A handful of patience is worth more than a bushel of brains.” ~ Dutch proverb

“Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.” ~ John Quincy Adams

“But the fruit of the Spirit is … patience …” ~ Galatians 5:22 ESV

In our continuing series on being like a tree in 2012, we’ve been taking a closer look at the types of fruit that naturally grow in a heart that’s connected to the source of life.

This week’s fruit is patience.

The word for patience is also translated as long-suffering or forbearance. Even as long-mindedness. Patience is endurance and steadfastness under provocation. To endure through the troubles of life without complaining. To endure persecution and ill-treatment. Patience describes one who has the power to exercise revenge, but instead exercises restraint.

Instead of the short fuse common in road rage, patience is acknowledging that God works on a different time frame and at a slower pace.  Patience is bearing with the frailties and provocations of others based on the consideration that God has put up with ours for a long time.

Remember back to our discussion of the fruit of love? Paul wrote that “Love is patient.” (1 Cor. 13:4 NIV) Meaning that its easier to be patient with others when you love them. (And if you don’t love them, patience is almost impossible!)

Patience allows us to wait for God’s timing. Paul wrote, “But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.” (Romans 8:25 NIV)

Waiting patiently and never giving up (also known as perseverance) develops our character. Paul wrote,”Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings,because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” (Romans 5:3-4 NIV)

Since patience is long-minded, it catches a glimpse of what is to come and endures whatever happens in the meantime. Knowing that it’s something worth waiting for.

What about you? Who or what tests your patience the most? Why? If you see the end result, does that help you get through the hard times today?

Like A Tree – Fruit of Patience
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