Patience, Fruit of the Spirit
By Pastor Gregory Toussaint
What is patience? A dictionary defines patience as the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset. The most patient being of the universe is the Lord of Hosts. The Bible often says that God is slow to anger and abounding in mercy. It is to say that God is a God of patience.
God’s patience manifests in a thousand ways in our lives and in human existence. Consider just two examples of divine patience. One of the symbols of God’s patience is the rainbow in the sky. In Genesis 9: 16, we read that after the flood had destroyed the inhabitants of the earth, except for Noah and his family, God made a covenant with Noah and his sons as they left the ark . God told them that never will the earth be destroyed by water again. To seal this covenant, God gave Noah a sign; he placed the rainbow in the sky to remind us of His patience.
If God has not destroyed the world yet, if we are not swept away by another flood, it is only because of God’s patience. When we see what is happening in the world today, when we see that abomination is going full swing, we thank God for his patience. Today you can turn on the TV during daytime and see men kissing with men and women sleeping with women amidst general indifference. If God has not already destroyed this world, it is because of his great patience.
A second proof of God’s patience is the fact that Jesus has not returned yet. In 2 Peter 3: 9, the Apostle says that “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead, he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. ” If Jesus seems “slow” to return, it is precisely because He allows time for all to repent. If God delays his judgment so far, it is because he wants you to receive this message and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.[jwplayer mediaid=”3230″]
However, God does not show patience so that we may abuse of it. The Bible says that God uses his patience to bring us to repentance. Some abuse of the patience of God, they take it as an opportunity to do anything. However, if God uses his patience towards us when we sin, if he does not wipe us out immediately as He used to do in the Old Testament, it is because he wants us to change our ways, it is because of His patience and His love towards us.
Since God is a God of patience, and being called to be God-like every day, the believer must also be patient. A Christian must be patient for two reasons.
1-Patience makes you smart
When you are patient, you become smart right away. In Proverbs 14: 29, we read, “He who is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who is quick-tempered exalts folly.” Patience helps to have wisdom, intelligence. However, you may ask, what is the link between patience and intelligence? When you are patient, you have time to think, to ponder, to consult and seek God. Therefore, you do not make regrettable decisions because you have taken your time.
In addition, when you are patient, you cannot be easily manipulated. Choleric folks are easily manipulated. The angry thinks he can control the others by intimidating them while it is quite the opposite. When you are quick to anger, you do not control the others, but they do control you. People know what to do to get on your nerves; they know which button to press. A person may have wronged you but because you reacted so violently, it seems like you are the one to blame.
Once, a group of men stranded on a deserted island. Starving to death, they saw a coconut tree on the beach. One of them saw a monkey on top of the tree and started throwing stones at the animal. In return, the monkey began to throw coconuts to him. Then the shipwrecked sailors kept throwing stones at the monkey until the animal threw all the coconuts to them. Sometimes, people will throw you stones so that you throw coconuts back to them. These stones are a word, a teasing to trigger your anger. When people become aware of your edgy character, they deliberately provoke you. When you get angry, you will be the one to blame. Anger makes you manipulable while patience makes you smart.
2-Patience gives you victory
Whoever is patient always triumphs. The patient one is always victorious. In Proverbs 16: 32, we read: “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit better than he who takes a city.” A hero is someone who pulls off a feat, who wins battles. He who is patient is more than a hero. The patient one always succeeds at doing what he plans. However, beware. Patience is not the same with passivity. A passive person endures difficulties without doing anything tangible to change his situation. The Bible does not teach passivity but patience. The patient is the one who endures hardships while working his way through. Being patient does not mean sit back and wait for the Lord, it means doing everything you can and let the Lord take over when you’ve reached your limit.
Plutarch, the famous Greek historian, once wrote: “Patience is more powerful than strength.” What strength cannot accomplish, patience can do. Let us take for example a drop of water, which is something very small. It cannot damage much. However, with patience you would be surprised what a drop can do. Some rocks are virtually unbreakable regardless of the tool used. A drop of water that falls patiently for years on the same stone will end up breaking it. Sometimes, we Christians pray and believe that the drops of our prayers are useless. With patience, you would be surprised what prayer and perseverance can accomplish. With patience, the impossible becomes possible.
Often we struggle to be patient, we wait patiently and when we get close to the goal, Satan comes to tempt us and steal our blessing. The devil tempted Jesus as the Savior was completing 40 days of fasting. The devil has waited until the last day to bring Jesus to do or say something wrong so Jesus could lose the blessings of his 39 days of fasting. When the temptation is stronger, when you feel tempted to give up or give in, it is probably because your deliverance is near.
My mother often told me the story of a man sentenced to 101 days in prison. The man did not know the length of his sentence and, after spending 100 days in prison, he committed suicide. He hanged up himself in his cell while he was one day away to freedom. Sometimes, we commit suicidal acts while we were one day away to see the glory of God. Sometimes, we sign some contracts, we marry the wrong person while we were to one day to meet the right one. One day could have made all the difference in our lives.
To be continued on Amazon Kindle…