Summary: Discovering through the story of Naaman, how we can allow the Holy Spirit to produce the fruit of patience in us.
Fruit of the Spirit - Patience
Scripture: 2 Kings 5:1-19
Today we’re going to talk about the fruit of the Spirit - patience. And we’re going to look at this story of Naaman. This great Syrian commander of the Aramean army who, because of the Lord - OUR Lord - had give the king of Aram great victories.
So rather than look at WHAT patience IS, we’re going to see today, I believe, how patience developed in this man. Because I believe the Lord wants his people to be filled with patience - filled with the fruit of the spirit. And it’s one thing to know what it is - it’s quite another to HAVE it. And in order to HAVE it, we need to know how we can develop it.
So this morning we’re going to see the interactions of four or five people in this story today and we’ll discover through these people how Namaan, and we, can have patience.
Let’s look at the characters we have in this story. First, there’s the servant girl - she is a little girl of Jewish parents. She would have been captured from Israel’s territory by a Aramean’s - and so she came to live in the house of the commander of the Aramean Army, to SERVE the commander’s wife as her maid.
Now what’s interesting here, if you look in verse 3, is that this little Jewish girl - a captive - a prisoner of war, if you like, says, “I wish my master would go to see the prophet in Samaria. He would heal him of his leprosy.”
This little girl, even though she was a captive. Even though she had most likely been torn away from her parents, certainly at the very least from her father - it’s possible that they had also taken her mother to be a slave in some other part of the household. But this little Jewish girl, who is now a slave, in a foreign country, that is the enemy to her native land, wants what is best for her captors.
She says, “I wish” - “If only!” This little girl LONGS for the best for others, even her enemies.
So I think that’s the first thing WE must do if in our lives, in our homes, in our churches, we are going to develop patience,
1. We must long for the best for others - even our enemies.
Because you see, it may be through, the very ones we categorize as our enemies, that God, in his wisdom and his truth, and his understanding, will receive glory through us.
I can’t imagine that this little Jewish girl wanted to be pulled from her home and her friends and her family. I’m sure she, who was once free to play with her friends, didn’t want to be subject to a life of slavery - to the oppression - no matter what level of oppression it might have been - to have to live as a servant.
And yet, it was God’s will that this little girl be where she was. The Bible says in verse 1 of this chapter - chapter 5 - The Bible says, that it was THE LORD who had given Aram these great victories.
And sometimes in your life, and sometimes in my life, it seems like the ENEMY is winning the battle. And yet, as this story unfolds, we see God working out HIS purposes in the lives of ALL the people - not just those who fear him - so that HE gets all the honor and the glory.
And as the story of YOUR life unfolds, as the story of MY life unfolds, as the story of THIS CHURCH unfolds - if we will hold fast to our faith, and LONG for the BEST for those around us, we will see God’s glory and God’s grace, revealed in all of it’s splendor and all of it’s majesty, and nothing, not even the enemy - the devil himself will be able to stop it!!
The second thing I think we’ve got to do if we’re going to develop patience is:
2. Set aside OUR expectations.
The Bible says in verse 11, (READ to vs 13).
What happens inside of you when things don’t happen the way you expect them to? What happens inside of you when people don’t live up to your expectations? I know what happens to me. Am I the only one here who gets irritated - who gets frustrated - who even gets angry - when things don’t go like you expect. You know, you plan and plan and plan, and you try to do everything just right and you go through all the proper channels, and things just don’t work out like you expect that they should.