Christian Living

Running with Patience: Biblical Wisdom for Spiritual Growth and Ministry.

Running with patience
Running with patience

In the New Testament, the word “PATIENCE” holds significant importance, appearing 34 times in the King James version. Thirty of these occurrences are found in the epistles (Romans to Revelation), emphasizing its relevance to the Spirit-driven life and ministry.

This article delves into the biblical teachings on patience, highlighting its crucial role in the faith, life, and in ministry – and discouragement in same, in the face of contradictions, oppositions and deferred hopes. We will also see that the true test of our faithfulness in the service of God, and the experience of His power in our walk of faith is in patience.

The Parable of the Sower (Luke 8:4-15):

In the parable of the Sower, we find Jesus highlighting the relevance of patience in spiritual productivity.

“But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.”

Luke 8:15 KJV

The text above is the concluding part of the morale of the parable, where the seed falls to the good ground. Jesus explains same as “…they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.

This is very instructive – while the recipient’s heart is honest and good, the fruit only comes forth with patience. Genuine spiritual growth is intricately tied to patience.

seed growing

Fruitfulness or productivity in the things of the kingdom, no matter the context and or goal, cannot by-pass patience. True growth in the things of the Spirit is in the patience of the spirit. Patience is the intersection where the power of God reaches, meets, helps and changes us into that which we must become to truly discover, receive develop, and give ministry.

The desire for quick and sudden growth in life and in ministry is not of God. It is worldliness. In the things of God, we do not blow, we grow. Healthy spiritual growth is that which happens with patience, and therefore happens overtime, and not overnight. There are growths that are healthy, and there are growths that are not. Cancer is a growth, but it is not one you want to have.

Running with Patience:

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us;
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Hebrews 12:1-2 KJV

The above passage may sound paradoxical, how can one “run” with “patience”? You would think that running will mean that you cannot afford patience. Not so, in the faith life and ministry.
Contextually, the terms “run” and “race” do not advocate for speed but emphasize perseverance and precision, it is not about the haste of our feet but the gaze of our sight.

How we run the race of the Spirit is by patience

The term “looking” is from the Greek “aphoraō“, which means “to give total  attention to, to fixate on, to give total focus to.” In context, the term infers to look away from the “cloud of witnesses,” which specifically infers all the aforementioned characters (angels, and the heroes of faith) and characteristics of Judaism (the tabernacles, its instruments, the blood of the chosen animals, the rituals of atonement and worship), and focus solely and wholly on Christ, whom they all bear witness of.

This is what the race is about. It’s not a race against one another. The sense is not one of competition but of the revelation of Jesus, and it requires time, in both quality and quantity, hence the accompanying word “patience”.

Believers are encouraged to run the race with patience, looking unto Jesus as the author and finisher of their faith. This race is not a competition against others but a journey toward the revelation knowledge of Jesus, requiring both quality and quantity of time, hence the accompanying word “patience.”

The Example of Jesus:

The life and ministry of Jesus perfectly exemplifies patience. Although God could have supernaturally accelerated Jesus’ growth, His life followed a natural course.

“And Jesus matured, growing up in both body and spirit, blessed by both God and people.”

Luke 2:52 MSG

Jesus patiently grew to maturity over 30 years before engaging in His messianic work. His death, burial, and resurrection also unfolded patiently, emphasizing the importance of timing and process.

The “modern-day civilized” Christianity and ministry is a hasty one. One that is detached from the Spirit of patience. Many now see the process that should birth forth patience as a delay.
Ministry has become a rat race, marked by pseudo-spirituality, competition, and an unhealthy pursuit of stardom. Biblical virtues such as endurance, forbearance and longsuffering are now often considered as weaknesses, stagnation and setbacks. Many believe that “as long it works, then it is from God.” But ministry is not about what works, but what God wants to be done, and if it is about God, patience will always be a crucial criterion.


“But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses; in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings; by pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned; by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left; by honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true; As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.”

2 Corinthians 6:4-10 KJV

Patience, as advocated in the Bible, is not a hindrance but a virtue that shapes the character of believers and ministers of God. Approving ourselves as ministers requires much patience, enduring afflictions, necessities, and distresses. In a world driven by instant gratification, the biblical call to run with patience serves as a timeless reminder of the enduring principles of faith and spiritual growth.

2 Comments on “Running with Patience: Biblical Wisdom for Spiritual Growth and Ministry.

  1. I have never felt this urge of wanting to sit and listen to teaching until I heard the words that precedes out of Apostle TD. Philip. They are really life transforming. Thank God for reaching out to me through you sir🙌🙌

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