Patience – Fruit of the Spirit

1 Timothy 1:16, “Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life.”

Charles Spurgeon once said, “Patience is a grace as difficult as it is necessary, and as hard to come by as it is precious when it is gained.” Though patience is one of the hardest aspects of the Christian walk, it is one of the most important and the most valuable. The first description of love is patience, and it is in patience that God rescues sinners. If it is our goal to be like Christ, what better way than reflect His patience in every area of our lives?

Patience was first an attribute of God. The only reason why we are even able to practice patience toward our Father and toward other believers is because He was first patient toward us. Our sin deserves immediate, complete, overwhelming, and terrible wrath. Nothing more and nothing less. And yet we abide under grace, we live in hope, we experience peace, we are not afraid, we draw another breath, because God is patient. Before we can be truly patient, we must acknowledge that God was first patient toward us (regardless of the fact that we are corrupted and depraved and perverted by sin) and that He provided salvation as a gift which we will never deserve. We must constantly remind ourselves that we live and serve God because He is slow to anger, slow to punish, slow to avenge, bearing the disgraces and offenses of our sins. This is the example we are to follow in true patience. This patience is love, forgiveness, grace, mercy, faithfulness, everlasting and never failing. 2 Peter 2:9, “The Lord, is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.”

Patience is to be our attitude toward God. The Christian walk takes faith, and genuine faith is expressed through patience. First, we wait patiently for God’s provision. Knowing that He is faithful in all things, leaning wholly on Him because we have no power of our own, we wait for God to provide strength, endurance, and hope. To put it quite frankly, we are not allowed to be afraid at any moment in time, regardless of the need, or the situation, or circumstance, trial, or struggle. We must always wait for God’s provision, patiently expecting in faith, without any doubting. Second, we wait patiently for His coming, for Christ’s return. This is the reward of our labor and hardship for Christ! When we behold Christ in heavenly glory reigning forever, we will delight to worship and honor Him! But until then, we wait and we watch, keeping a heavenly perspective. In every moment, out patience in longing to be united with Christ will cause us to do all things to His glory. Yes, we desire to be united with Christ, but we patiently wait for Him, using every opportunity to bring Him glory. This is our attitude toward God, waiting patiently for His provision and for His imminent return. James 5:7-8, “Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near.

Patience is essential in our attitude toward others. Finally, we are clearly and directly commanded to be patient with everyone. There are no exceptions, no excuses or special cases. We all know that love is to shape our relationships with everyone we come into contact with……. and we all know that love is patient, right? Our conduct toward one another can no longer include anger or strife or annoyance. In essence, the Greek word for patience as seen in 1 Thess (above) is translated “bearing the offenses and injuries of others, to be mild and slow in avenging, to be longsuffering, slow to anger”. Is this not how God has treated us in His kindness and mercy? So we are to treat others.  Patience is an essential aspect of love, and love is the defining factor in our relationships with fellow believers are well as those who are unbelievers. This is the command, that we are to be patient, and God is expecting us to keep it. 1 Thessalonians 5:14, “We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone.


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Comments
One Response to “Patience – Fruit of the Spirit”
  1. Rosalind Wyton says:

    Good stuff. I need to send you some of the things I am working on.

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