Summary: Patience is one the more visible fruit. What is patience according to God’s Word?
The word for patience here is “hypomonea” meaning cheerful endurance or perseverance, long-suffering or long-tempered. It is the fruit that allows us to look at people and not their circumstances or behaviour. The part of us that can see beyond the surface to find the true person that God created and loves.
Today let’s look at what God’s Word has to say about what patience means:
Patience Means That …
I. I Regard the Forbearance of God
Let me read a couple verses about God’s forbearance.
2 Peter 3:9 – “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
Numbers 14:18 - ’The LORD is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation.’
Moses was standing on Mt Sinai getting the Ten Commandments carved by God when in Exodus 34:5-7 “Then the LORD came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the LORD. 6 And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, "The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, 7 maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished"
Psalm 103:8-11 – “The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
9 He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him”
Romans 2:4 – “Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?”
God has been incredibly patient with us through the millennia, but did you catch the catch in all those verses? Guilt has to be punished if we do not fear him and if there is no repentance. Oh how we love to leave those parts out so all we hear is the love and patience, and forgiveness.
God loves people like we never could, but he hates sin and evil and cannot tolerate it in his kingdom, or it would not be perfect and holy. When he punishes, he is punishing the evil, not the person, so that we will repent and stop what we are doing. Just like our parents did.
So we remember God’s steadfast love and patience with us and seek to do the same.
Patience also means that:
II. I Realize that I am not Perfect Myself
I have to read Jesus famous words in Matthew 7 - "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
3"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4How can you say to your brother, ’Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
How about this in 1 Peter 1:12-14 – “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service. 13Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. 14The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.”
Not one person in the Bible was perfect except Jesus himself, and you and I will never be perfect. So how can we judge and be impatient with others. Some people will say “yeah but I am not as bad as that sinner.” Well, show me where God says that murder is worse than lying. Sin is sin. We all do it and it doesn’t matter if it is a speck or a log, we are all in the same boat and need to treat each other that way.
Patience means that:
III. I Reflect the Peace that I Have Inside
The last fruit we explored was peace. It should show that all is right inside us, and impatience reflects inner turmoil, not peace. Do you think God is up there wringing his hands nervously watching us mess up? Let me read from: