Text: Galatians 5:16-25
Patience no longer seems to be a valued virtue in our society. We’re the society that loves fast food, microwaves, drive-throughs, pizza delivery in 20 minutes or less and supermarket express lanes.
Most people even dare I say so Christians, confuse patience with impatience.
Impatience means the inability to tolerate delay and it also can mean the inability to deal with obstacles: “Caution explosion ahead” (Impatience results in outbursts of anger)
We might think impatience is a quaint little quirk in our character but today we’re going to find it is more damaging than that. Because hiding just under the surface of our impatience, is a potential caldron of anger, selfishness, a spirit of entitlement and something dysfunctional about our relationship with God.
Proverbs 16:32 Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty and he who rules his spirit, than he who takes a city.
Passion Bible puts it like this Do you want to be a mighty warrior? It’s better to be known as one who is patient and slow to anger. Do you want to conquer a city? Rule over your temper before you attempt to rule a city.
Patience is not a form of enduring suffering but a peaceful overcoming of testing times through the power of the Holy Spirit. It is not patience enduring this season of pandemic and lockdowns with a spirt of ‘Oh I have to wait’
Patience is a Spirit empowered, energised restraint
A man’s wisdom gives him patience, it is his glory to overlook an offence. Proverbs 19:11
The apostle Paul 1 Thessalonians 5:13a-15 Be at peace among yourselves. And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. See that no one repays anyone evil for evil but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone.
So why does Paul encourage us to be patient with pretty much everyone that would ordinarily annoy us?
A Patient Person Can Help Heal A BrokenRelationship
Proverbs 15:18 A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.
Look at the story of Joseph’s life.
Unless we love those who have wronged us, there will not be a sufficient motivation to bear with them.
Through patience God can change a heart and heal a broken relationship.
A Patient Person Gives God Time To Work
Psalm 27:14 Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!
This waiting is not passive, it is a waiting with expectancy and anticipation.
Jesus did not give up on people? He didn’t write off the woman at the well because of her immoral lifestyle. He didn’t blacklist the tax collector, Zacchaeus because of his extortion. He didn’t exclude Peter because of his denial of the Christ.
He didn’t write you and I off because we were His enemies with no desire to know Him. Jesus does not give up on people. He loved, He forgave, He waited on God to work. Over time God by His Holy Spirit changed all those lives, changed our lives and more.
Because God Is Patient with Us
2 Peter 3:8-9 But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfil His promise as some count slowness but is patient toward you not wishing that any should perish but that all should reach repentance.
If God was to judge the world right now, at this very moment, a lot of people, we love and care about would be consigned to hell but thank God, He gives them one more minute, one more day, one more week, one more month, one more year, to come to Him!
We are called to be patient because God has been eternally patient with us.