But let patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
I. We ought to learn this lesson, in the first place, because of THE COMFORT IT GIVES. Patience means not getting put out when things do not turn out just as we wish. Look at Job. Look at Abraham. And then look at Jacob. An old proverb says, "Patience is the remedy for all troubles." The best remedy for hard times is patience. Patience stifles anger, and sweetens the temper, and subdues pride. Patience bridles the tongue, so that it shall not speak in anger, and holds back the hand from striking in wrath. Patience makes us humble in prosperity, and cheerful in adversity. Patience comforts the poor, and restrains the rich.
II. In the second place, we ought to learn this lesson because of THE GOOD IT DOES. When a ship is going to sea, it is necessary for her to be properly ballasted. The ballast steadies the vessel, and enables her to meet the storms and billows in her way with safety. This shows us what good patience can do.
III. But there is a third reason why we should try to learn this lesson, and that is because of THE HELP WE HAVE in doing so. We have great help given, in seeking to learn this lesson, from the examples of those who have learned and practised it before us. Suppose we are trying to climb up a steep mountain. We find it very hard work. If we see no footprints of others, we may say, "No one has ever been along this path before. Perhaps it is impossible to reach the top of the mountain. What is the use of trying?" We feel discouraged, and cease striving. But if the path is well worn, and there are footprints, we know that many people have gone up the mountain: then we may feel encouraged to keep on climbing to the very top. And so, when we have examples of those who have learned the lesson of patience, and in whom "patience has had its perfect work," then we may feel encouraged to try and learn this lesson for ourselves. How patient Jesus was all the days of His life on earth!" When He was reviled, He reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not." But this lesson of patience can be learned only by the help of God's grace.
(R. Newton, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.