by Barbara Latta
Fruit of the Spirit Series – Patience
|3 reasons patience is a positive experience.|
As you can see in the verse above the New King James Version lists longsuffering as a fruit of the Spirit. This is also translated as patience in other versions. We don’t like to think of being patient when we want something, but to call it longsuffering makes it worse.
Why should we want to suffer at all and especially long? No way!
But when we look at the correct meaning of the word, we can get a better picture of what God is telling us.
“Strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy” (Colossians 1:11 NKJV).
Scriptural patience is defined in Strong’s Concordance as, “forbearance or fortitude.” This gives us a different picture of waiting.
Patience is simply staying firm and steadfast in our faith without changing what we believe until our answer from God comes.
We can have joyful expectancy
When a woman is pregnant, she must wait for the baby to arrive at the perfect time. If the child was born too early, it would be dangerous and the infant might not survive. The process of growing brings the product of waiting to the perfect culmination. Even when the pregnancy is not evident to all, the mother knows the process has begun. She wants to hold and see this baby, but she knows she isn’t going to do it now. There is joyful expectancy because the outcome is known even though it is not in her possession yet. Yes, there are some uncomfortable moments. There is longsuffering with joy, but it is minimal compared to the gift she will behold.
We can have joyful expectancy when waiting for promises of God to be fulfilled in our lives the same way. Our waiting can be a positive experience rather than the painful image we have of longsuffering.
3 reasons patience is a positive experience
- Patience shows we trust God: When we don’t see the answers to our prayers immediately, we sometimes question God. When we pray according to God’s will He is working, but we don’t always know what is going on behind the scenes in the spiritual world. God brings things into our lives through other people. When they don’t respond to His direction, what we wanted may be delayed. He may have to work in the hearts of someone else to accomplish His answer to us. All this time we are waiting and wondering where our answer is. But when we hold on to the Word of God, He will come through because He does not lie. (Jeremiah 29:11)
- Patience is an example to others: When someone isn’t treating us right, our restraint against them can be an example of the way God wants them to be treated. Showing patience with them can be an example of God’s character. (1 Thessalonians 5:14)
- Patience builds our faith: When we are experiencing a trial and waiting for an answer to prayer or the culmination of a seed we planted to sprout, we can look back at previous times in our lives where God has always fulfilled His promise. We can see that an answer did come, and it will materialize this time, too. (Galatians 6:9)
When we pray, the answer to our problems is in the development stage the same way the unborn baby
His glorious power gives us the ability to know our answer will be born at the right time.
What does patience mean to you? Share your thoughts.