Oct 27 8:29 AM
Oct 27 8:29 AM
Oct 27 8:29 AM
Wednesday, October 27, 2021
We're talking about living with an attitude. How to live in the Holy Spirit, the new you if you're a Christian, versus the old person, who you were before you became a Christian. By time you when you become a Christian, from that moment on for the rest of your life, life is a nonstop battle. Who are you going to live for? How do you know when you're living for the Holy Spirit, and not for yourself? Or how do you know when you're living for yourself, not for the Holy Spirit? It's real simple: the fruit of the Spirit. The more you see these nine fruit, not fruits, but fruit of the Spirit, the more you're living for the Holy Spirit. The less you're living these nine fruit of the Holy Spirit, the more, you're living your old self.
So far, we've looked at the first three fruit of the Spirit, love, joy, and peace. Today, we're going to talk about patience. This comes from Galatians 5:22d, "But the fruit of the Spirit is... patience." Patience is the word sometimes translated as long-suffering, which is literally the word in Greek. What is patience? A lot of people confuse patience. They think patience is just waiting. There's a huge difference between patience and waiting. Here's the definition I came up with for patience. Patience is the attitude that waits on God's timing for a result, by working on whatever can be done in the meantime. So, we wait on God, but we work on what we can work on. That's the difference between how many people understand patience and what the Bible says about patience. The problem with patience is that we want patience now. Think about how contradictory that is, "Give me patience now!" I want to be patient, but I'm being impatient. Does it makes sense?
Let me explain the difference between just waiting and patience. Just waiting is sitting around for results. Patience is doing all we can regardless. Just waiting is focusing on the problem. Patience is focusing on God's process. Just waiting has a critical attitude. Patience has a controlled attitude. When we're just waiting we complain. When being patient, we contemplate God. Just waiting, the result is "I got what I wanted." Patience, the result is "I got what I needed." Big difference between patience and waiting. The Bible teaches us to be patient on God, that a day with the Lord is like 1000 years and 1000 years like a day. Can you be patient and wait for God? You know, God's timing is perfect. God sets his watch differently than we set our watch. We want our problems done by noon. God wants our problems done when he has accomplished what he needs to accomplish in us. It's hard to be patient. It's hard. I'm convinced one of the most bold prayers you could ever pray is, "God give me more patience," because you know what, he'll probably answer that one real quick. He'll put you in a traffic jam, or he'll give you some people that are really hard to deal with, and you have to have patience. Patience is a virtue. That Greek word that is sometimes translated patience, mackothymia, means long suffering. It can sometimes be hard, and it can sometimes be a long, suffering process. But patience has a great reward. How patient are you these days? Are you patient with your spouse, if you're married? Are you patient with your kids, if you have kids? Patient with that cranky aunt or uncle that you're going to see at Thanksgiving and Christmas? Patient with that kind of jerky guy at work? Patient with people who don't share your faith? Patient when you're going through a trial? Patient when finances aren't arriving when you hope?
James says a farmer has to be patient for the crops, but man when that time comes, the crops come in abundance. That's how it is with God. God says, "You have to sow your patience and you'll reap righteousness." That's living with an attitude. The more patient you can be, the more you'll accomplish great things. "Better a patient man than a warrior who conquers cities." That's what Proverbs says. Do you believe that? I do. Let's pray. Father, all of us struggle with patience. We live in a country in a world that says, "Now, now, now! More, more, more!" Sometimes you say, "Not now. Not more. Less." Teach us to be patient, not to wait around, but to wait on you. We ask this through the Holy Spirit who gives us this ability to be patient. Amen.