The word is Patience, but in some Bibles, it’s translated Longsuffering.
That’s interesting. I’m not sure if I can say I suffer long. While I’m certainly more patient than before I surrendered to Christ, I still experience time when I want relief immediately. Anyone with me on that?
But God says that Patience is a Fruit of the Spirit. And when the Spirit fills us, we will develop Patience. No, we don’t have Patience dropped from Heaven in one fell swoop. It’s up to us to behave in a Patient manner; then the action will soon become as natural as breathing. We bloom, then reap a harvest of Fruit. We needn’t “pray for patience.” The Holy Spirit begins to grow us in virtue and character when we decide to fully devote ourselves to Jesus.
A friend of mine shared her experience with praying for patience. “I prayed for patience,” she said. “But God didn’t send me patience all wrapped up in a nice gift box. I got pregnant.”
We learn to love by exercising Love. We have Joy and Peace when we exercise Faith. God says, “Come now, let us reason together” (Isaiah 1:18). Listening to the Holy Spirit who speaks Love, Joy, Peace and Patience into our lives means hearing the logic in exercising those things. Surely God has emotions and He gives us emotions to help us in our times of need. But He also wants us to Think. Things just go better for everyone when we are Patient, not wanting our way or being unable to accept whatever is going on in the moment.
“Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for him; do not fret over those who prosper in their way” (Psalm 37:7).
The wisdom from Heaven is mature, for it is “first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy” (James 3:17). Doesn’t that sound like someone who is Patient? I confess that sometimes it doesn’t sound like me at all.
Patience is associated with maturity. We put away the things of a child. Simply put, our lives can be so much better when we see how Patience smooths the way.
How has God spoken to you about Patience? How has he given you opportunities to exercise Patience?
Be a blessing to someone today.