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ESGAL12 Fruit of the Spirit Part 6 Patience

Fruit of the Spirit  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  27:36
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Job 1 NKJV
There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil. And seven sons and three daughters were born to him. Also, his possessions were seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, five hundred female donkeys, and a very large household, so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the East. And his sons would go and feast in their houses, each on his appointed day, and would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. So it was, when the days of feasting had run their course, that Job would send and sanctify them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, “It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” Thus Job did regularly. Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. And the Lord said to Satan, “From where do you come?” So Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.” Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?” So Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!” And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord. Now there was a day when his sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house; and a messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys feeding beside them, when the Sabeans raided them and took them away—indeed they have killed the servants with the edge of the sword; and I alone have escaped to tell you!” While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants, and consumed them; and I alone have escaped to tell you!” While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “The Chaldeans formed three bands, raided the camels and took them away, yes, and killed the servants with the edge of the sword; and I alone have escaped to tell you!” While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, and suddenly a great wind came from across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people, and they are dead; and I alone have escaped to tell you!” Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. And he said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.” In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.
Galatians 5:22–23 NKJV
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
Today we come to the fourth part of the fruit of the Spirit. Perhaps, other than self-control, this is the one we are most keenly aware does not come naturally.
I think that it would be helpful to have a definition of patience:
Patience is the ability to take a great deal of punishment from evil people or circumstances without losing one’s temper, without becoming irritated and angry, or without taking vengeance. It includes the capacity to bear pain or trials without complaint, the ability to forbear under severe provocation, and the self-control which keeps one from acting rashly even though suffering opposition or adversity. [1]
I think that this puts things in perspective. No losing one’s rag. No irritation. No getting your own back. No complaining. No quick to anger. No reacting. Complete self-control. Patience is a kind of resignation and acceptance. Patience is the strength of endurance. It is being relaxed. Patience is a calm endurance based on the certain knowledge that God is in control.
I could finish here and we all should be convicted.
Firmin Abauzit, who is best known for being a proof-reader to Isaac Newton, lived to eighty-seven years, was a person of such a serene disposition, that he was not known to have been out of temper during the whole of his long life. Some persons, doubting the possibility of such a meek disposition, applied to a female who had kept his house for thirty years, to try to provoke him, on the promise of money if she succeeded. Knowing that her master was very fond of having his bed comfortably made, she neglected it.
Next morning, Abauzit reminded her of the neglect. She said she had forgotten it; and nothing more was said. The next night the bed was again unmade; and the woman, being reminded of it, made some other excuse.
On the third morning, her master said, “You have not yet made my bed: it is evident you are determined not to do it. Well, I suppose you find the job troublesome; but it is of little consequence, for I begin to be used to it already.” Moved by such kindness and goodness of temper, the servant discontinued the experiment she had been prevailed upon to make.
When a stranger told Voltaire that he had come to see a great man Voltaire asked him if he had come to see Abauzit!

God’s Patience

God is angry with the wicked every day but God, in His patience, delays His wrath giving people every chance to repent. Mercy is always shown before judgement. What we find is that God’s grace and loving-kindness rules instead. God suppresses His impulse to destroy us. For example, we find that God does not destroy Cain; He gives a rainbow revealing He will not destroy the world again with a flood: He does not destroy Nineveh after Jonah’s preaching; and so on. But God’s judgement is revealed in world history when a nation has filled up its sins and then God, despite all the warnings that have been given to it, will bring war, disease and plagues and other disasters because they did not repent. This is a warning for our own nation as we go further and further away from His laws.

Bridge between God’s and Our Patience

Jesus has something to say about patience, so let us read it together, we pick it up in:
Matthew 18:23–35 NKJV
Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made. The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt. “But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’ So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt. So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done. Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’ And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him. “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”
Here we see the servant cry out that he will repay everything. This servant would never have been able to repay 10,000 talents. One talent is 6000 day’s wages. So, this servant owed the King a massive debt that would take 60 million days to pay. It takes 20 years to earn one talent if he worked every day and this guy owed 10,000 of them! He would have to work for 200,000 years! When we realise that the King is God then we see even more clearly the impossibility of repaying any kind of debt to Him. The contrast then could not be any clearer when his co-worker owed him 100 denarii, a denarii being one day’s wage, so, four months wages – but he showed no patience at all. It is still a lot but not in comparison with his own debt.
When we compare what others have done to us with what we have done to God...and here I am talking about is a debt that we can never repay...the price was paid in blood. Not just any blood but divine blood, sinless blood. It was the only thing that keeps us from being given over to the tormentors until we had paid every last penny...and that would be forever. We, on the other hand, in the light of God’s mercy, should forgive others what they do to us for on the scale of things their offences, and they can be big but in comparison are small indeed to what we did against God. We should have patience with them as God done with us.

Let’s think about our patience:

Proverbs 14:29 NKJV
He who is slow to wrath has great understanding, But he who is impulsive exalts folly.
We are to think before we react. This seems to be impossible and I think without the Holy Spirit working in us so that we bear the fruit of patience unless we, like Abautiz mentioned at the beginning, are of such a temperament anyway. But such are few and far between.
‘Lord, give me patience.’ is a prayer we have prayed but don’t be surprised if things go wrong for patience is not learned when things are going well but when things are not. Patience teaches us to rely so much more on God. It also changes us:
James 1:2–4 NKJV
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
In the well-known chapter on love what is the first attribute of love?
1 Corinthians 13:4a (NKJV) — 4 Love suffers long.
Knowing God with His mercy, grace, and patience we in response are patient and kind with the Holy Spirit’s help.
Patience and forbearance is a spiritual force which has at its source the honour and glory of God. In the passage we read in James it says let patience have its perfect work. Patience, itself, is a goal to aim towards. But first patience is a gift that is given with the Holy Spirit that we are empowered with but it then becomes an obligation to fulfil. How can we be patient?
John 15:5b (NKJV) — 5 “He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit.”
So, for us to bear the fruit of patience we have to abide in Christ. We cannot produce patience unless we’re abiding in Christ; unless we’re walking in His steps; unless we’re reading His Word; unless we’re growing in our prayer life; unless we’re spending quality time worshipping and fellowshipping with brothers and sisters in Christ.
Again, like the rest of the fruit of the Spirit it is down to choice, a decision. We need God’s help by His Spirit for these are things that a Christian should become. For instance it says in:
Colossians 3:12 NKJV
Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering;
Patience has to be put on because these things do not come naturally but with the Spirit’s help and with a conscious decision.
This is especially true of us who drive - it is a microcosm of life itself. What is it about being behind the wheel of a car that makes us frustrated at the stupid people around us! Don’t they know how to drive? Do they have a license? Patience is learned the hard way here…but it is about mercy, about being kind, about being humble knowing we make mistakes too, and even if we are the perfect driver then to have patience anyway for God is perfect and He show mercy, kindness and patience.

There is one other thing for which we are called to be patient:

James 5:7–11 NKJV
Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned. Behold, the Judge is standing at the door! My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and patience. Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord—that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.
Throughout the New Testament we find that patience is equated with the coming of Jesus. Afterwards, there will be no need for patience for all that was unjust will have been dealt with. When we hear the news about different things especially crimes against children we wonder where is judgement. Then there is persecution:
Revelation 6:9–11 NKJV
When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.
What are they told? Just a little while longer. We simply have to be patient for God’s Trumpet to sound. God’s patience is long but it will not last forever for it is delayed wrath:
1 Peter 3:20 the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water.
So, in the same way God’s patience will one day say ‘that is enough.’ And He will deliver us from evildoers. When it says that the Judge is standing at the door it is in order to close it once and for all just as God closed the door on the Ark. He is standing at the door already.
But, for now, His patience continues:
2 Peter 3:9 NKJV
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.


Jesus, with His Father, has showed incredible patience towards us and therefore we are compelled to be patient with others. We are to allow His Spirit to do His work in us. We should instead be impatient that people come to a living faith in Christ before that day, hour, minute, second when all hope will finally be lost. There will be a final reckoning when those who have not repented will receive their just reward. We are to be patient especially with our brothers and sisters in Christ but also with those in the world that there may be a chance that they will come to faith too. Our patience could save souls but our impatience could drive them away. Instead of anger we are to be kind. And we wait, patiently, for the Day of the Coming of the Lord.


1 Timothy 1:16–17 NKJV
However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
[1] Elwell, W. A., & Beitzel, B. J. (1988).Baker encyclopedia of the Bible. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House. (adapted by me)
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