When Patience Is Bad

By Jacob Hawk Published on April 7, 2024

I recently listened to a Christian leadership podcast, specifically for Christian men striving to lead the way in their families, churches, and careers. The speaker had many great things to say, but he made a startling observation about Satan I had never considered.

When Christians describe Satan’s character, we often use words like “cunning,” “deceitful,” “evil,” “clever,” and “vicious.” While these adjectives are certainly applicable, the podcast speaker mentioned another one of Satan’s attributes we often fail to internalize: patient.

Patience is usually held in high regard, but sometimes, patience is bad. Have you considered Satan’s patience? If you think about it, it’s spot on.

The Pivotal Moments

The Bible is full of strong leaders that Satan attacked in the “second half,” “fourth quarter,” “ninth inning,” “eighteenth hole” (you pick the sports analogy) of their lives. In the final stretch of faithfulness, Satan made his move.

  • When did Noah get drunk and do something shameful? After spending a century building the ark.
  • When did Moses lose his temper, strike the rock, and lose the Promised Land? After leading Israel through the Red Sea.
  • When did David commit adultery and cover up his infidelity with an arranged murder? After proving himself to be a strong warrior and competent king.

Satan will gladly wait to wreak havoc on your life if the delay will produce the strongest blow. God is not the only one who is “patient.” Satan is, too.

Finishing Well

Therefore, it is imperative for God’s people to finish strong. It does no good to excel in the first half if we fumble the final possession. We must finish what we began because God never halts His transformative goodness.

The Apostle Paul reminded the young preacher Timothy, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Timothy 4: 7, NIV) How easy it would have been for Paul to quit during his last lap. Satan would have loved nothing more. Paul was no stranger to suffering, but neither was he one to surrender to adversity.

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We never know which day will be our last so each moment we press on to the finish. (Philippians 3: 14, NIV)

Spiritually speaking, none of us want to be the Dallas Cowboys who win the division but can’t finish the job. We want to be the 2023 Texas Rangers who hold the trophy high at the end of the Series.

My friends, finish strong! I’m pulling for you.


Jacob Hawk, PhD, serves the Prestoncrest Church of Christ in Dallas, Texas. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Bible and Ministry from Harding University and a Ph.D. in Christian Leadership from Liberty University. He is the author of five books: Image of the Invisible God; The Hawk’s Nest: 90 Lessons for Faith and Family; When Mountains Won’t Move: How to Survive a Struggling Faith; Blinded by Darkness; and BOLD: Statements that Changed History. Jacob produces a weekly podcast, Road Talk: Navigating Your Journey, which airs weekly out of his office. To follow along with Jacob Hawk’s writing and speaking ministry, visit www.drjacobhawk.com.

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