Welcome to Day 9 of our 3M Fast. Today, we want to continue our Devotional on the Fruit of “PATIENCE” as recorded in Galatians 5:22-23.
“But the Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
Patience as seen in our text, is most often seen in our dealing with others. The Greek word “Makrothumia” is primarily a relational word. It refers to being patient with people more than circumstances. And I’m sure you will agree with me that it’s much easier to be patient with circumstances than with people! God is requiring you and me to be able to deal with difficult persons without losing our cool. Patience can show up in our relationship with others when we realize that we are just as broken as they are and just as dependent on God’s grace as they are. That’s why Paul tells us in Ephesians 4:32,
“Be kind and compassionate with one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ, God forgave you.”
In Ephesians 4 verse 2 Paul tells us,
“be completely humble and gentle; be patient bearing with one another in love.”
Whenever we are tempted to lose our patience with people who are driving us up the wall, we have to remember that there are other walls that are packed with persons that we have driven up there as well. Remember, patience means “longsuffering,” it means “forbearance” with others; it means putting up with things people do or don’t do.
Remember when we talk about “people” being frustrating to deal with, we are ignoring the fact that WE are people! Joseph demonstrates this powerful character ingredient after being sold into slavery by his brothers. Because of his faithfulness to God, Joseph was eventually elevated to the second in command of Egypt. The Bible tells us that during a devastating drought, his brothers knelt before him with their request for food, not knowing that who they were requesting food from, was the brother that they had sold into slavery. This I believe, was perhaps Joseph’s greatest character test. Rather than losing his patience or self-control, Joseph said to his brothers in Genesis 50:19-21,
“Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for my good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So, then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children. And he assured them and spoke kindly to them.”
Patience is rooted in an overarching confidence that there is someone in control of the world and our life. It is the conviction that God does work in all things for our good. Patience is first and foremost faith in action. Patience grows in the faith that God uses even the frustrating struggles of life to make us more like Jesus; it’s trusting God’s timing; it’s the knowledge that whereas we look at the clock, God looks at the calendar. So He knows much more about our situation than we do. Patience comes from the belief that what God does in us while we wait, is as important as WHAT WE ARE WAITING FOR. Patience is rooted in the word of God.
Let me ask you. How could patience be viewed as acts of service to others? How could you express these acts of service or in what situation do you need to demonstrate patience this week?