The Fruit Of Patience
The fruit of patience is also known as long-suffering.
Long-suffering is a word that we don’t see a lot of in our essays and our online journals too often anymore.
As a matter of fact, we don’t hear it being used too often when the fruit of patience is being spoken of either.
When it comes to the fruit of patience… the word long-suffering takes patience to a whole new level.
At least it does for me anyway.
And my prayer is that by the time we go through our Christian journey together…
You too will see the intensity that it adds to the fruit of patience.
Before we go any further in this piece… let’s get an understanding of what the fruit of patience a k a, long-suffering means from a biblical perspective.
So, let us first take the word long-suffering.
The Thayer Definition of longsuffering gives us the following biblical terms…
Patience, endurance, constancy… Steadfastness, perseverance… Forbearance, slowness in avenging wrongs.
I even read in one place that long-suffering and patience is also defined as slow to anger.
The last two we see on the list that defines what long-suffering is…
The slowness in avenging wrongs and the being slow to anger…should be the two that all of us as Christ-followers should heed too.
And that is not to say that we should not give all of the terms or facets of patience and longsuffering our utmost attention…
Because we should pay very close attention to them as well.
Have you ever heard the saying… Patience is a virtue? And if so, have you ever really thought about what it really means?
You have probably also heard someone say that they have lost their patience… or that they are losing their patience also.
But can one really lose their patience?
Well, my beloved friend here is the truth about losing your patience.
We don’t lose our patience per se’… We only lose the ability to use patience or we fall short of exercising the fruit that is within us.
Think about that for a little while.
You see beloved if you are a child of God and are filled with the gift of the Holy Spirit, you never lose the gifts that God gives you.
But here is something to consider…
We can forfeit the right… and the ability to use our gifts because of disobedience to God and due to procrastination and slothfulness.
Unfortunately, many have found themselves in this way.
Nevertheless, patience is one of the gifts that every believer and a true follower of Christ receives along with the gift and the filling of his Holy Spirit.
We discover in Romans 11:29 that the Bible teaches … The gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
That just simply means that if you are truly saved and called of God… God does not change his mind concerning you and me.
And as Psalm 138:8 states it… God will perfect that which concerns you.
Or how about this one…
Being confident of this very thing, that he which began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6.
Long-suffering… Is Patience with a Purpose.
This is the definition of long-suffering a good friend of mine shared with me.
I really like that definition.
It reminds me of a definition of meekness that I adopted long ago…
Meekness meaning… Strength under control.
I really love that way of defining meekness as well.
I guess the reason that I am so fond of both definitions… is because it makes them applicable to us as followers of Christ. That is … with his help of course.
The Fruit Of Patience Is A Virtue.
I pray that you don’t think that I am being redundant if I ask you if you have ever heard someone say that… Patience is a virtue.
Nevertheless, my beloved, it’s a true statement and it will always hold true.
I must admit though when I heard it as a child or whenever I had spoken it to someone… I really didn’t understand what I was saying.
Shame… on me right?
So, I’m pretty sure you know what is meant when you hear someone say patience is a virtue.
But for the sake of some young person that may be such as I was… let me give a fairly simple explanation of what it means.
Here is my take on the phrase patience is a virtue. And it means that…
Patience is a character trait that is of moral excellence.
If you by chance have listened too or have read any of the lectures and articles that I publish for the Transformation Meditation series…
You may have heard me say that the thought process that the Holy Spirit gives to us to think on… all points back to God.
Well, my beloved friend, the same truth applies to the fruit of the Spirit.
The fruit belongs to God and if we want to have a proper understanding of what each fruit or character trait looks like and behaves…
We must look to God in the person of Jesus Christ.
There is not a better example for us to follow or imitate.
We all know the greatness of the Apostle Paul… God used him in a mighty way.
Yet he even tells us to look to Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith.
In 1 Corinthians 11:1 the Apostle Paul admonishes the Corinthians to follow him even as he also followed the Lord Jesus.
So, I believe that he is telling the church at Corinth also that as long as he was following Christ that they can also mirror his example.
But if he was not following Christ they were not to follow after him.
That same principle applies to all leaders in the congregation of God.
I believe also that God wants us all to grow into mature believers that we all can say with boldness… Follow me as I follow Christ.
As I said the fruit belongs to God.
In Romans 5:5 the Bible teaches us that God is the God of patience and comfort.
As a matter of fact, let’s read the verse together.
Romans 5:5 is read like this…
Now the God of patience and of comfort… grant you to be of the same mind, one with another… according to Christ Jesus.
So what do you suppose we are to have the same mind about toward one another?
That’s a very good question… So let’s see if we can answer it.
Beloved, we find the answer to the question in several places in our bibles.
Take for instance in the very same chapter where we discover God is the God of patience and comfort…
Romans 15:1-2 gives us a couple of examples of what we should be like-minded about.
It takes being patient to bear the infirmities of the week and not to please ourselves. We see that in Romans 15 verse 1.
In Romans 15:2 we are admonished to have the same mind towards one another by…
Each one of us making an effort to please our neighbor for that which is good, unto edifying or lifting up.
We are instructed to be patient throughout the word of God.
Now, before we switch gears let’s look at one more verse that can help us to renew our minds concerning this particular fruit of the Spirit.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:14 we see these words…
And we urge you brothers, to admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, and be patient with everyone.
This Translation was taken from the BSB, Berean Study Bible.
What sticks out to me in this particular verse is the command to be patient with everyone.
I don’t know about you but… I find setting straight the unruly or the rebellious…
The speaking a word of encouragement to the downhearted…
And even coming to the aid of those that are weakened a lot easier than being patient with everyone.
Every character trait that our heavenly Father wants us to exemplify has to be learned and then cultivated.
We learn from the gospel of John 15:1-2 how the cultivation takes place.
Maybe we ought to read those verses together for more insight and encouragement.
Here they are… The words of Jesus.
Verse 1. I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.
And verse 2. Every branch in me that bears no fruit he takes away: and every branch that bears fruit, Hee prunes it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
God our Father is the perfect caretaker of everything about us. That’s because God is perfect and excellent in all of His ways.
Now let’s just see how excellent he is concerning long-suffering and being patient towards his people and creation.
For the remainder of this lecture, we are going to look at a few verses throughout the word of God that we can meditate on.
And hopefully, we can learn from and be inspired by the God of patience to be patient with everyone we encounter.
However, there is one more thing that I wish to discuss before we dive into the verses though.
Now that probably sounded like I was telling you to be patient until we get to the next part of this lecture.
In a small way, I was… But more importantly, I wanted you to experience and observe the feelings that you have when someone tells you to be patient.
You see for a lot of us when someone tells us to be patient… It will sometimes cause us to be even less patient with them… or to even be less patient in the situation, that we are in.
Patience and long-suffering is a virtue that I believe has to be energized and motivated by love, joy, peace and every other fruit of the Spirit.
But here is another thing that I recently discovered and it is that when someone tells us to be patient or to have patience…
They are in essence telling us to be like God.
That is to say… not in the same way that Satan wanted to be like God and exalt himself above our heavenly Father.
Imagine that… The created creature attempting to be the lord over the Creator.
No… not like that.
But what it is saying is that we are to have those Godlike character traits working in us, through us and around us.
As we continue to explore the fruit of the Spirit let us be reminded that the fruit belongs to God and that these are character traits that are always present with him.
So the next time someone tells us to be patient we should reflect on how often God has been so patient and longsuffering with us, individually… and as a people.
The Longsuffering and Patience of A Great GOD.
Here are a few verses that express the long-suffering of our great God.
The first verse that I wish to share with you is found in the book of Exodus 34:6.
Here we read what the Lord our God declared unto Moses when he gave him(Moses) the Ten Commandments the second time.
And we read…
And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed…
The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious… longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.
There are several verses in the word of God that reiterate this truth about God.
And I’m reminded of one that we find in the book of Lamentations 3 and we begin our reading in verse 21.
This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.
Verse 22. It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed because his compassions fail not.
Verse 23. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
And now verse 24. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.
These are words of the prophet Jeremiah that he penned during a time of Exile and Babylonian captivity.
These few verses of the scriptures really speak to the patience and longsuffering if our Father in Heaven.
The bible teaches us that… the things that we have read in the word of God, are meant for our learning, and for examples of how we should view… and approach our circumstances.
Lamentations 3:21 teaches us to reflect or meditate on the mercies of God.
His mercies truly express the great patience that he has for all peoples.
Well, beloved as we conclude this piece on the fruit of patience. I wish to leave you with a few more verses that tell us of God’s great love and patience toward us.
As I said earlier my hope is that we can glean from these verses and truly be encouraged to imitate God who is our best example for being patient unto everyone.
The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy
The LORD is gracious and full of compassion.
Slow to anger, and of great mercy.
And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God.
For he is gracious and merciful… slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.
That’s going to do it for this episode of Character Building Fruit… The Fruit of Patience.
But please always remember to…
Keep up the good practice…
And experience the power of God giving you a new life…