The Fruit of the Spirit Longsuffering (Patience)
I was privileged to share God’s word with His people a couple of years ago. My message was on: The Fruit of the Spirit- Longsuffering (Patience). Longsuffering is a virtue needed more than ever, especially in these times when impatience, oversensitivity, intolerance, and impulsive anger are so widespread.
In this age, most believers tend to act like what I call “Microwave Christians,” who often want instant results- fast food, fast life, quick money, shortcuts, quick successes, etc. Impatience can be likened to the very popular and beautiful flower in my background called Impatiens. When its seed pods reach maturity, they explode upon touch, scattering their seeds all over.
Another great example of impatience can be found in traffic situations, where most drivers quickly honk at the car(s) ahead when they fail to move within two seconds of the light turning green! However, Apostle Paul encourages us to practice living according to the fruits of the spirit- love, joy, peace, longsuffering (patience), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). Anything that runs counter, leads to spiteful attitudes of revenge and retaliation, which are closely linked to anger and hatred.
There is a season for everything in this life according to Ecclesiastes 3:1. We don’t all live in the same season at any given time. As a result, you should never be envious of someone who is enjoying harvest while you’re still in the planting season. Always keep in mind that they had to go through a season of planting just as you are.
Seedtime comes before harvest and there is a waiting period in between. Seed time allows each of us to learn the will of God. Whenever we choose God’s will, we’re planting good seeds which will in turn produce a bountiful harvest. The waiting period allows the roots to shoot down through the soil, although we may not see anything above the ground. Patience throughout the waiting period, together with our seeds of obedience lead to a beautiful manifestation of God’s purpose for our lives- the beautiful green shoot that finally springs forth from the ground. “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1 NIV)
Job is a Bible character who is an epitome of patience or longsuffering. He was a very rich farmer from Uz, and doubled as the head of a large family. He lived a just life and walked right with God until Satan was permitted to barrage him with a series of attacks and take away his possessions- thousands of sheep, camels, oxen, donkeys, and even his ten children.
Job held on to his faith albeit the second series of attacks he had to endure, this time his health. Nonetheless, he refused to curse God and die, as his wife had adviced in Job 2:9. Shortly after, the human side of Job began to question God’s motives for his severe physical condition. The situation was made worse by the arrival of his friends, who accused him of his troubles due to secret sin.
Finally, God intervened and restored Job with his friends bearing witness. God asked questions to show the depth of his knowledge, indicating that Job should simply have utmost trust in His power and saving grace. Job’s health, possessions, and family were fully restored- he was blessed with ten more children!
The solution to impatience can be found in obtaining the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38) and being led by the Advocate (Romans 8:14). We also have to trust God to intervene in our time of need (Isaiah 40:31). The reward for those who remain patient and faithful until the very end can be found in Matthew 10:22. We have to emulate Job’s attitude when it comes to waiting on God. If we are able to stand the test of time or trial, there is always a greater reward on the other side for us. Let’s keep pushing through it all. Trouble is not always a measure of sin in a person’s life. It may be used to draw us closer and closer to God.
For further reading: Galatians 5:19-23, 2 Corinthians 12:20, Romans 12:14-19, James 1:20, Romans 13:10, 1 Corinthians 13:4-5, Luke 6:45, Proverbs 14:29, Proverbs 15:18, Proverbs 19:11, James 1:19, Colossians 3:12-13, Ephesians 4:1-3, James 5:7-8
God loves you all!