(NOTE: This sermon series and devotional series is based on a book by Randy Frazee entitled, “BELIEVE.”
You may choose to download or purchase the book as a supplement to your worship and devotional emails.)
Patience is a fruit of the Spirit and expression of God’s love. Like every gift of God we want to enjoy the gift ourselves, but also put that gift to work. So what does patience look like as God’s Spirit works in us. Here are five ways:
- Patience is evidence of wisdom instead of exhibition of folly.
Proverbs 14:29 A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly.
How many times have we found ourselves the fool as we reacted without all the information, did something stupid in an emotional reaction that affected our life for a long period of time. Patience allows one to pause before emotionally reacting. Patience gives time to gain perspective than react to a situation. Patience enables us to assess before acting.
- Patience is the willingness to wait when our impulse is to act.
Proverbs 16:32 32 Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city.
James 1:19-21 My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. 21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.
It is so easy to want to emotionally react or to deal with a situation swiftly. Patience is the answer when we are tempted to lash out in anger.
- Patience is allowing God’s plan to prevail when our plan seems better.
Romans 8:22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
Like we shared yesterday, God’s perspective is eternal. We want things to happen now, but God’s plan is at work. Patience is an exhibition of trust that God’s timing is always best and his plan is always for our eternal benefit.
- Patience is an exhibition of love. (1 Corinthians 13:4 “Love is patient”)
Ephesians 4:2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
Patience is “bearing” with one another. It is not easy. We experience the hurt. We experience feelings of injustice. Patience allows time for God to work spiritual growth in others and in us. Patience allows us to show love instead of anger or frustration.
- Patience enables me to be part of the solution, rather than part of the problem.
1 Thessalonians 5:14 And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.
Impatience can come from feeling the victim. I believe this comment by a Rabbi Jacob Staub commenting on the Hebrew word for patience and a situation where an individual had wronged him:
Reflecting back on the experience, I learn that by bearing the pain caused by another without swinging back, I can also be empowered. As long as I feel like an injured victim, I will either express my anger or to suppress it. But if I’m able to see myself as an agent who can change a situation, I have another choice—to act out of care and love, reaching out to reconnect and heal.
We all have opportunity to grow in patience. I pray God continues to give us situations to grow in and exhibit patience, and the Spirit given gift of patience to meet those opportunities!
Apply: Which of these five present the greatest opportunity for growth in your life?
Prayer: Lord, thank you for your incredible patience to show forgiveness for my many exhibitions of impatience. Grant me an extra measure of your Spirit to grow the gift of patience in my heart and life. AMEN.