Sermon quotes on patience


Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.

James H. Aughey

Great things are not accomplished by idle dreams, but by years of patient study.

Augustine of Hippo

Patience is the companion of wisdom.

William Barclay

The word [patience] never means the spirit which sits with folded hands and simply bears things. It is victorious endurance (and) constancy under trial. It is Christian steadfastness, the brave and courageous acceptance of everything life can do to us, and the transmuting of even the worst into another step on the upward way. It is the courageous and triumphant ability to bear things, which enables a man to pass breaking point and not to break, and always to greet the unseen with a cheer.

Letters of John and Jude, St. Andrews, 1960, p. 258.

Jerry Bridges

The cure for impatience with the fulfillment of God’s timetable is to believe His promises, obey His will, and leave the results to Him. So often when God’s timetable stretches into years we become discouraged and…want to give up or try to work something out on [our] own.

Jerry Bridges

Patience is the ability to suffer a long time under the mistreatment of others without growing resentful or bitter.

John Calvin

I have not so great a struggle with my vices, great and numerous as they are, as I have with my impatience. My efforts are not absolutely useless; yet I have never been able to conquer this ferocious wild beast.

G.K. Chesterton

One of the great disadvantages of hurry is that it takes such a long time.

John Chrysostom

Patience is the queen of virtues.

Pierre Teilhard De Chardin

Above all, trust in the slow work of God.

We are quite naturally impatient in everything

to reach the end without delay.

We should like to skip the intermediate stages.

We are impatient of being on the way to something

unknown, something new.

And yet it is the law of all progress

that it is made by passing through

some stages of instability—

and that it may take a very long time.

And so I think it is with you;

your ideas mature gradually—let them grow,

let them shape themselves, without undue haste.

Don’t try to force them on,

as though you could be today what time

(that is to say, grace and circumstances

acting on your own good will)

will make of you tomorrow.

Only God could say what this new spirit

gradually forming within you will be.

Give Our Lord the benefit of believing

that his hand is leading you,

and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself

in suspense and incomplete.

Taken from Michael Harter, Hearts on Fire: Praying with Jesuits.

Francis de Sales

Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections, but instantly set about remedying them – every day begin the task anew.

Elisabeth Elliot

I realized that the deepest spiritual lessons are not learned by His letting us have our way in the end, but by His making us wait, bearing with us in love and patience until we are able to honestly to pray what He taught His disciples to pray: Thy will be done.”

Passion and Purity: Learning to Bring Your Love Life Under Christ’s Control.

William Faulkner

And sure enough, even waiting will end…if you can just wait long enough.

Ajith Fernando

Christian patience is an active thing. It conveys the idea of positive endurance rather than quiet acceptance.

The Supremacy of Christ, 1995, Crossway Books.

Sinclair B. Ferguson

Appearances can be deceptive. The fact that we cannot see what God is doing does not mean that He is doing nothing. The Lord has His own timetable. It is we who must learn to adjust to it, not vice versa. When God’s time comes nothing will stand in His way. We can therefore wait for Him with this happy confidence: “As for God, His way is perfect” (2 Samuel 22:31).

Sinclair B. Ferguson

No short-cut that tries to bypass the patient unfolding of the true character of God, and our relationship to him as his children, can ever succeed in providing long-term spiritual therapy.

Harry Emerson Fosdick

Rebellion against your handicaps gets you nowhere. Self-pity gets you nowhere. One must have the adventurous daring to accept oneself as a bundle of possibilities and undertake the most interesting game in the world-making the most of one’s best.

John Fowles

I can stick artificial flowers on this tree that will not flower; or I can create the conditions in which the tree is likely to flower naturally. I may have to wait longer for my real flowers; but they are the only true ones.

The Aristos, Little, Brown Publishing Co.

Benjamin Franklin

He that can have patience can have what he will.

Thomas Fuller

It is better to have a hen tomorrow than an egg today.

Chip Ingram

Let’s help people get on board with what God wants to give them, but what we don’t want is the process. Everyone wants the product.

St. John of the Cross

Whenever anything disagreeable or displeasing happens to you remember Christ crucified and be silent.

Martyn Lloyd-Jones

There is nothing which so certifies the genuineness of a man’s faith as his patience and his patient endurance, his keeping on steadily in spite of everything.

Helen Keller

I can see, and that is why I can be happy, in what you call the dark, but which to me is golden. I can see a God-made world, not a manmade world.

Thomas a Kempis

All men commend patience, although few are willing to practice it.

Thomas a Kempis

Set not thyself to attain much rest, but much patience.

Thomas a Kempis

Thy peace shall be in much patience.

Woodrow Kroll

Quite honestly, most people are quick to “write someone off.” But our God is a God of the second chance. Learn from One who is patient with you, and you’ll learn to be patient with others.

C.S. Lewis

A blessed spirit is a mould ever more and more patient of the bright metal poured into it, a body ever more completely uncovered to the meridian blaze of the spiritual sun.

C.S. Lewis

Everyone feels benevolent if nothing happens to be annoying him at the moment.

C.S. Lewis

“The help will come,” said Trufflehunter. “I stand by Aslan. Have patience, like us beasts. The help will come. It may be even now at the door.”

Prince Caspian

C.S. Lewis

I am sure that God keeps no one waiting unless He sees that it is good for him to wait.

Mere Christianity

Martin Luther

Those speak foolishly who ascribe their anger or their impatience to such as offend them or to tribulation. Tribulation does not make people impatient, but proves that they are impatient. So everyone may learn from tribulation how his heart is constituted.

Erwin W. Lutzer

The work that God does in us when we wait is usually more important than the thing for which we wait!

When You’ve Been Wronged: Moving From Bitterness to Forgiveness


Alexander MacLaren

Do not let the loud utterances of your own wills anticipate, nor drown, the still, small voice in which God speaks. Bridle impatience till He does. If you cannot hear His whisper, wait till you do. Take care of running before you are sent. Keep your wills in equipoise till God’s hand gives the impulse and direction.

Peter Marshall

Teach us, O Lord, the disciplines of patience, for to wait is often harder than to work.

Crystal McDowell

Our patience is demonstrated most clearly when we settle ourselves and focus on what we can do while we wait.

A.A. Milne

“Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.”



“Trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit.”


Henri J.M. Nouwen

A waiting person is a patient person. The word patience means the willingness to stay where we are and live the situation out to the full in the belief that something hidden there will manifest itself to us.

John O’Donohue

What you encounter, recognize or discover depends to a large degree on the quality of your approach. Many of the ancient cultures practiced careful rituals of approach. An encounter of depth and spirit was preceded by careful preparation.

When we approach with reverence, great things decide to approach us. Our real life comes to the surface and its light awakens the concealed beauty in things. When we walk on the earth with reverence, beauty will decide to trust us. The rushed heart and arrogant mind lack the gentleness and patience to enter that embrace.

Beauty: The Invisible Embrace


Cornelius Plantinga

Patience is like good motor oil. It doesn’t remove all the contaminants. It just puts them into suspension so they don’t get into your works and seize them up. Patient people have, so to speak, a large crankcase. They can put a lot of irritants into suspension.

Fulton J. Sheen

Patience is power. Patience is not an absence of action; rather it is ‘timing’ it waits on the right time to act, for the right principles and in the right way.

A.B. Simpson

Beloved, have you ever thought that someday you will not have anything to try you, or anyone to vex you again? There will be no opportunity in heaven to learn or to show the spirit of patience, forbearance, and longsuffering. If you are to practice these things, it must be now.

Charles Spurgeon

Patience is a grace as difficult as it is necessary, and as hard to come by as it is precious when it is gained.

Charles Spurgeon

Never was the victory of patience more complete than in the early church. The anvil broke the hammer by bearing all the blows that the hammer could place upon it. The patience of the saints was stronger than the cruelty of tyrants.

Charles Spurgeon

Patience! patience! you are always in a hurry, but God is not.

Margaret Thatcher

I am extraordinarily patient, provided I get my own way in the end.

Leo Tolstoy

“The strongest of all warriors are these two — Time and Patience.”

War and Peace

A.W. Tozer

What then are we to do about our problems? We must learn to live with them until such time as God delivers us from them. We must pray for grace to endure them without murmuring. Problems patiently endured will work for our spiritual perfecting. They harm us only when we resist them or endure them unwillingly.

A.W. Tozer

The faith of Christ offers no buttons to push for quick service. The new order must wait the Lord’s own time, and that is too much for the man in a hurry. He just gives up and becomes interested in something else.

John Wesley

Humility and patience are the surest proofs of the increase of love.

Orson F. Whitney

No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God . . . and it is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we come here to acquire and which will make us more like our Father and Mother in heaven.

Robert Louis Wilken

The singular mark of patience is not endurance or fortitude but hope. To be impatient . . . is to live without hope. Patience is grounded in the Resurrection. It is life oriented toward a future that is God’s doing, and its sign is longing, not so much to be released from the ills of the present, but in anticipation of the good to come.

The Spirit of Early Christian Thought: Seeking the Face of God (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005), 284.

John Arnold

We are too anxious to be able to wait for fruit and time to ripen, so we take the shortcuts of robbery and violence, even the torture of little children; sin leads to crimes against both nature and our fellow human beings.

Life Conquers Death: Meditations on the Garden, the Cross, and the Tree of Life (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2007), 118.

Francis De Sales

Be patient with everyone, but above all with yourself. I mean, do not be disturbed because of your imperfections, and always rise up bravely from a fall. I’m glad that you make daily a new beginning; there is no better means of progress in the spiritual life than to be continually beginning afresh.

Louis C. K.

People say there’s delays on flights. Delays, really? New York to California in five hours. That used to take thirty years to do that and a bunch of you would die on the way there and have a baby. You’d be with a whole different group of people by the time you got there. Now you watch a movie . . . and you’re home.

Ernest Hemingway

There are some things which cannot be learned quickly, and time, which is all we have, must be paid heavily for their acquiring.  

Kosuke Koyama

God walks “slowly” because he is love. If he is not love he would have gone much faster. Love has its speed. It is an inner speed. It is a spiritual speed. It is a different kind of speed from the technological speed to which we are accustomed. It is “slow” yet it is lord over all other speed since it is the speed of love. It goes on in the depth of our life, whether we notice or not, whether we are currently hit by storm or not, at three miles an hour. It is the speed we walk and therefore it is the speed the love of God walks.

Three Mile an Hour God (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1979), p. 7.

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