Bear It Patiently

Another supreme duty which the prevalence of sickness requires of us, is that of always being ready to bear it patiently. Sickness is no doubt a trying thing to flesh and blood. To feel our nerves unstrung, and our natural energy reduced, to be obliged to sit still and be cut off from all our usual activities, to see our plans broken off and our purposes disappointed, to endure long hours, and days, and nights of weariness and pain-all this is a severe strain on poor sinful human nature. What wonder if bad temper and patience are brought out by disease! Surely in such a dying world as this we should study patience…

Let me dwell on this point. I believe the passive graces of Christianity receive far less notice than they deserve. Meekness, gentleness, longsuffering, faithfulness, patience, are all mentioned in the Word of God as fruit of the Spirit. They are passive graces which specially glorify God. They often make men thin, who despise the active side of the Christian character. Never do these graces shine so brightly as they do in the sick room. They enable many a sick person to preach a silent sermon, which those around him never forget. Would you adorn the doctrine you profess? Would you make your Christianity beautiful in the eyes of others? Then take the suggestion I give you this day. Lay up a store of patience against the time of illness. Then, though your sickness be not to death, it shall be “for the glory of God” (John 11:4).

-J.C. Ryle, Sickness

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