Patience – The Fruit of the Holy Spirit
Patience is one of the 9 virtues which is mentioned as part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
Galatians 5:22-23 says: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Patience is part of God’s character. It is a virtue that we should all have with the help of the Holy Spirit.
The Greek word for Patience is “makrothumia (mak-roth-oo-mee’-ah)”. This Greek word denotes longsuffering, endurance, steadfastness and waiting
Patience is defined as:
the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset;
Patience is the ability to endure and persevere in the midst of trials and to wait with the expectation of the fulfillment of a desired promise.
For example, Romans 8:25 says: But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
Unfortunately we live in an impatient world. In our vast technological culture of smartphones, social media, streaming entertainment and many high tech devices at our disposal, our society has become increasingly impatient. Therefore we want everything done quickly and at the touch-of-a-button.
However a culture of impatience will inevitably lead to anger, complaining, disappointments and even depression. Impatience prevents our character development and spiritual growth.
James 1:2-4 NKJV says: My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
Therefore despite of the challenges and problems we face in life, God wants us to learn to be patient. We must therefore seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit in order to have a patient character.
The patience that comes from the Holy Spirit has the following attributes and characteristics
1. We must be patient during problems and challenges in life. Romans 12:12 says: Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
2. We must be patient during times of persecution and injustice from the wicked. Psalm 37:7 says: Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.
3. Patience is produced by love. 1 Corinthians 13:4 says: Love is patient…
4. This type of patience is not just about waiting for something to happen. It is about being strong in the Lord while you wait. Psalm 27:14 says: Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord
5. This type of patience helps to build your character and your relationship with God because it is an exercise in maturity, endurance and fortitude. This type of patience matures you so that you lack nothing. You become confident in the Lord. Proverbs 16:32 says: Better a patient person than a warrior,
one with self-control than one who takes a city.
Therefore, in life, there is a time for everything under the sun (Ecclesiastes 3:1-11). Not everything happens the way we want it and whenever we want it.
Furthermore, God wants us to be patient just as He is patient. For example, God is patient towards humanity. He is consistently waiting for billions of individual people to repent because He does not wish to see people perish. If God was impatient, then He would have destroyed humanity a long time ago. However God is prepared to wait thousands of years to wait for as many people as possible to repent and be saved.
2 Peter 3:8-9 says: But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.