Here is part 8 of a Sunday night sermon series I’m preaching at the church I pastor, Faith United Church, Hempstead, Texas.
THE ART OF BEARING FRUIT PART 8
THE FRUIT OF PATIENCE
Galatians 5:22-23 TNIV – 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
INTRO: This is the 8th sermon in our series, “The art of bearing fruit.” We are now looking at the fruit of patience.
The word, patience, as it is used in the New Testament, really has no true equivalent in the English language. Patience is not merely quietness and being laid back as some might suggest or assume. In W. Philip Keller’s book, “A gardener looks at the fruit of the Spirit,” he gives his definition of patience. “Patience is the powerful capacity of selfless love to suffer long under adversity. It is the noble ability to bear with either difficult people or adverse circumstances without breaking down. It is a generous willingness to try to understand the awkward people or disturbing events that our Father allows to enter our lives. It is that powerful attribute under strain, not just standing still, but pressing on.”
Let’s look at this subject for tonight.
1. What patience is not.
It is not lazy or lethargic. It doesn’t set back and say, “whatever will be will be.” It is not weak in any way.
2. What patience is.
It is one of God’s attributes which, when it is revealed or applied in your life both startles and astounds the one in whom patience is being developed. As human beings, a lot of times we would rather run or ignore adversity instead of applying patience.
But the patience that God speaks about in the New Testament is just the opposite.
New Testament patience endures all things till the end. Why? Because it is: (1) it is part of the character of Christ; (2) it is a by product of God’s love.
3. Christ – a picture of patience.
Patience is beautifully revealed in the life of Christ.
He is the suffering servant. He willingly to be punishment not meant for Him, but us – that is patience.
He came to minister and serve. It didn’t matter the reactions He received – He served anyway – that is patience.
He endured every adversity as well as abuse from evil people for our sakes and for the salvation of our souls. It is only the patient willingness of a generous Father to put up with us, to understand us, and to persevere with us that gives us great hope and joy in the Lord. Patience is the love of God in action – to do nothing for us but the ultimate good – salvation to the undeserving.
4. The benefits of patience.
It produces with our own character tremendous strength and endurance. As we are patient during adversity we discover the great faithfulness of our God to us in ever situation.
Philippians 1:13 TNIV – for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
CJB – for God is the one working among you both the willing and the working for what pleases him.
AMP – [Not in your own strength] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight.
5. Patience is a learning experience.
This fruit of God’s Spirit is not something we pray for, expecting God to drop it down into our little lives like a neatly wrapped package. We can learn to practice patience in the fiery furnace of affliction. We stand on God’s promises found in His Word. Trusting in His wisdom and grace. Trusting that in our standing in faith, He gives us strength to stand.
CONCL: Patience is not something that is conjured up, but a fruit that is birthed in us by God during the fires of adversity. He gives patience when it is needed. Trust in Him, don’t let outside influences dictate your reactions. Let God produce this fruit of patience in your life.