In the early days of the church some questioned the need for the Old Testament writings. Knowing that the church is not under law but under grace made them think the ancient writings no longer had value for believers.  Paul tells them that things written before Pentecost, the beginning of the church age, have lessons.  They were written not only for the people of the past but for those of the future to teach and instruct.  Just as the ancient writings told the people of the past about their future hope in Christ, to help in times of trials, they would teach the present believers how to hold onto their present hope, Christ, in difficult times.

For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Romans 15:4 KJV

The first century Christians had the saints of old, like Job, Daniel, and David, and their stories of how they felt and struggled and responded to trials and tribulations as examples to encourage them to persevere.  We, today, not only have the saints and martyrs of the Old Testament, we also have those of the New Testament, and we have Jesus Christ.

From the scripture record of the lives of faithful believers we learn about patience, what it is and what it is not.

Patience is not passive but active.
Patience implies suffering but not defeat.
Patience perseveres it does not give up.
Patience endures it does not disappear.

Through the lives of those who believed before us we are comforted.  We are comforted by the stories of the Old Testament believers because of their hope in the Savior, who had not yet been fully revealed; and we are comforted by the New Testament believers in how they walked in the footsteps of the Savior.  We are encouraged by the honesty of their suffering.  They give us confidence that we, too, will have victory in our trials.  

All scripture is God-breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16 NIV

Paul told the believers of his day that knowing God’s Word would teach them patience and they would be comforted and have hope; and in their hope they would have blessings.

 Paul is also speaking to the church today.  Are we listening?

The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him, to the one who seeks Him.
Lamentations 3:25 NIV

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