“…and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary“
Jesus continues His positive evaluation of the Ephesian church from verse two.
and you have persevered and have patience,
This translation uses two synonyms to describe one Greek word. Another asset of the Ephesian church is that they “persevered” with “patience.” They were under attack from the Roman government and religion yet they persisted in the face of persecution.
This is the second time in two verses that the Holy Spirit uses “patience.” Literally, “patience” means to abide under. It carries the idea of hanging in there when the going gets tough (2 Corinthians 6:4; 12:12; 2 Timothy 3:10; Hebrews 12:1,2). It is our faith that carries us in times of trouble. Our faith has such capacity that it can bear up under difficult circumstances. Faith in God’s promises can support any burden that may come our way.
and have labored
“Labored” carries the idea of supporting a burden — to bear or carry a heavy or burdensome object, to undergo a grievous, difficult experience (Acts 15:10). This person can take a lot of trouble under unusually trying circumstances because he loves the Lord Jesus. This church was willing to undergo difficult and grievous experiences for the Lord.
“From now on let no one trouble me, for I bear in my body the marks [the scars for serving Jesus] of the Lord Jesus” (Galatians 6:17).
The idea is to continue to bear up under unusually trying circumstances and difficulties. This is a stronger term than “persevered.” This person can accept situations difficult to understand or respond to properly (John 16:12). He provides continuous and prolonged assistance by meeting the needs of the Lord’s work (Acts 20:34). This is the capacity to suffer for someone else (Galatians 6:17).
for My name’s sake
The word “for” means because of. The reason the Ephesian church could go through all their difficulties the way they did was that they did it for the Lord.
and have not become weary
“Labored” means to grow tired by toil. The idea is that some can become emotionally fatigued and discouraged and yet not give up or lose heart.
Faith in the promises of God carries us in times of trouble.
People who love the Lord do not tire as easily as those who do not. Nothing daunts them because of their trust in the Lord. They carry so much of the Word in their daily experience that they apply it to any situation they might face. They persist in and insist on serving the Lord no matter what. No discouragement or hardship will stop them.
“People who love the Lord do not tire as easily as those who do not…” seems an awfully bold statement. Isa. 40:31 It seems the whole idea of renewing one’s strength implies that strength had waned. It is a given that believers get tired. At the time of this writing (Revelation) John was an old man and probably more tired than any number of younger unbelievers under the same circumstances. It seems there are many, many more variables in the equation equaling tired other than simply one’s relationship to Christ.
I am getting older and tire more easily than ever before. It doesn’t seem to be a so much a spiritual issue. However, I don’t believe growing “weary” and “tired” are quite the same.
Gividen, I do not mean physical tiredness but spiritual vitality. Dynamic love for the Lord overcomes the proclivity to wane in our walk with the Lord.