As I continue my teaching on walking in the Holy Spirit by applying the nine fruits of the Spirit to our lives as true Christians, let’s take some time to reflect on the ones that I have already covered. I have recently talked about peace, which as Christians our peace comes from God. Next, I have also talked about kindness, love, and gentleness, which all have their similarities in how we can apply them to our lives, even though we can struggle with them. I have also talked about faith, which sometimes we lack during times of trouble. The first fruit I talked about was joy, which likewise with faith it can be hindered from us during times of trouble if we let something steal our joy.
There is one fruit of the Spirit I think everyone can say they are not perfect at applying, and that is patience or also called longsuffering in the King James Version. Galatians 5:22-23 (AMP) says, “But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love , joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things, there is no law.”. Note what the Amplified Bible says about patience and that is ‘how we act while waiting’. So how do you act while you are waiting for something? Are you quick to anger? Do you give up too quickly? What do you say under your breath while you are waiting? Is what you say or do while waiting pleasing to the Lord? This is something I am sure all of us can improve on one way or another.
By walking in the Spirit with the fruit of patience, God expects us to act a certain way while waiting. Exodus 34:6 (ESV) says, “The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness,”. This verse right here explains how God expects us to act when we need to wait. You might be waiting to be seen by the doctor, you might already be angry because you aren’t feeling good or the doctor is running late. God wants us to be slow to anger and be gracious.
You might ask, why does God want me to be patient? God has shown us patience during the time he waited for us to repent and accept His only Son as our savior. Romans 2:4(ESV) says, “Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?”. This is also confirmed in 2 Peter 3:9 (CSB) which says, “The Lord does not delay his promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance.”.
Since God has been patient with all of us, we should be patient to others as true followers of Christ. 1 Corinthians 13:4-5 (ESV) tells us “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous, it does not brag, and it is not proud. 5 Love is not rude, it is not selfish, and it cannot be made angry easily. Love does not remember wrongs done against it.”. You should remember this scripture from my teaching on the fruit of love, love, and patience go hand in hand. During the times of your sinful repetitive cycle, God has been patient with you for you to repent and correct your sinful nature. You may not realize how patient God has been towards you through His love, but just think how far you were for Him before you repented and accepted Christ. List every sin that was between you and God before you got saved, then imagine yourself at church right in front of the altar, for each sin take a step back. God waited during your sinful times for you to repent become saved, so that distance between you and God could be removed. He desires each person so much to have eternal life. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”.
I challenge you to take some time and think back to when you were dealing with a situation that you had a wait time for, how did you act? Was it pleasing to the Lord? How can you improve for your next wait time? Take some time and reflect these questions. Ephesians 4:31-32(ESV) says, “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”. If you are struggling with patience, which I know I can at times, remember to always seek the Lord to help you in your weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9 tells us “And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”. God is our strength in our weakness, God can help you show His love during your time of waiting.