5-Minute Bible Studies

PATIENCE – A Five-Minute Study

Faith Committee, Character Council of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky


Contributed by David and Christine Palmer
Ph.D Candidates at Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati, Ohio

July 31, 2001


Anything worthwhile is worth waiting for. The example of Abraham displays the quality of patience in a powerful way. His patience involved the following challenges:

Although God promised Abraham the following three things:

  • 1) God would give him many descendants
  • 2) God would make his name great; and
  • 3) Abraham would be a blessing to all the nations (Genesis 12:1-3).

Abraham lived and died with the following three realities:

  • 1) Abraham received his legal descendant when he was 100 years;
  • 2) Abraham was not perceived as a great man by his contemporaries; and
  • 3) Abraham owned only enough land to bury himself and his wife when he died.

Despite these obstacles, the Bible conveys that Abraham came to believe that God would fulfill his promises to Abraham after his death in the resurrection.

After ‘waiting’ for nearly 2,000 years, the promise of God to Abraham has been fulfilled through the death and resurrection of his descendant Jesus in these three ways:

  • 1) All who believe are counted as legal descendants of Abraham (Galatians 3:7);
  • 2) God has made the name of Abraham great through the work of Jesus (Galatians 3:9); and
  • 3) In and through Jesus, the blessing of Abraham has come to all the nations (Galatians 3:14).

Anything worthwhile is worth waiting for. Abraham’s patience was rooted in the promise and provision of God who can overcome any obstacle, even death itself.

BIBLICAL TEXT: Hebrews 6:11-20

11 We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, in order to make your hope sure. 12 We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.

13 When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, 14 saying, “I will surely bless you and give you many descendants” (Genesis 17:2).

15 And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.

16 Men swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument. 17 Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath.18 God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged.

19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, 20 where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.


Some practical evidences of patience in our lives are seen in the following “I will” statements:

I will change the things I can change and accept the things I can’t.
I will keep trying until I succeed.
I will make the most of my time.
I will not interrupt.
I will not complain if I don’t get my way.

Divide into pairs and discuss:

How does the life of Abraham exhibit the character trait of patience?

What are some of the things that you can acquire only through patience?


Spend a few minutes in personal reflection with God:

In what situations in my life right now do I need to be more patient? Make a prayer list of areas in your own life and relationships where you need to take a long-term view. Ask God to help you put your confidence in him to strengthen you for the long road of godliness and character building in each of these areas.



This material is published by the Faith Committee of the Character Council of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. Reproduction and Adaptation is encouraged.