Summary: The fruit of patience is an expression to the long haul in our commitment to Christ.

We begin this morning with a brief review of our current series on the Fruits of the Spirit. We began with a look at love. Then we examined joy. Last week we spent some time with peace.

I suggested that we call love the foundational fruit and peace a potentially illusive fruit. But, I would also suggest that we look at these first three fruits as follows: (Overhead 1)

Love is the foundational fruit because God is love and Jesus told the disciples prior to His death and resurrection that love of one another would be a sign of their love and commitment to Him and the Father

Joy is an empowering fruit. As we experience the “joy of the Lord” in our lives, it gives us power to live for Him. It gives us hope because we find joy, which is a meaning giving thing, in living with and for the Lord as He lives in, with, and through us!

Peace is a focusing fruit. As we consider the place of peace in scripture I think we can see peace as a focusing fruit that enables us to focus on the Lord and His purposes and plans.

As we read last week in Philippians 4 verses 6 and 7, we saw that God’s peace comes to us as we place our circumstances and ourselves and needs in His hands. Have you ever noticed someone who was truly at peace with themselves and God? There is a focus to their lives that comes from being calm and secure and relaxed in Christ.

What kind of fruit, then, is patience? It is not an impossible fruit. I suggest this morning that patience is a sustaining fruit. Now, why do I say sustaining?

Think about a patient person in your life. Now, think about a recent situation that person faced regarding a situation that was making you impatient. Maybe it was at home, or at work, or at school, or here, or somewhere else. Think about that situation; recall the emotions of the moment in you. Look at the face of the patient person - what do you see? You see peace; you see calm; you see a sustained commitment to deal with a situation in a positive and constructive way.

How important is patience? Let’s do a couple of fun experiments to find out. I need 4 volunteers to help me with the first experiment. (Get volunteers and do experiment)

(To volunteers) Now, on a scale of 1 to 5 with 1 being little patience and 5 being a great deal of patience, how much patience did it take you to do this experiment?

Now, I need three different volunteers for the next experiment. (Get volunteers and do experiment twice- once for 78 seconds and once for 39 seconds).

(To volunteers) Now, on a scale of 1 to 5 with 1 being little patience and 5 being a great deal of patience, how much patience did it take you to do this experiment?

What kind of pressure did you feel? Did it affect your level of patience? (See end of sermon for info about experiments.)

Now, how many of you felt your level of patience going down and your level of impatience going up during these two experiments? Why?

Waste of time? Don’t see the need for this sort of thing in the worship service? Preach the Bible, Pastor!

What do our responses to these two experiments teach us about patience?

Before we look at Scripture, here are some observations about patience from people across the centuries: (Overhead 2)

St Francis de Sales

Have patience with all things, but first of all with yourself.

Chinese Proverb

If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will avoid one hundred days of sorrow.


It is better to be patient, than it is to become one.

What does the Bible have to say about patience? (Overhead 3) It has a lot to say to us. In one of my sources that I checked, there are 40 different verses in which patience or a variant of patience such as patient or patiently, appear.

In Ecclesiastes 7:8 we read, “Finishing is better than starting. Patience is better than pride.” One of the characteristics of OT wisdom literature, such as Psalms, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes, are parallel thoughts. I think that this verse is a good example of parallel thoughts.

Let’s look at the first sentence. “Finishing is better than starting.’ How many agree with this statement? Why?

Starting sometimes is a very hard thing to do. We procrastinate. We need to get all the materials together and go no further. We keep getting interrupted. We simply don’t want to do it.

Now many people are good starters. They intend to do something good. They have a good plan and they are ready to go. But, they don’t finish what we started. They give up. They get discouraged. They get distracted.

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