Summary: Patience - something we all want, but seldom have. However, it is attainable for us as believers. Patience is the fourth aspect of the Fruit of the Spirit. Let us study this aspect and try to learn what it means to be patient and then make application in
The Fruit of the Spirit – Patience
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control; against such there is no law.
A small boy is sent to bed by his father.
Five minutes later … “Da-ad…”
“I’m thirsty. Can you bring me a drink of water?”
“No. You should have got a drink before you went to bed. Go to sleep.”
Five minutes later: “Da-aaaaad …”
“I’m THIRSTY. Can I have a drink of water??”
“I told you NO! If you ask again, I’ll have to come in there and spank you!!”
Five minutes later … Daaaa-aaaaaad …”
“When you come in to spank me, can you bring me a drink of water?”
[Kids Say & Do The Funniest Things – www.butlerwebs.com/jokes/kids2.htm-56k, 11-01-03, adapted]
*** Now that is patience.
“People are not very patient are they?
Particularly in our society, I think we honor the type “A” personality who is aggressive and take charge, because he is the one who gets the job done. Quite frankly, that kind of personally is not very patient –
Many of us pray like this: Dear God, please grant me patience. [However,] I want it right now.” [The Spirit Led Life Part 7 (Patience), a sermon by Joe Bedy, SermonCentral.com, 10-27-03]
Do you have patience? The text says that patience is an aspect of the Holy Spirit’s fruit. Because of that we need to see what it means to be patient and then apply it.
What is Patience?
Patience – [NASB]
Long-suffering – [KJV]
NT Greek –
makrothumia (noun) (Strong # 3115) (makros – “long” / thumos – “temper”) - means:
Forbearance – to hold up, to bear with, to endure.
Patience – the quality that does not surrender to circumstances or succumb under trial; it is the opposite of despondency and is associated with hope – it is not used of God.
Longsuffering - is that quality of self-restraint in the face of provocation which does not hastily retaliate or promptly punish; it is the opposite of anger and is associated with mercy – it is used of God. [Vine’s Expository Dict., 1996, 247; 377; 463]
OT Hebrew –
erek aph (Strong # 750 & 639) long of face - [Young’s Analytical Concordance, 22nd ed., 614] or as I have known it for years as “long of nose” carrying with its meaning the thought of being “slow to anger” [BEA]
NOTE – The best approach to understanding this Greek word is to view it like a two sided coin. One side – man’s patience. The other side – God’s long-suffering.
I. Patience in Trials
PATIENCE – the quality that does not surrender to circumstances or succumb under trial; it is the opposite of despondency and is associated with hope.
Beloved, we are convinced of better things of you [vv. 1-8], and things that accompany salvation, though we are speaking in this way. For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints. And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
*** Show [openly display through “practical holiness” – A.W. Pink, Exposition of Hebrews, 337] … diligence [be earnest] … to realize the full assurance of hope until the end [coming to complete salvation] … through faith [evidence of things not seen] and patience [persevering in hope amidst all the trials – Ibid., 338].
We give thanks to God always for all of you, making mention of you in our prayers; constantly bearing in mind your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness [Gk. – perseverance, margin notes] of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God and Father.
*** Though the Greek “hupomones” here translated perseverance [i.e., patience] is not the same as found in the text the same thought is illustrated.
Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold the Judge is standing at the door. As an example, brethren, of suffering and patience, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful.