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The Fruit of the Spirit: Patience

You will suffer. The question is, how will you suffer?

Without patience we are incomplete as Spirit-filled Christians. The receiving of God’s promises depends on patience. Patience, the fruit of the Spirit, can transform the hardest trial into glory as the believer sees the purpose beyond the present suffering. The purpose of the long-suffering of God is to bring men to repentance (Rom 2:4). It is patience with a purpose. God’s long-suffering is very strong and purposeful, not mere passive endurance with no end in view. Because of this, it follows that true long-suffering is an essentially voluntary thing. God does not have to suffer long with offenders. He does it because “Love is patient, love is kind” (I Cor. 13:4, NIV). The followers of Christ who show long-suffering or patience do so with the strong purpose of kindness.

Long-suffering means long-mindedness. It is bearing with the frailties of and provocations of others, just as Christ bore with ours. It is bearing up through all the troubles and difficulties of life without murmuring or complaining. It is submitting cheerfully to every dispensation of God’s providence and deriving benefit from every occurrence.

Without patience we are incomplete as Spirit-filled Christians.

The benefits of patience are many. Patience produces within our characters tremendous strength and endurance, even toughness. This kind of toughness will allow us to endure hard people and hard situations with serenity and stability. When we are patient under adversity we discover the great faithfulness of our God in every situation. When the actual awareness of Christ Himself comes into our spirits, we become aware that His Spirit can convey to us the peace of God in adversity and the patience of God in tough situations. When we realize that He is with us in our extremities, we can be patient.


Image: Bartlomiej Jacak

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Category: Spirit, Winter 2018

About the Author: James F. Linzey is the chief editor of the Modern English Version Bible translation. His graduate education is a degree in religious studies from Fuller Theological Seminary. His undergraduate degree from Southern California College is a BA in Biblical Studies with an emphasis in religion. He is the author of numerous articles and books. He is a speaker, recording artist, State Chaplain for the California Military Officers’ Association, and retired Army chaplain. Twitter: @JimLinzey

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