Godly Patience (Ecclesiastes 7:8) - Radical

Godly Patience (Ecclesiastes 7:8)

Better is the end of a thing than its beginning. And the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.
– Ecclesiastes 7:8

This is a really good, helpful, instructive verse for us, so let’s just soak it in, and pray according to it.

Ecclesiastes 7:8 encourages us to live for the long term.

So better is the end of a thing than the beginning. In other words, don’t get so focused on where things start or where things are right now, but look to the end. Look at where things are going, and live with a long-term view. This is so important for us as followers of Jesus because we walk through so many things in this fallen world where we struggle and we hurt, and we wonder why is this happening. And it’s so good to be reminded of Ecclesiastes 7:8.

Take the long view. We know in Romans 8:28, that God’s working all these things together for good. That’s the end. This is all working for good to those who love God, for us to be conformed to his image, and restored to the relationship with him that we were designed to have from the beginning. That’s where this will all end.

Ecclesiastes 7:8 reminds us to patiently trust God.

So trust in him knowing that this part of the story is not the end, which then leads into the second part of verse 8, “And the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.” Oh, here’s a call straight from God for patience in our lives, which I’ll be the first to confess, I’m not good at. I get so impatient. I want things to happen fast and soon. Especially when I’m walking through challenges, I want them to end soon, but the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.

And that’s where I see that my impatience is a picture of pride. Whenever I am impatient, it’s because I think I know better timing than God. And I need to be humbled in this way to leave behind my pride of spirit, thinking I know better than God, and instead to be patient. I can’t be patient in and of myself on my own, but this is part of the fruit of His Spirit in me. Fruit of the Spirit, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. So let’s pray based on this verse.

God, help us to be patient in spirit. God, we pray that you would remove the pride from us that leads to impatience in us. Help us to trust you. Lord, help us trust your timing. Help us to walk faithfully with you each day, not passively just sitting back, but actively obeying you with patient trust in you, knowing that you are working all things that we’re walking through toward an end that is good for us and for all who know and love and trust you. We praise you for that confidence.

This verse reminds us God has a glorious ending in mind.

We praise you that we know how the story ends, that we know will be with you, and you’ll wipe every tear from our eyes. And there won’t be any more sin and any more sorrow and any more pain and any more death, all glory be to your name, that this is where the end will be for all who trust in you. So we say today, we trust in you, and we praise you that the end will be better than the beginning.

And we pray for patience as we wait for the end and for humility to trust you in the middle of it all. And Jesus, we praise you for making the end glorious and making this confidence in our hearts today possible through your life, your death, and your resurrection from the grave. We praise you that sin and death were not the end for you, that you conquered sin in your sinless life, that you rose from the grave and victory over sin and death.

Prayer for the Sinhalese People

All glory be to your name. You are our hope. God, we pray for the spread of the hope of Jesus through our lives today and in the world. God, we pray for the Sinhalese people of China… 400,000 of them with very few believers…  Most never have heard the good news of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. God, please cause the Sinhalese people to be reached with that gospel so that they might enjoy you forever in the end, as your children. God, may it be so. We pray all these things according to your Word in Ecclesiastes 7:8, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

David Platt

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


That means that the people with the most urgent spiritual and physical needs on the planet are receiving the least amount of support. Together we can change that!