As my fingers steadily drummed the steering wheel, thoughts of being late to my appointment ran through my mind. Regretfully, I was not demonstrating the fruit of patience.
Would they tell me I needed to schedule another appointment since I was late? I counted down the minutes. Finally, I arrived at my doctor’s office only three minutes late, but totally stressed. The receptionist did not blink an eye and greeted me with a friendly smile. Why had I made a big deal out of this?
Being late has been a pet peeve of mine since childhood. Even when arriving only a minute or so after my scheduled arrival time, I find myself in near panic mode. I have no idea what makes me this way. Was I overly scolded when late as a child? Had I caused someone else to be late for an important appointment? I have no idea.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.~Galatians 5:22-23a CEB
I was not exhibiting the fruit of patience while caught in the endless line of traffic. This scene had become all about me, and I had never considered the other drivers’ feelings. As I reflected and waited to be called into the examination room, I felt a nudge from the Holy Spirit. I was ashamed of my impatience.
“Lord, please forgive me for acting like a spoiled child and only thinking of myself,” I prayed silently.
Brothers and sisters, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.~James 5:10-11 NIV
Patience naturally draws us closer to God. Here are some Scriptures which you may want to mark in your Bible or memorize because they give understanding about how to live out patience:
- And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle, and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone (1 Thessalonians 5:14 NIV).
- Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer (Romans 12:12 ESV).
- So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience (Colossians 3:12 NASB).
- Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous, it does not brag, and it is not proud (1 Corinthians 13:4 NCV).
- A patient person shows great understanding, but a quick-tempered one promotes foolishness (Proverbs 14:29 HCSB).
- Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city (Proverbs 16:32 NIV).
Ministry to others entails being encouragers and helpers. Exhibiting patience during these times lets the light of Jesus shine through us. We can give others hope by consistently praying for them. According to Colossians 3:12, we are to put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.
My pastor often tells us that the church is not property but people. Those who belong to Jesus are the church. If we belong to Him, He requires us to love others and show kindness and understanding, which requires patience.
As we draw closer to God, we learn to trust Him to move on our behalf. When we step back and let Him do things His way, instead of us doing them our way, He will strengthen our faith.
“But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength.”
-Isaiah 40:31 NKJV
We become more Christlike, as the Holy Spirit develops patience in us. Without Him, it is impossible to embrace patience. If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, I invite you to do so today. He is ready to receive you as His own.
How can you strengthen this spiritual fruit in your life?
Father God, show me how to share Your love with others as Jesus did. And help me to develop the spiritual fruit of patience. I pray this in Jesus’ name, amen.
Copyright 2020: The Fruit of Patience: Evelyn Mason Wells: All Rights Reserved