glory that He is waiting for? What are the glories in which He will share for all of His sufferings and humiliation? His sufferings are over, praise God! But the glory is still to follow (1 Peter 1:11).

He is waiting for —

(a) His Glory with His Church: (Revelation 21:9 to 22:5). Not alone through millennial years will this be manifested over the earth, but through endless ages she will be” prepared as a Bride adorned for her husband” (Rev. 21:2). Her bridal beauty will be unchanged for Him and before the whole universe, for ever! “That in the age to come He might shew the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:7). For “We are His workmanship,” “His Masterpiece,” (Ephesians 2:10) — Hallelujah!

(b) His glory with Israel: Waiting for the national resurrection! (Ezekial 37:1-14). Their national repentance and birth are yet to come (Isaiah 66:8; Zachariah 12:10; 13:2). Their national deliverance (Romans 11:26), and their national glory (Read Isaiah chapters 60 and 61). The glory of the Lord will cover the earth when Israel will be his lampstand of divine testimony to all the world (Read Zech. chapter 4).

His Glory with the Nations: “He shall speak peace to the nations!” (Zech. 9:10). The living of the nations who shall be His when He comes will share the glory of His earthly kingdom (Matthew 25: 34). The nations will enter into “the Lord’s house” in that day. “All nations shall flow unto it.” Nations shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” (Read Isaiah 2:1-5). “And I will shake all nations, and The Desire of All Nations Shall Come” etc. (Hag. 2:7). For these coming glories our blessed Lord is patiently waiting. Can we enter into His patience?

The Day of the New Creation: —Read Revelation 21:1-5. That eternal “Day of God” of which Peter wrote (2 Peter 3:12, 13) will reveal the glories of the New Creation—for ever. It will be the final reconciliation of All Things, the final consummation of His glory founded upon Christ’s humiliation and death of the cross. Everything in the universe of God will then be in its proper and eternal perspective in relation to God. We read, “And, having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile All Things unto Himself … whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven” (Col. 1:20). All of His future hopes and glory, and ours too, are established with certainty because of “the blood of His cross.” For all these things He Patiently Waits! So should we!