Have You Read the Books of Patience and Comfort in the Bible?
I hope you are familiar enough with the books of the Bible to know that there are no books titled, “Patience” or “Comfort”. However, what we do have woven through the books of the Bible, are patience and comfort. Let’s read Romans 15, verses 4-6: “4 For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. 5 Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, 6 that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” The phrase “whatever things were written before” is a reference to what we would call the “Old Testament” of the modern Bible. We are told that the words of God can provide patience and comfort and ultimately hope; but these qualities are of little benefit to us if we do not read the Bible. Notice the practical application of verse 5. The scriptures move us toward like-mindedness, that all with one accord can glorify God. In my experience, most of the division that is caused in the body of Christ is not based on the fact that the Bible is confusing or hard to understand. Rather, the division arises when the plain meaning of the Bible is jettisoned; and this can happen on both the conservative and liberal sides. When we attempt to use the Bible to justify a position, instead of letting our position originate from the text, we have little patience and comfort. If we place studying and applying the word of God in community together, we will experience patience and comfort and we will be united in our glory of God. Comfort and patience are both qualities that seem to be in short supply today and yet they flow abundantly from God’s word. Please receive them.