“Love suffers long and is kind;…” 1 Cor. 13:4 NKJV
“Love is patient and kind;…” 1 Cor. 13:4 ESV
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” Gal. 5:22-23
“Be patient,” the Holy Spirit spoke to me. “This is the message I’m giving you for today.”
I seek the Lord daily, often, but in the morning I seek Him sometimes to see if He has a message for me for that particular day. A scripture, a few words, an instruction, etc., that I can take with me for that day. This time, the message was loud and clear. Plain and simple.
Am I the only one who needs to hear this? To be patient? Probably not. Maybe you need to hear it also. Until that day the Lord spoke to me, I’m not sure I had ever considered the most striking thing about impatience, or lack of patience.
It’s not that impatience causes problems for us. It’s not that our impatience causes problems for others. It’s not that we can miss blessings and opportunities when we’re impatient. It’s not that we can miss out on growth by being impatient. It’s not that we can mess up the timing of things in our lives by being impatient.
It’s that impatience is SIN AGAINST GOD ALMIGHTY. God tells us over and again in the Bible to be PATIENT. When we go against what God tells us to do, we SIN AGAINST GOD. When we are impatient, we are not bearing one of the fruits of the Spirit of God who lives inside His followers. We are not bearing the PATIENCE to which the Lord calls us.
I struggle with patience. Greatly. I’ve become more impatient over the years rather than more patient. Most of my impatience is the fruit of worry which is also sin against God. Some of my impatience is the fruit of being self-centered and becoming irritated and impatient because I don’t like something or don’t have loving feelings toward someone or am not getting what I want or am afraid I won’t. I am also prone to impatience when I am very tired. I am tired often due to not sleeping as well as I should coupled with the stress of my lifestyle. But is there ever an excuse for sin? Never!
Whatever the cause, it’s all sin. And not only do I hurt the Lord with my impatience, most importantly, but I hurt other people and also my dogs. The Bible says love is patient. If love is patient, what is impatience? Are we walking in God’s love when we act impatiently? How can we be?
The worst advice I’ve ever been given when it comes to patience comes from a well-known worldly saying. That we shouldn’t pray for patience because then the Lord will give us something we will need to be patient in. For years, I have subscribed to that worldly saying. Foolishly. Unwisely. To my own detriment and the detriment of others and most of all to the detriment of the Lord.
For what the Lord commands us to do, and what we cannot do on our own, should we not pray to Him that He will enable us to do whatever that is? Like to be patient? When it comes to impatience, when we find ourselves being impatient, we need to repent.
And I can’t think of any better way to be patient when we struggle with impatience than to pray to the Lord for patience. Believing He will help us to bear this fruit of the Spirit of God.
Be patient, friend. Let’s be patient, you and I. For the glory of God. Bearing this vital and precious fruit that can seem so impossible in the flesh. In and through and for Christ, all things are possible. Patience included.
The King James version of the Bible uses the words “love suffereth long” instead of patience. The NKJV version uses “love suffers long”. There is suffering sometimes in being patient, isn’t there? We need to deny our flesh that may be screaming for us to rush forward. Or to get something NOW. Or to have someone respond to us the way that we want IMMEDIATELY. The flesh must be denied. We must die to self. And live for Christ. With patience. PATIENCE.
A fruit of God’s Spirit. For His glory! AMEN!