S4P4 – The fruit of patience

Gal 5: 22-23

But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], 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.


The patience given by the Holy Spirit is one of forbearance and long-suffering.  It is what prompts someone to respond instead of react.  This patience requires deliberate thought and intent.  It causes us to carefully consider every circumstance in light of our eternal expectation.  As we grow in spiritual maturity and take on life’s trials in the proper fashion, this fruit is produced and brought to ripeness.


In Paul’s first letter to Timothy, he uses this same word to describe the patience that Christ showed when he waited for Paul, the worst of sinners, to come to repentance and be saved.  God could have smote Paul while he was persecuting and murdering Christians for their faith, but in His perfect forbearance, He did not destroy him.  Instead, He patiently waited for Paul and met him personally to correct him and bring him into the fold.  And when we ask why God did not rid the world of Paul while he was persecuting the church, the answer is that God knew of a greater plan for this man.


Our patience is also rooted in the promise of a greater plan.  We know this if we believe that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose [Rom. 8:28].  Patient endurance in this age requires a focus on the promises God will fulfill in the age to come.  Father, give us the patience that leads us to walk out our lives according to your will, with our focus not on temporal suffering but on eternal reward.