Fruit of the Spirit... Patience

Patience. Something we all would love to have but always feel that we don’t have enough of it. It’s incredibly easy to excuse impatience in various ways. I’ve had people tell me that ‘they’re just not a patient person’. Or cite a long list of excuses involving their children, spouses, animals, work colleagues, friends, everyone except themselves. Our society doesn’t encourage us to be patient. We’re bombarded with things that encourage us to want more and want it now. Instant gratification is something we’ve come to expect as our right. But this impatience shows basic selfishness. Patience serves others, not ourselves which is why patience is not a welcomed message.

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

1 comment:

  1. How true! I have been working on being both more joyful and more patient lately and it is amazing how the two go hand-in-hand. When we fail to focus on being thankful and filled with joy for all the ways we are blessed, and begin to grumble and moan about our situation/family/burdens/etc. we quickly slip into impatience. "Poor me. I shouldn't have to endure this. I deserve better. Better treatment, better this, better that..." Indeed, "All, the days of the afflicted are evil, but he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast." (Proverbs 15:15) Let's get to work on being patient and joyful Christians, not afflicted ones! :-) Thanks for the reminder!

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