Fruit of the Spirit... Patience
The most obvious and important reason why we need to learn patience is because God, Patience Himself, says so.
In Scripture we’re told to be patient about many things:
Patiently enduring evil (2 Timothy 2:24-26)
Patiently enduring suffering (2 Corinthians 1:6)
Patiently dealing with the idle, fainthearted and weak (1 Thessalonians 5:14)
Patiently preaching the word (2 Timothy 4:2)
Patiently waiting on God (Psalm 37:7, Psalm 40:1)
Patiently waiting for the Lord’s coming (James 5:7)
Also, patience and perseverance come with a promise. (Psalm 37:7-9, 34, 40:1-3, Galatians 6:9, Hebrews 6:12).
God is good. He doesn’t ask that we be patient and yet give us no examples. On the contrary, he gives us imperfect examples in the form of fallen men. James 5:10-11 says, ‘As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.’ And it gets even better - God shows us patience in the example of His own Son. Paul even goes so far as to say that was the reason that he was saved: ‘But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.’ (1 Timothy 1:16) What a motivation to be patient!
So, show patience to others because there is a reason, there is a promise and there is a Saviour’s example. Run to the Word of God, study Him through it and let the Patient One teach you all you need to know.
Some questions to get you thinking:
What is it about patience that you find hardest? How do you know when you’re being patient and when you’re being lazy? Do you pray for patience for yourself? And for others? Do you encourage others to point out your lack of patience? Which point in Jesus’ life was he most patient? How can you imitate that?
By Ruth Field