In your patience possess ye your souls — Luke 21:19
"Let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing," the Apostle explains. Very evidently patience, therefore, includes other graces of character—implies their possession to a certain extent. Among the Lord's people patience surely must be preceded by faith, and the degree of patience very generally measures the amount of faith. The Christian who finds himself impatient and restless evidently is lacking in faith toward the Lord; for otherwise he would be able to rest in the Lord's gracious promises and wait for their fulfillment. After using reasonable diligence and energy, he should be content to leave the results and times and seasons with the Lord—Z '03, 361 (R 3245).
The text should read: "By your patience preserve ye your souls." The word here translated patience is not from the Greek word meaning longsuffering, but from the one meaning steadfastness. It is the strength of character whereby, through perseverance in well-doing amid difficulties which are cheerfully endured we press on in well-doing by reinforcing self-control therein. This definition makes the text transparent. Jesus' exhortation encourages us to press on, cheerfully enduring obstacles in the way of well-doing; for by such a course alone will we be able to gain the preservation of our spiritual lives—P '35, 117.
Parallel passages: Psa. 37:7-9; Eccles. 7:8; Lam. 3:26, 27; Luke 8:15; Rom. 2:7; 5:3, 4; 12:12; 15:4, 5; Gal. 6:9; Col. 1:10, 11; 1 Thes. 1:3; Heb. 6:12, 15; 10:36; 12:1; Jas. 1:3, 4; 5:7, 8.
Hymns: 267, 25, 57, 134, 307, 179, 200.
Poems of Dawn, 134: Be Strong.
Tower Reading: Z '13, 312 (R 5332).
Questions: Was I patient this week? How? Why? Under what circumstances? With what results?
BE strong to bear, O heart of mine,
Faint not when sorrows come.
The sum of all these ills of earth
Prepares thee for thy home.
So many burdened ones there are
Close toiling by thy side,
Assist, encourage, comfort them,
Thine own deep anguish hide.
What though thy trials may seem great?
Thy strength is known to God,
And pathways steep and rugged lead
To pastures green and broad.
Be strong to love, O heart of mine,
Live not for self alone;
But find, in blessing other lives,
Completeness for thine own.
Seek every hungry heart to feed,
Each saddened heart to cheer;
And when stern justice stands aloof,
In mercy draw thou near.
True, loving words and helping hands
Have won more souls for Heaven
Than all the mixed and various creeds
By priests and sages given.
For every grief a joy will come,
For every toil a rest;
So hope, so love, so patient bear—
God doeth all things best.
Be strong to hope, O heart of mine,
Look not on life's dark side;
For just beyond these gloomy hours
Rich, radiant days abide.
Let hope, like summer's rainbow bright,
Scatter thy falling tears,
And let God's precious promises
Dispel thine anxious fears.