Fruit of the Spirit - Patience 3/27/20

The fourth fruit of the Spirit listed In Galatians 5:22-23 is patience. Let’s start with a dictionary definition: “the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, pain without complaint, loss of temper, or irritation; an ability or willingness to suppress annoyance when confronted with delay.”

My comments are going to be about patience in general, for we can encounter numerous and various situations where we can exercise patience, or impatience. First, lack of patience can be a sign of our lack of trust in the Lord. We are in a situation, and we want it to end now. We are waiting for something, and we want it now. All of the fruit of the Spirit really flows from love. If we love God and we know His love for us, if we spend time with Him, read His word, and pray, we will develop trust and confidence in Him. We learn that He is faithful. He will always do what He says. He is aware of every single thing in the universe; He even knows when a sparrow falls. It isn’t difficult to say we trust Him, but the difficulty comes when we are in situations where we have to demonstrate our trust. We realize that God is in control, and things will happen according to His will. We exercise patience when we wait with confidence and trust for God to act in His time.

Lack of patience can be a sign of our self-centeredness. Something doesn’t happen when and how we want. Something happens to interfere with what we want to do. Do we react with patience? Or do we become impatient because this situation is now an inconvenience? Christ is still in control, even in these mundane occurrences. In patience, we submit to His will.

Lack of patience can also be an expression of our pride. Someone does something to take advantage of me; someone does something that disrespects me. Do I respond with annoyance or frustration? Or, again, do I patiently submit to the Lord’s will.

We are told to “run with patience the race that is set before us.” (Hebrews 12:1) We are also told that “the testing of our faith” produces patience. Patience is strengthened by the trials and tests we encounter in life. Without exercise, patience grows weak. When our lives are filled with the love of God, we can respond to life and to others in loving patience. Amen.

Pastor Mike

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