The Fruit of the Spirit #4:
Text: Gal. 5:22-23
Thesis: To understand what patience is and how we can have it in our lives.
(1) Do you know anyone who lacks patience?
(2) Unfortunately, the truth is that most everyone lacks patience.
(3) This being true, let us seek to understand what patience is and how we can have it.
I. What is patience?
A. “Patience” (as translated in Gal. 5:22) comes from the Greek makrothymia, which carries the idea of holding in check large quantities of emotion.
1. It is used in the LXX to translate a Hebrew phrase meaning “slow to anger” (e.g., Num. 14:18; Psa. 86:15).
a. One commentator observed, “The main emphasis here is on a passive quality – bearing up under the stresses and strains of life” (Guthrie, 149).
b. One author defined the word as “the powerful capacity of selfless love to suffer long under adversity. It is that noble ability to bear with either difficult people or adverse circumstances without breaking down” (Keller 117-18).
2. This particular word is used fourteen times in the New Testament (Rom. 2:4; 9:22; 2 Cor. 6:6; Gal. 5:22; Eph. 4:2; Col. 1:11; 3:12; 1 Tim. 1:16; 2 Tim. 3:10; 2 Tim. 4:2; Heb. 6:12; James 5:10; 1 Pet. 3:20; 2 Pet. 3:15).
a. In these verses, we learn first that this is a quality of God that is to be imitated by His children.
b. Second, we learn that this quality is one that is to affect positively our relationships with others.
c. Third, we learn that this quality also implies a willingness to wait.
- I.e., “Accepting the fact that not every problem has an instant cure and not every desire has an instant gratification, one must suffer long and wait with patience for God to open a door of deliverance” (Shelly 85).
B. Consider the value of patience:
1. “A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly” (Prov. 14:29).
2. “Better a patient man that a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city” (Prov. 16:32).
II. How can we have patience?
A. First, pray for it.
B. Second, study and mimic the life of Jesus.
C. Third, acknowledge that the world does not revolve around you.
D. Fourth, treats others as you would want to be treated.
E. Fifth, learn to be flexible.
F. Sixth, keep working at it everyday.
(1) Yes, you can (with God’s help) have patience in your life!
(2) Just imagine the stress that you can eliminate each day.