The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
1. What fruit are you focusing on this week?
I want to be more patient with my children. You would think after a house full of children for 30 years I would have learned to be very patient by now, but I admit it is still a battle.
“We glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;And patience, experience; and experience, hope” Romans 5:1-4
2. How does the Bible define this fruit? How does it differ from the world’s definition?
The world defines patience as having tolerance of delay, not being hasty or impetuous.
Biblical patience is more active. It is about persevering or refusing to give up– not just waiting but actively doing something. Biblical patience is the ability to tolerate everything that is necessary to reach a desired goal.
3. How does God reveal this fruit to us?
God is longsuffering, giving opportunity for repentance. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness, but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9
God is compassionate and slow to anger. The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever. Psalms 103:8.
We deserve death and hell but God gives us pardon. What if God, willing to show his wrath and make his power known, endured with much longsuffering (NIV “great patience”] the vessels of wrath fitted for destruction? Romans 9:22
God waits patiently for us to grow. “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus” Romans 15:4-5 (also see Rom. 2:4; 1 Pet. 3:20; 2 Pet. 3:15).
4. What is the evidence of this fruit in one’s life?
Patience is necessary for harmony. If we aren’t patient we won’t be tolerant of one another in our family and we won’t be in fellowship with one another. (Eph. 4:1-6). Patience calms quarrels. A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel. Proverbs 15:18
Patience is required for good teachers. God commands us to “preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.” (2 Tim. 4:2).
Patience is needed to endure trials. Sometime in our lives we all have to endure suffering, possibly unjustly. This is when our patience is tested. But God promises He will help us to patiently overcome every trial in life.
God wants us to patiently wait on Him. Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; Psalm 37:7.
5. Share an example of the presence of this fruit in someone’s life.
Corrie Ten Boom exhibited biblical patience—perseverance though adversity.
In World War II she worked in the Dutch underground hiding Jews. In 1944 she was arrested with her entire family, sent first to Dutch prisons, later to a Nazi work camp. She was released days after her sister Betsy died. She came back to Holland to start rehabilitation centers. In 1977, at 50 years of age, she continued evangelistic work. For 30 years she traveled to 66 countries, and wrote several books. At 85 she agreed to do five movie shorts and five devotional books. Here is a fitting quote from her writings:
It has been said that the removal of small stones which frequently encumber the fields does not always increase the crop. In many soils they are an advantage, attracting the moisture and radiating the heat. In an experiment the results of removing the stones were so unfavorable to the crop that they were brought back again. We often cry to God, as Paul did, for the removal of some thorn in the flesh. Later experience teaches us that it was better for it to remain.
“Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” (2 Cor. 12:10)
6. How does fruit or lack of it in our life affect others? (spouse, children, friends)
Pursuing our plan apart from God–being impatient–leads directly to a path outside of His will. Failure to wait on the Lord can have serious consequences.
Impatient people can be edgy, irritable, arrogant, and insensitive. They make uninformed, quick judgments and often snap at others. Impatience is not shown in a loving attitude. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 1Cor 13:4
When I’m not patient with a friend or family member I can hurt or irritate them, possibly causing them to stumble, and I am being a bad witness. When I’m patient with a friend or family member I show the love of Christ.
When I’m not patient with my children they won’t learn what I am trying to teach, but instead will learn, by my example, to be impatient. When I’m patient with my children they will learn what I am trying to teach and will learn, by my example, to be patient.
7. What can you do to express more of this fruit in your character?
How do we measure our growth in patience? Earlier this week I wrote about legalism. One reason we get caught up in legalism is because we want a way to measure spiritually. Which is easier: to measure the gift of the fruits of the Spirit, such as conquering impatience or to avoid going to movie theater? We need to rely on God’s promise “Ask and it shall be given.”
Patience is characteristic of God’s dealings with sinful men, who are fully deserving of his wrath. To develop more patience in my life I will remember I don’t deserve the patience God gives me. This is why we go to His word and study it. When we focus on God And His character then we can apply it to our lives with all spiritual wisdom. His Word will complete its work in us, and we will develop the ability to be patient in whatever circumstances we experience (1 Th. 2:13).
I pray that I will learn to be patient in all trials, from children with bad attitudes to physical suffering. I pray that I will learn how to help others in their trials. My responsibility is to Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. (Romans 12:12.). I know from His Word and past experience that if I ask in His name He will provide, just as Job knew. By faith, Job said, “But He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I will come forth as gold” (Job 23:10). I believe one day, I will see the beauty and purpose behind the season of waiting.
It has been said that “Love is the circulatory system of the body.” If love is the heart, maybe patience is the rhythm of the beat.
Learn more about the Fruit of the Spirit Friday meme here. Answer the seven prompts on the fruit of your choice or write anything you fell lead to on this topic then post your link to your URL below to share with others.