Before we continue, I just want to remember why the nine spiritual fruits of the Spirit are so important. Here they are, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23) These nine fruits of the Spirit are so important for our character.
When you look for people to partner with in business, when you want to find ‘good, solid’ friends, when you are considering ‘who’ to marry, character goes right to the top of the list. You character sums you up. Furthermore, the character you acquire in this life, is the one you will take with you to serve God with for all of eternity.
Just like physical fruit need time to grow, the fruit of the Spirit will not ripen in our lives overnight. As we mature in our walk with the Holy Spirit, all the characteristics of our spiritual fruits will grow as well.
So far, we have looked at the fruits of love, joy and peace. Our focus today will be on the fourth fruit of the Spirit: patience.
The word ‘patience’ is mentioned in Scripture nearly 70 times. “So what,” you say, “who has time for patience?” All of us have been told at some point in our lives to just be patient. In our age of instant coffee, instant meals, instant cash, instant this and that, nobody enjoys waiting, patiently.
What comes to mind when I mention the word patient? How about waiting in a doctor’s office past your appointment time? Sitting in traffic or trying to get the kids to do their chores? You know what I’m talking about. Patience is sometimes hard to come by.
During these trying times, our days can be long, hard and incredibly stressful. When we’re exhausted or worried, finding patience is probably the last thing on our minds, but it should really be the first. Listen to this verse from Psalm 37:7, “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him.” (NKJV)
How do we develop patience? How can we cultivate patience in relationships with our loved ones? Patience is waiting with grace and it’s what enables us to live in this demanding world and still have love, joy and peace, and all the other fruits of the Spirit. But patience is much easier said than done, right? Waiting with patience is difficult, and God knows this. Whew! The good news, you do not have to be waiting, alone.
Here’s Paul on hope, patience and the Holy Spirit: “But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” (Romans 8:25-26, NIV)
Did you get that? Did you see how the Holy Spirit ‘prays’ for you and helps you to be patient? Isn’t that amazing – the Holy Spirit praying for your patient?
Patience is from the Holy Spirit. Patience is His fruit. He wants you to do life with Him, talk with Him, and wait patiently on Him!
Now, keep these two keys about patience in your heart:
Be patient when facing troubles. The enemies (satan, world, demons) might be having a go at you, your family, children, marriage, health, job……and everything is falling apart around you. Be patient and make sure to fix your eyes upon Jesus. Stick to His promises / bible.
And hold yourself back from paying back evil with evil when someone wrongs / hurts you. God tells us to leave the avenging part to Him,
“Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”[a] says the Lord.” (Romans 12:19, NIV)
So, talk to the Holy Spirit for the patience that you need to get you through all the struggles, pain and tribulations and may you be like Jesus more and more as He fills you with His love and presence. Jesus says,
“In this world you will have trouble/tribulations. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33, NIV)