Have you heard you should never pray for patience? People say this because if you ask for patience, God will give you situations where your patience is tried. Practice, if you will.
The insinuation is that you won’t develop patience unless there are opportunities where your patience is pushed to the limit. Some might count this as a no-win. To get to where you want to go, you must endure hours of crying children, slow drivers, long lines, and whatever else might drain you.
Lucky for us, all that stuff is part of life. So, you don’t need to go far to get the experience.
Patience is something we can attempt to work on for ourselves. We can try to keep our cool, count to ten, take a deep breath, bite our tongue, or whatever works. And we can make progress and lower our blood pressure.
But there’s another kind of patience that is on an entirely different plane. Patience—the fruit of the Spirit.
Patience from the Spirit is beyond the patience we come up with.
Our patience sometimes looks cool on the outside but is burning up on the inside. It rehashes the annoyances, points the finger, rolls the eyes. But the patience God offers goes deeper.
In my own patience, I can wait until my birthday to open the present I found wrapped in the closet. It’s also within me to survive an entire day with a bunch of preschoolers without raising my voice or sitting in a corner crying. But God’s patience goes farther than that. It dives into the heart of relationship and flourishes.
I have experienced this fruit of the Spirit in my life. It’s come when I didn’t even realize it was patience. The only reason I even noticed it was because someone else remarked on it. “Wow, you were so patient with him” or “How did you not blow up when that happened?” And all I could think was, how was I patient. Why didn’t I blow up?
And then I stopped and marveled at how God blesses me beyond measure with the fruit of His Spirit, changing me and making me more like Him. I’m not sure how He does it. Although, I am certain it’s not with the snap of His fingers.
He uses our experiences to teach us. But He also renews our minds. The more we get to know Him, the more the world looks different. Those tedious lines serve another purpose. We see the screaming children in the big picture of who they’re becoming and what their tomorrow might hold. Annoying drivers on the road, overtalkative friends, delayed test results. All of it looks different.
God does that for us. He gives us eyes to see things we didn’t notice before. He opens up our hearts and gives us a new one.
Patience is part of that. Read through the following verses and remember God’s patience for you is real and filled with love.
“Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.”
“I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.”
Psalms 130:5 – 130:6
“I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope. My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning.”
“Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.”
“Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God, until that he have mercy upon us.”
“Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress without cause.”
“Because of his strength will I wait upon thee: for God is my defence.”
“The eyes of all wait upon thee; and thou givest them their meat in due season.”
Psalms 62:5 – 62:6
“My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved.”
“Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.”
Psalms 39:7 – 39:8
“And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee. Deliver me from all my transgressions: make me not the reproach of the foolish.”
“For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.”
“I am weary of my crying: my throat is dried: mine eyes fail while I wait for my God.”
Psalms 71:10 – 71:12
“For mine enemies speak against me; and they that lay wait for my soul take counsel together, Saying, God hath forsaken him: persecute and take him; for there is none to deliver him. O God, be not far from me: O my God, make haste for my help.”
“Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I wait on thee.”
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