The fourth fruit of the Spirit is patience. The word ‘patience’ is mentioned in Scripture nearly 70 times. But, really, who has time for patience? All of us have been told at some point in our lives to “just be patient”. In our age of instant gratification, nobody enjoys patiently waiting. Let’s begin to
“March” Toward Patience
For most people, patience is trying in certain circumstances. Especially concerning health. Waiting for the number to change on the scale. Working to one day be able to do a “real pushup”. Waiting for the cholesterol number to drop, all the time asking “When will my hard work pay off?” How do we learn to march toward patience?
Patience is difficult when it comes to health. Why? Because it’s the key ingredient. You aren’t able to rep out a 200 pound back squat after one week of squatting, even if your legs are so sore you can’t walk down the stairs right. You don’t lose weight after one week of eating clean. Your cholesterol doesn’t go down in a month of doing good to your body. It takes TIME and CONSISTENCY; DEDICATION and PATIENCE.
How do we develop patience? How can we cultivate patience with ourselves? Patience is waiting with grace and it enables us to live in this broken world and still have love, joy and peace, along with all the other fruits of the Spirit. But, patience is much easier said than done, right? Waiting with patience is difficult, and God knows this. The good news is that you don’t have to wait alone.
Romans 8:26 says, “But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.”
“Never ask God for patience, or else He will give it to you.”
Trick question, isn’t it? Asking God for the patience that you need to get you through all the struggles, pain and trials can be tricky. Sometimes, the only way to learn a lesson is by experience. And sometimes, God may leave you in or lead you to a situation (major or minor) that helps you see your weaker self. However, by doing so, God can help you direct your prayer that you may become more like Jesus. And as you pray, as you seek His face, little by little, He will fill you with His love so you may display more patience.
- Other words that describe this fruit are lenience, long-suffering, forbearance, perseverance, and steadfastness. Ask yourself “Am I easily set off when I fall off the wellness wagon for one meal or I just can’t seem to get that push up without severely worming?” “Or am I able to keep a godly perspective in the face of these frustrations?”
Resources To Help You March Toward Patience
Take a few minutes to explore the writings and messages of others regarding “Patience”. And do some research on your own, too.
- Waiting…and Waiting…and Waiting!
- Persistence & Patience – From Ruth Bell Graham’s writings
- The Virtue of Patience – Christianity Today
And from Gospel Coalition
- I Was Patient Before Having Kids – Erik Raymond
- Run The Race With Patience – Jerry Bridges
- Patience Of A God Of Grace – Paul Tripp