The apostle Paul wrote to the church of Galatia and said, "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law." The message of Galatians 5:22-23 still resounds today. If we are born of the Spirit (John 3:5, Acts 2:38, Romans 8) it is natural for us to bear the fruit of the Spirit. What does that mean? In this space today, I would like for us to consider "PATIENCE" as a fruit of the Spirit.
I tell my children, "We only do what we want to do. No one can force you to do anything." Isn't it interesting that when we are determined to do something we always find the time and strength to do it. Even if it is against all odds or if it is painful. Almost everything we do in life requires perseverance and PATIENCE. Romans 8:25 says, “But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with PATIENCE.” We have an earnest expectation (hope) of eternal life with God but we have to have PATIENCE to receive the final reward.
The Bible uses the word PATIENCE 25 times and the word PATIENT 12 times. Imagine if you combine those with the times we see the words wait, perseverance and long-suffering. The Bible has much to say about PATIENCE. In fact, from the very beginning of the Bible we learn PATIENCE. I often remind myself that the first promise of a Savior came in the garden, immediately after the fall of man (Genesis 3:15), but would not be fulfilled for a very long time. As we continue to read the Bible we will find that God already had a plan prepared before this happened, and it didn’t catch Him off guard, but mankind would have to wait around 4,000 years before that promise would be fulfilled by sending Jesus to the world. They waited for years, decades, centuries, even millennia until Jesus would come to the earth.
Once we can completely comprehend why Jesus came we will have a better understanding of His earthly ministry and work. We will also better understand God's timing. Read Ecclesiastes 3 and you'll get it. We have to be PATIENT and wait on the Lord (Isaiah 40:31).
Jesus had to come at the right time and in the right way. One of the reasons why this was essential is because He also came to serve as an example for us (I Peter 2:21-25). Mark 10:45 says, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” He PATIENTLY waited until it was His time to die, but in the meantime He served the Lord and others. The king of kings became a servant and was crucified like a criminal for us. Would you say His PATIENCE paid off? Maybe not! However, it worked out according to God's plan... His perfect plan.
If you are a follower of Jesus, then you should read your Bible. The story of Jesus perfectly illustrate hundreds of other children of God in Scripture that throughout time learned to trust God and have PATIENCE. When we wait on Him, it will get better. Almost everything we do in life requires PATIENCE. We may get caught in rush hour traffic, long lines in bank drive thru, low batteries, endless checkout lines and to be honest, getting mad does not help the situation at all. Romans 8:25 says, “But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with PATIENCE.”
Waiting on God is about trusting Him to do His part. We must listen to words from one of the songs of Korah (Psalm 46:10). We need to listen to the way they saw God speaking to His people... "Be still, and know that I am God." Are you being still? Do you know that the Lord is your God? Then... be... PATIENT.
May God bless you and keep you! Choose PATIENCE.
You are loved.
Dr. Ray Reynolds