Summary: Well, the Bible says the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace and then the next quality is long-suffering. The word long-suffering means patience.


Galatians 5:22, James 1:3 08/17/03

I want to start by asking you a question? Are you a patient person. Some of you are saying Oh no, this is going to be one of them sermons. Well, let me ask you again, are you a patient person? Maybe I ought to ask your wife or children. Well, the Bible says the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace and then the next quality is long-suffering. The word long-suffering means patience. Lets just take a test and find out whether we are patient or not.

How do you do with interruptions. When you are busy and something has to be done and you are interrupted, how do you do? How do you deal with irritations. Does anything bug you. What things irritate you? Is it long lines, traffic jams, lost keys, flat tires and when you get rubbed the wrong way, how do you react? You know what I read the other day? If you live a normal lifetime, you will spend six months of your life at traffic lights. If you are waiting at one of those red lights and it turns green, if you don’t move immediately, the person behind you turns red.

Well you say pastor, I am not doing to well on the test. It might be that you need patience. I know I need patience and I might not be the only one here tonight that does. Do you know why all those irritations and inconveniences come to us in life? Turn to Romans 5:3. They not only come to reveal our impatience but God allows them to grow patience in us. Now listen, these irritations and inconveniences are not obstacles, they are opportunities to grow patience. Now if you already have enough patience, then just set quite while those of us who need more learn.

I want to think under three headings and they are all questions. The first one is what is patience? Patience is putting up with some tedious but much more than that. We consider ourselves patient when we put up with irritable people. That is patience but it is much more than that. It is more than just sticking it out. It is what ever trial you find yourself you still can give God the praise. If you don’t learn this, you will never learn anything else about patience. If you don’t have patience in life I know for a fact you are a failure. It isn’t that you are going to be a failure, you are already a failure. But you are never a failure, that is unless you quit. If you quit you are a failure.

Let me give you an example. Suppose you are in a race and you are leading by several feet. The finish line is ten feet in front of you and you stop. You lose even though you were only a few feet from the finish line. So, with that, then we would all say we have need of more patience.

Now I want to ask another question. Why is patience so important? Well this is where we want to see what the apostle James has to say. Turn to James chapter 1:3&4. How would you like to be that kind of person? How would you like for people to look at you and see Jesus? You can never have that kind of life unless you are growing to maturity. Jesus was mature. So those inconveniences that come in life to test your faith, they are growing your patience. There is no maturity without patience and no patience without trials. And if you are not mature, you are not like Jesus. God wants to bring you to maturity and the way He does that is to allow trails to come in life.

Are children patient? No of course not. They think wait awhile is the same as no. many of us are like children. We want what we want right now. There is an old proverb that says give a pig when he grunts and a child when he cries. You have a good pig and a bad child. We say Lord I don’t want any troubles and trials. Lord give me the honey without the bees. I just want to sail through life in perfect ease. Well if you do you will never be mature. To be mature in Jesus is what God expects all of us to be. That will never come with the trying of our faith and the trying of our faith works patience and that is why it is important.

The final question are you ready? How do we get patience? Paul has the answer found in Ephesians 4:2. Loveless people are impatient people. If you are impatient with your wife, you don’t show her the love God intends you to show. If you are impatient with your children, you don’t show them the love they deserve. An impatient person is always looking only at his point of view. That is why some preachers don’t make it in the ministry. They never look at another person’s point of view. Some are so selfish, God couldn’t change their mind. A loving person always sees from the other person’s point of view. That doesn’t mean he has to change his conviction. A person filled with love, almost nothing will provoke him to madness.

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