Patience is the capacity to tolerate challenges or delays without getting upset. Most of us would love to have more patience in our lives, but it’s not always easy.

Patience is the topic of many Bible studies, counseling sessions and prayers because life can push us toward reaction, frustration and disappointment. We may find ourselves praying for more patience when we’ve been:

  • Waiting on the Lord to give us clarity in our lives.
  • Praying for a long time for God to change our circumstances.
  • Losing our temper with others.
  • Growing weary and longing for the second coming of the Lord.

No matter what leads us to desire more patience, the Bible offers excellent guidance. Let’s look to the Word of God to explore how to become more patient and what it means to have patience.

What Does the Bible Say About Being Patient?

We can learn a lot about patience in the Bible, which tells us that:

  • Patience comes from wisdom.
  • Love is patient.
  • We should be patient and gentle with one another.
  • God is patient with us.
  • Jesus exercised patience on earth.
  • We should persevere and be patient when waiting on the Lord.
  • Patience will be rewarded.
  • Patience is a fruit of the Spirit.

Good Bible Verses for Patience

All verses taken from the New International Version (NIV) unless otherwise noted.

Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage — with great patience and careful instruction.

— 2 Timothy 4:2

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

— Romans 12:12

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

— Galatians 6:9

But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

— Romans 8:25

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

— Ephesians 4:2

For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.

— Hebrews 10:36, KJV

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

— Colossians 3:12-13

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

— 1 Corinthians 13:4

And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone.

— 1 Thessalonians 5:14

The end of a thing is better than its beginning; The patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.

— Ecclesiastes 7:8, NKJV

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

— Galatians 5:22-23

We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

— 1 Thessalonians 1:3

The Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.

— Romans 8:26)

Waiting on the Lord

These Bible verses remind us that God’s timing is perfect and that we will be rewarded when we wait on the Lord.

He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end.

— Ecclesiastes 3:11 NASB

Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.

— Psalm 27:14

For through the Spirit we eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope.

— Galatians 5:5

“In the time of my favor I will answer you, and in the day of salvation I will help you.”

— Isaiah 49:8

Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.

— James 5:7-8

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.

— 2 Peter 3:8

The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.

— Lamentations 3:25-26

This is what the LORD says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

— Jeremiah 29:10-11

Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!

— Psalm 37:7, ESV

I waited patiently for the LORD; And He inclined to me, And heard my cry.

— Psalm 40:1, NKJV

For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.

— Habakkuk 2:3

I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”

— Lamentations 3:24

We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

— Romans 8:22-25

But they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

— Isaiah 40:31, ESV

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

— Philippians 4:4-6, ESV

God’s Patience

Scripture teaches us that God is patient with us, his children.

The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.

— Psalm 103:8

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

— 2 Peter 3:9

But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life.

— 1 Timothy 1:16, NLT

Then the Lord passed by in front of him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth.”

— Exodus 34:6, NASB

What Are Some Proverbs About Patience?

A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.

— Proverbs 19:11

With patience a ruler may be persuaded, and a soft tongue will break a bone.

— Proverbs 25:15, ESV

Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly.

— Proverbs 14:29

A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.

— Proverbs 15:18, ESV

Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city.

— Proverbs 16:32

Patience: Even Harder for Children

Anyone who has spent time with a child knows that waiting is even harder for them than it is for adults! Remember being a child and waiting for your birthday or Christmas? The wait seemed like an eternity.

For children in Compassion’s program, the wait for a sponsor can range from only a few days to over a year. When children wait longer than others to hear they’ve been sponsored, they need a great deal of patience.

After being registered in the Child Sponsorship Program, a child begins going to a church in their community for health checkups, tutoring, Scripture lessons, nutritious food and more. While they wait for their very own sponsor to exchange letters of encouragement with, the tutors at their Compassion center pray with them and help guide them in patience.

A child’s joy is contagious when they learn that the wait is finally over and they have been sponsored!

End the Wait for a Child Hoping for a Sponsor. Sponsor a Child Today!

Compassion International is a Christ-centered, church-driven and child focused ministry. Our mission is to release children from poverty in Jesus’ name. We partner with local churches in each country we work in so that every child in our program has the chance to hear about God’s love.

Give With Confidence

With Compassion, your donation is used wisely to help children around the world.

Lock IconWe use industry-standard communication protocols to ensure your personal information is encrypted and transmitted without risk.

Trusted Charity Since 1952

Have Questions About Compassion and How We Work?

Donating to a charity is an important decision. So when you’re passionate about a cause and want to make a difference, we encourage you to do your research. Compassion is 100% committed to financial integrity, stewardship and using each dollar wisely. If you have any questions about Compassion or exactly how your donation will be used, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Questions?

Please call us at 800-336-7676, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. MT to speak with a Compassion representative.