“But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [that can bring a charge].”
Patience is one of the most challenging things, especially to certain personality types. If you are a quick person, this fruit is a challenge.
One definition of “patience” is long-suffering with mildness, gentleness, and moderation. The best definition of “patience” I think is: To be constant or to be the same all the time, no matter what is going on. This should be our goal as believers.
Patience is not an ability to wait. Patience is a fruit of the Spirit that manifests while we are waiting. If patience doesn’t manifest in times of waiting, then we see the fruit of impatience during those times. We all have patience inside of us. What prevents it from coming out is being impatient.
Let’s talk about being impatient first.
“Impatience” is: “lack of patience; intolerance of or irritability with anything that impedes or delays, restless desire for change and excitement” (Collins English Dictionary).
Some phrases for the word “impatience” are: “Champ or Chomp at the bit.” This means like a horse, they chew on their bits when they are eager to move or go and are impatient at waiting. Another phrase: “Bite the bridle” or “strain at the leash.” all mean the same thing as “Chomp at the bit” but in addition they stamp the ground with their hooves to get going.
Have you ever done this? You get impatient and eager to do something. You get upset and stomp your foot or bang your hand on your steering wheel while driving behind a slow driver.
Usually impatience comes because of a time constraint. We are pressed for time, running late, or need to get somewhere fast. The harder you try to move faster, often, the more impatient you become because it is making things worse.
I was leaving the Baltimore Airport to head back to Washington state. We already arrived at the airport late and there was a long line for checkin. By the time we checked in our luggage, and walked through the security, it looked like we had ten minutes left to get to our gate. We ran and got to the gate before the plane was scheduled to leave but they had already given our seats away to “stand by” passengers. We missed out flight. I had to resolve how I was feeling, impatient, and reconcile the fact that we missed our plane and had to wait stand by for the next flight that wouldn’t leave for another few hours. When that flight came, there was no room and we were bummed to another flight but were confirmed seats on that flight. It was nine or ten hours later from the original flight to the one we finally boarded. Impatience didn’t get us to the plane on time. It only caused me to stress out.
How about the phrase: “Cool ones heels” or “Cool your jets!” Both mean to stop and cool off and slow down and stop being impatient.
I am sure you heard the phrase: “Haste makes waste.” Which means you do not save any time by working too fast; hurrying will cause you to make mistakes, and you will have to take extra time to do the job over again.
All of these phrases have to do with being impatient and in a hurry. This is what society thinks gets the job done.
With me, when I was younger, I was extremely impatient. Not wanting to wait for things. I remember not wanting to go to school because of something that was going to happen that day and I would choose to stay home. I didn’t want to endure the day. It seemed overwhelming to me to walk through a few hours of being uncomfortable. I hated to wait. Wait was a four letter word to me. You might as well of told me to not breathe because that is how I felt when I had to walk through something I didn’t want to be in. I would quit jobs just because I didn’t like the environment and had to wait eight hours before I could be free and away from the uncomfortableness.
God dealt with me in many ways to burn out my impatient spirit. I wrote an article entitled; “Endure or Bolt?” This came after a time in my life when I always bolted instead of staying and enduring a circumstance. I think my nature of wanting to always leave started as a little girl. My Single mom moved us from one house to another trying to make ends meet. I don’t know what she was searching for, but she took all of us kids along in her bolting. She would get impatient and upset over something and the next thing I knew we were moving to another place to live, and another city to get use to.
It doesn’t matter why you are impatient. What matters is how you deal with it. Impatience is a counterfeit fruit. It can look like it is productive, but in reality, it only produces stress and turmoil for you and others. Impatience is very selfish. It only cares about itself.
We get impatient with people because they are not working as fast as we would like. How about a cashier at a store. You get in line and see that your line is going no where all because of the store clerk who is slow. What is your reaction? Do you vocally say something out loud for them and others to hear of how frustrated you are? Do you look for another line that is moving faster and move over to that line? Both reactions are signs of being impatient.
What are you believing God for? When you don’t see the answer to what you asked God for do you get depressed, sad, discouraged, negative, grumble, and complain all the time you are waiting?
When we reach the point where we don’t need to have things done our way and in our timing, that’s when God will give them to us. Remember, Patience is not waiting. It is how we act while we’re waiting.
“Patience” in the Greek means: “cheerful (or hopeful) endurance, constancy: – enduring, patience, patient continuance (waiting).” (Strongs Hebrew and Greek Definitions)
It is hard to imagine having a cheerful hopeful endurance in the middle of waiting, but this is what this fruit produces.
We need to develop this fruit of the Spirit called patience in our life and just say, “Lord, I’m going to trust You. If it takes longer than I’d like, then You must know something that I don’t know.”
Luke 21:19 KJV
“In Your patience possess ye your souls.”
Your soul is your mind, your will and your emotions. It is that personality part of you – your thought life and your feelings. If you don’t learn to posses your own soul, or to control that soulish life through developing the fruit of the Spirit, then it will possess and control you. Be patient because in patience you possess your soul.
James 1:4 Amplified Bible
“But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing.”
We should rejoice in difficult situations, knowing that through them God tests our faith to bring out patience. Trials do eventually produce patience, but first they bring all kinds of junk to the surface such as pride, anger, rebellion, self-pity, and complaining. We need to face and deal with these ungodly traits before patience can come forth.
If you become desperate enough for some joy and peace, you’ll start developing patience.
God moves two different ways – Quickly and suddenly; slowly and little by little. First, He always moves slowly, little by little, so slowly that you think it is never going to happen, and it’s all you can do every day of your life to not give up.
Then suddenly God moves, and your breakthrough comes. You don’t know how; you don’t understand it, but it’s just like, “That must have been God,” because you’ve done everything that anybody could do forty-five times over and none of it worked. Finally, when you’re done, God says, “Okay, now that you’ve finally let go, I will take care of you.”
Waiting destroys pride. If God gave us everything the minute we wanted it, we would be so proud and haughty, we’d think it was us.
For example, if we pray and God gives us what I want right away, sometimes we begin to think, “Boy, my prayers are powerful. I must really be living a holy life. I’m a righteous person.”
That is a very wrong attitude to have. God’s goodness is not based on our goodness. God’s goodness should only provoke praise and thanksgiving, not proud thoughts of how good we think we are.
God makes us wait because He is testing us. He told the Israelites, “I led you these forty years in the wilderness to test you and to prove you to see if you would keep My commandments or not.
It’s one thing to keep the commandments of God when we’re getting everything we want. It’s another thing to keep the commandments of God when we’re not getting much of what we want. It’s one thing to be nice to somebody when they’re being nice to you. It’s another thing entirely to operate in the fruit of the Spirit when they’re not being so nice to you.
Colossians 3:12 NASB tells us to put on patience. That tells me that patience is something that I have to do on purpose. Just because I don’t feel patient doesn’t mean I impatient. We must put on patience.
The Amplified Bible states in Colossians 3:12 to “Clothe yourselves therefore, as God’s own chosen ones…” Again, patience is something we put on. We can’t expect our clothes to come on our bodies all by themselves. We have to put them on. Likewise, it is the same with patience. We have to choose, to purpose to walk with patience everyday.
Colossians 3:12, in the Amplified Bible continues, “Putting on… patience… [which is tireless and longsuffering, and has the power to endure whatever comes, with good temper.” One of the greatest ways to show love to other people is by being patient with them. That doesn’t mean we don’t deal with issues or become a doormat for everyone to walk all over us all the time.
When we begin to recognize a wrong behavior in someone, it is often God trying to lead us to pray for them. If we pray first, that opens the door for God to deal with them. Then He can prepare their heart for any future action He might ask us to take.
We try so hard to make things happen, and we get so impatient and so frustrated we don’t realize that if we pray, God has a plan. His plan may not always be our plan, but we’ve got to get sensitive and listen to God about what He wants us to deal with and what He doesn’t.
So when I say be patient, I don’t mean never deal with anything, I mean to be patient enough to deal with things in God’s timing and not our own timing.
-Be patient with people’s opinions.
-Be patient with people’s personalities. We have people in our lives who have personalities that are harder for us to handle. That’s an opportunity to exercise the fruit of patience.
-Be patient when someone tells you a story for the third time, even though you mentioned in the beginning, “Yes, you told me that last week.”
-Be patient when someone wants to tell you every minor detail of a story that you’re not even interested in hearing.
-Be patient when people interrupt you when you don’t want to be interrupted.
-Be patient with people when they call you at 6:00 a.m.
-Be patient when people goof around and act silly while you’re trying to be serious.
-Be patient when you’re sick and going through a really rough time and people seem to be clueless concerning your needs.
-Be patient when people push in front of you in line or take a parking space you’ve been waiting for.
-Be patient when a department store heavily advertises a certain item on sale, and when you get there, they’re all on back order.
-Be patient with a clerk when you have to return an item two times because it fell apart both times you took it home.
-Be patient when you have an agenda and someone comes and interrupts you with something that seems less important.
Allow the fruit of patience to develop in you by choosing to wear it daily. Life is NOT all about you. People have been patient with you, it is your turn to be patient with them.
Watch this video of preschoolers who were given a marshmallow and see if they have the patience to wait and get another one! Video: Marshmallow test
Galatians 6:9 NKJV
“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”
Your sister in Christ,
Pastor Kris Belfils