“But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” (James 1:4)
Patience (endurance) is part of the development that will produce the experience that brings hope and assurance to those who are the twice-born (Romans 5:3-5). Patience is a discipline—a work that is necessary for our growth. Although such discipline never seems pleasant at the time, it is administered by our loving heavenly Father, who focuses His work on our spiritual maturity (Hebrews 12:5-8).
There are several key aspects identified in our text that promise victory through the process of learning patience. Wisdom is granted liberally as we ask for it during the tests that produce the “perfect work” of patience. As we endure the tests that will come to those who love the Lord, the endurance practiced will produce a “crown of life” as an eternal testimony to our patience (James 1:12).
The principles for gaining patience during this life are outlined in Psalm 37. First, trust in the Lord (Psalm 37:3) and follow His leading in everything we do (Proverbs 3:5â€‘10). Second, delight in (get excited about) the Lord (Psalm 37:4)—amplified so often in Psalm 119 (vv. 16, 24, 35, 47, 70, 174). Then, commit your way to the Lord (Psalm 37:5), becoming such a part of Him that you are as a branch to the vine (John 15:4-7).
Finally, rest (be still) in the Lord (Psalm 37:7) and wait on the Lord (Psalm 37:34). These traits are not meant to be understood as “hanging around.” They describe the fully prepared servant, waiting for his Master’s orders to implement. The “profitable” servant (Luke 17:10) has learned what his Master wants and stands ready to respond to the needs of the Kingdom. Patience is never obtained through bored indifference. HMM III