Saturday, May 24, 2014

Fruit of the Spirit-Patience

“Be always humble, gentle, and patient. Show your love by being tolerant with one another.” Ephesians 4:2

I’ll readily admit that I’m not very patient, but I am working on it. It’s gotten better, working with the public, but I’m not sure I would be recognized as a patient person. I interrupt, rush, and get frustrated very quickly. But I’m working on it and praying about it and, by God’s grace, I will get better.
By nature, we’re not very patient people and the world we live in now is not helping. We want everything and we want it now! Everything is instant, faster, and readily available. But when we become a Christian, flipping out over how long the drive thru is taking isn’t an option. (I’m talking to myself here too.) As I mentioned, waiting is not one of my favorite things to do! ;)  But God is good! He gives us chances and opportunities to exercise patience. He reminds us of His Word when we study it and commit it to memory. He doesn’t give up on us when we’re taking too long to follow His Will. I was recently given the opportunity to exercise my patience and honestly, I’m failing. It’s been very difficult to wait to move into a house that’s yours but I must be patient. It’s going to be difficult but this is something I need to work on so I’m focusing on the positives of waiting to move into our new house.

We’re reminded in Romans 15:5 that God is our ‘source of patience’. Through Him, we can exercise patience. I’ve found that patience is divided into different segments:

1)    Waiting on the Lord--Hebrews 10:36, 37: ‘You need to be patient, in order to do the will of God and receive what he promises. For, as the scripture says, “Just a little while longer, and he who is coming will come; he will not delay.”’ We must have patience to wait for God and His perfect timing. ‘As for us, our hope is that God will put us right with him; and this is what we wait for by the power of God’s Spirit working through our faith.’ (Gal. 5:5) Our patience is only made possible through our faith in Him.

2)    Waiting for His Second Coming--James 5:7-8: ‘Be patient, then, my friends, until the Lord comes. See how patient farmers are as they wait for their land to produce precious crops. They wait patiently for the autumn and spring rains. You also must be patient. Keep your hopes high, for the day of the Lord’s coming is near.’  What a great day that will be! When Jesus finally returns for His followers and takes us home with Him forever more! That’s hard to wait for but like all good things, it’s worth the wait!

3)    During trials and tribulations--James 1:3-4: ‘for you know that when your faith succeeds in facing such trials, the result is the ability to endure. Make sure that your endurance carries you all the way without failing, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.’ Even though it’s hard to think trials are good for us while it’s happening, they are, even if they hurt at the time. We must endure through them to be refined and shaped to be like Christ. Not all trials are tests from God. Some come as the result of our bad choices. Thankfully, God is there, waiting for us to come back to Him. His love for us is never-ending and neither is His patience.

4)    With each other--Eph. 4:2: ‘Be always humble, gentle, and patient. Show your love by being tolerant with one another.’ God wants us to show His love to the world by being like Jesus. Jesus humbled Himself to be like a servant (Phil. 2:7-8), He was gentle (Matt. 11:29), and very patient (Rom. 2:4). Colossians 3:12-13 says: ‘You are the people of God; he loved you and chose you for his own. So then, you must clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Be tolerant with one another and forgive one another whenever any of you has a complaint against someone else. You must forgive one another just as the Lord has forgiven you.’

‘But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.’ Romans 8:25

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