The church, in which this living God dwells, lives, and moves, is the pillar and base upon which the reality stands [1 Tim. 3:15]. It bears the reality. Within this church the living God dwells, and upon this church the truth, the reality, stands. We are not standing for doctrine, but we are standing for Christ, the reality, the truth. We should be able to say, “Friends, come and see; come to the church and see the reality of the universe. Come and see the reality of life, the reality of love, the reality of patience, and the reality of many other things.”
One afternoon in 1933 while I was visiting Brother Watchman Nee, he suddenly asked, “Brother, what is patience?”…He was sitting in a rocking chair, rocking back and forth. Finally I ventured, “Patience is something by which one suffers and endures the ill treatment of others. That is patience.” Then he said, “No.” I asked, “Well, brother, if patience is not endurance, please tell me what it is.”
After a long period he suddenly answered, “Patience is Christ.” It was very short and very simple…I simply could not understand this kind of “foreign” language. I said, “Brother, that sounds strange to me. I do not under-stand. Please tell me what you mean.” He would not say any¬thing else but kept repeating, “Patience is Christ; patience is Christ.”
After three or four hours I left him, very much disappointed. Returning to my room, I knelt down and prayed, “Lord, tell me what it means that ‘patience is Christ.’ I cannot understand.” Finally the Lord showed me that our patience must be Christ Himself. Patience is Christ living within me and through me. When I saw this, it was a real revelation. I was so happy.
We must realize that human patience, which we can attain by ourselves, is not the real patience. Human patience is only a form and a shadow; the real patience is Christ. Everything that we need—patience, humility, kindness, love for others, and even love for God—must be found in Christ Himself. (The Economy of God, pp. 201-202)