Fruit of the Spirit: Patience that Leads to Hope and Peace
Inside: You know how they say to not pray for patience because God will send you experiences to help you gain that character trait? But if the fruit of the Spirit of patience can lead to hope and peace, I’ll take some of that!
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
~Galatians 5:22-23 (ESV)
You know how they say to not pray for patience because God will send you experiences to help you gain that character trait? Last week, knowing that I would be writing on this topic, the young siblings were at each others’ throats like never before. “Right. I’m writing a devotion on patience,” I said out loud. That explained everything.
The word for patience in Galatians 5:22 means “long temper,” in the sense of “the ability to hold one’s temper for a long time” (GotQuestions.org).
Ever needed the ability to hold your temper for a long time? I am raising my hand with you! The fruit of the Spirit patience is more than the ability to hold your tongue when the kids are not getting along.
This type of long-suffering is what we need when someone has deeply wronged us or when we or someone we love is suffering under a long injustice. Maybe our spouse has made what we think are poor decisions, or we see our adult child going in the wrong direction, and we have no say and must endure the consequences of their choices. Long. Suffering. Holding our temper.
Nearing the end of his time on earth, even Jesus expressed the need to hold his temper: “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you?” (Matthew 17:17 ESV)
You can sense his utter exasperation . . . and restraint.
His disciples had been unable to heal a man’s son of a tormenting spirit, and Jesus expressed his frustration with not only his followers but also the misdirection of the entire generation.
Yes, Jesus held his temper during his time on earth with is disciples, but how long had he really shown patience? It is astonishing: from the time Eve put her trust in something other than her heavenly father.
Ah, the Holy Spirit gives the gift of endurance, long-suffering, patience, and it has been played out for us from all eternity. Remember Psalm 103? If you have your own Bible, underline or highlight all of the characteristics that illustrate God’s patience with us.
8 The Lord is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
9 He will not always chide,
nor will he keep his anger forever.
10 He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
13 As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. (Psalm 103:8-13 ESV)
God’s patience toward us isn’t just a nice gesture or a smile and nod without an eye roll. Rather, his patience is strong and has very real benefits for us and the people we love:
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. (2 Peter 3:9 ESV)
We are wronged by a friend or our workplace, our children drive us to the end of our rope, or we cringe over an ongoing injustice.
How can patience lead to hope and peace, even in these situations?
As we learn to “keep in step with the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25 ESV), learning restraint and endurance under the most difficult of situations, our impatience can be replaced with hope in Jesus, because he is the only one who can resolve the injustice, who can turn the heart. And with that hope, when our eyes are fixed on the Giver of this patience, we gain true peace.
Whatever you are facing today, whatever is trying your patience, Jesus understands, and he has given you the power of the Holy Spirit to put your hope in Jesus rather than trying to fix the situation yourself.
Where in your life do you need patience most right now?
Digging Deeper: Fruit of the Spirit Patience
Reflect on or journal about the following questions, listening for what God has to say to you about the fruit of the Spirit of patience.
1. Take some time to confess any lack of patience to the Lord. This can be a sweet time with Jesus. Let his forgiveness cover you and soothe your soul.
2. In what situations or with which people do you need an extra measure of patience, long-suffering, or endurance? Talk with God about these, and ask him for wisdom in how to “walk by the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16 ESV) as it relates to these situations.
3. Choose one situation that is trying your patience, and consider how you could put your hope in Jesus for that situation. Ask God to help you, and let your heart be filled with peace as you give it over to him.
Get Your Worship On!
My Savior My God (My Savior Lives, My Savior Loves; Aaron Shust)
Great Is Thy Faithfulness (Chris Rice)
Find More Devotions!
Find all the Devotions on the Fruit of the Spirit here!
For extra encouragement, check out this great article on the Patience of God. If you have small children, you’ll relate to this quote: “I remember early on my children were instruments in the hands of God to try my patience with their unending questions and sin nature manifested in rebellion and sinful autonomy.” Such a serious way of saying it!
Fruit of the Spirit PATIENCE!Print