Rev 1:9 KJV – I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
John, while under the persecution of the Roman government, was called upon to exercise a tremendous amount of patience. He knew that the churches of Asia were exercising great patience as well in the midst of the opposition that they faced. Because of this, John described himself as a “companion in the patience of Christ”.
Folks, when we face opposition to our service to Christ, one of the most important spiritual fruits we are to exercise is the fruit of patience. The Apostle Paul remembered this truth when he recalled his past sufferings for the cause of Christ…
“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 alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and [yet] possessing all things.” (2 Corinthians 6:4-10)
In these verses, Paul explains that the exercise of patience in the midst of hardships results in “approving ourselves as the ministers of God”. In other words, when others see our patience in the midst of persecution for the faith, it proves to them we are genuine followers of Christ.
When we patiently endure persecution, we are following the example that Christ Himself has set for us…
“ For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not;…” (1 Peter 2:21-24)
By being patient in tribulations, we are living representations of what Christ has done for His people. In other words, through the possession of a patient, calm demeanor, we are displaying to a lost and dying world the tremendous love and grace that Christ has shown towards us as He faced such great pain and suffering without complaint or regret.
There are, basically, two areas of belief allow us to patiently endure suffering, our 1 Peter text continues by giving us the first basis of our patience…
“…but committed [himself] to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.”
First of all, we can be patient in tribulation because we are trusting in our Lord to accompany us, care for us, and allow only what is for our good into our lives.
Paul helps us to understand the second basis of our patience during hardships..
“ For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, [then] do we with patience wait for [it].” (Romans 8:24-25)
Secondly, we find that we can be patient in times of trials because we have hope of a wonderful future. Someday, these trials will pass away and we will enjoy eternal life in glorified bodies, in the presence of our Lord!
May we all seek to live lives of patient enduring during times of hardship, knowing that we are showing Christ to all who are around us.
May the Lord bless us as we seek to serve Him, the One that is so clearly revealed to us in the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ.
For an in depth look at this section of the Revelation: