“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” – Galatians 5:22–23
The Fruit of the Spirit Is… Patience
“It’s hard to be patient, isn’t it?”
I have this conversation with my 3-year-old frequently.
And, patience doesn’t seem to get easier as we get older, does it?
I mean, we tend to get better at seeing the bigger picture, which helps,
And we at least get better at hiding our impatience…
But biblical patience is far more than just tolerating having to wait.
I found this definition that I think describes it out really well:
“The ability to take trouble (from others or life) without blowing up. To suffer joyfully.”
To be patience in all circumstances unlocks numerous opportunities to enjoy day-to-day life more and even to get better insight into when God is wanting to purposely interrupt our plans with his own.
Patience in everyday life
For me, the classic example is traffic.
I hate traffic.
In fact, I just hate lines in general.
Do you dispise the everyday situations of waiting? The mundane, normal waiting experience all the time?
God would have us be patient.
That we would not simply endure times of waiting, but that we’d find His divine opportunity in them.
The traffic as a time to talk to Him more
The checkout line as an opportunity to say something kind to a stranger
The simple times to slow down, recognize God’s sovereignty and see what He might have for us in that moment.
Patience in the “bigger” things
And what about those larger delays?
Struggling with a job you hate, or even unemployment
Waiting for the test results
Waiting for a judge’s verdict
Waiting for the result you’ve worked so long and hard for
In these times, it’s tempting to try to force the issue
To simply push harder
And yes, we ought to take responsibility during these times. To be diligent and do everything we can to better the situation.
But there comes a point where there’s only so much we can do.
And, as the saying goes:
“Do what you can do. And let God do what only He can do.”
Sometimes, you just have to wait.
More importantly, we have to be patient.
To trust God,
To endure trials,
To wait on God and His timing.
A saying I try to remind myself of during difficult times is this:
“God’s timing is not just perfect. It is precise.”
“Perfect” just sounds to sterile.
Precise really gets at the heart of it: that God has specific reasons for making us wait:
And that can help us be patient.
The root of godly patience
But even more than simply reminding ourselves why we ought to be patient,
Let’s not forget that patience is a fruit of the Spirit.
The patience God wants us to have is not something we can muster up, grow into, or reason our way to having.
God’s patience is wholly different and supernatural.
And so, I leave you with some of my favorite verses on trusting God, on having patience and living for His will
And with the reminder to ask God for His patience
Because you can build up patience for a moment
But the quality and quantity of patience God desires us to have can only come from Him.
So ask Him, receive and give yourself to the patience God would have for you today through all the struggles, pain, issues and may you be like Jesus more and more as He fills you with His Spirit and Fruit.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:8–9
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6–7
“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” – Romans 12:12
“I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry.” – Psalm 40:1
“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” – Galatians 6:9
“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices! Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil. For the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land.” – Psalm 37:7–9
“It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.” – Psalm 127:2
“For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:24–28
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” – Matthew 6:25–34