Fruit #4: Patience

by Carolyn Hope

Patience can persuade a prince, and soft speech can break bones. (Proverbs 25:15)

Patience is often underrated, especially among a people or culture that is always hustling and bustling. We live in a world where opportunities can come and go in a flash, and in some ways, the advancement in technology has fostered an impatient atmosphere. We microwave meals, watch TV instantly on our computers, and drive 70 miles per hour on highways.

In such modern realities, patience can be seen as trivial, or even as weakness. “If you wait too long, you’ll miss your chance,” society whispers. “Act quickly before it’s too late!” The reality is that patience is extremely important, and patience is not weakness. In Paul’s letter to the Colossians, he wrote, “We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need” (1:11). It actually takes strength and the power of God to be patient!

Your patience is powerful. Patience has the ability to persuade people who normally wouldn’t budge. You can live patiently, for Holy Spirit living within you is the most patient one of all. When you follow Him, you will produce patience. Patience is not a feeling, but a conscientious decision. You may feel like screaming on the inside, but you can still choose to act in patience. Keep seeking Jesus, and ask Him to help you. He’ll teach you.

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Still Seasons

by Carolyn Hope

So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised. (Hebrews 10:35-36)

There are seasons in life where everything seems to be still. It feels like you’re not moving forward or going anywhere. From all appearances, nothing is happening. You may even feel stuck.

These times can be very frustrating, especially when you want to use your gifts and talents where you are. Often times in still seasons, however, your days will seem mundane and perhaps even meaningless.

If you’re in a season of stillness, hang in there. Don’t give up. Be patient. Whether or not you can see it, God is moving in your life. He hasn’t forgotten about you. Let Him develop you in character during this time. Let Him move deeply in your heart. This season will not be wasted.

Sometimes, the most beautiful revelations and the most intimate works are produced by still seasons. Don’t underestimate this time. God has a purpose for it, a purpose that is good and hopeful.

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Unfailing Patience

by Carolyn Hope

But when Ahab heard this message, he tore his clothing, dressed in burlap, and fasted. He even slept in burlap and went about in deep mourning. Then another message from the LORD came to Elijah: “Do you see how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Because he has done this, I will not do what I promised during his lifetime. It will happen to his sons; I will destroy his dynasty.” (1 Kings 21:27-29)

Ahab was probably Israel’s most wicked king (see 1 Kings 21:25-26). God proclaimed doom to him and his whole family because of his wickedness. In this passage, we see how Ahab responded to that decree – he humbled himself and mourned. The Lord saw this and decided to delay the destruction on Ahab’s family until after Ahab’s death.

This is only one example of the amazing patience God has for us. Even to those who are utterly depraved, those we would consider as ‘too far gone,’ He shows incredible patience and forbearance. Do not mistake God’s patience for a pass to do wrong – He is still a just King, who will punish the wicked and reward the righteous. Again and again in Scripture, however, God goes above and beyond with extravagant patience to unworthy people.

Patience says, “Wait a little longer.” No matter how long it’s been, or how hopeless it seems, patience doesn’t let go or give up. You, child of God, are a product of patience. Not only was God patient with you in the past, waiting for you to come to Him, but He is also patient with you now as you grow in Him. You can trust the patience Jesus has for you. It’s unending and unfailing.

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