Isaiah 40:31 - But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
Patience is generally understood as to be calm (temperance - self control). A person who sleeps is also calm, but that does not mean that he is patient. Then some would define patience as being calm and awaiting (in hope) for an event; yet again if we are awaiting an event, would that not mount to impatience? For example if I am expecting someone at home and I sit on a chair and keep my eyes on the door, how would that be called patience? How long would one sit? If it is patience then why sit in the chair all the time? Will not that be called partly anxious?
Does patience mean to endure tribulation? No.
For in his letters Paul talks about getting even; not doing it ourselves but letting God to do it for us.
Yet in patience we are called to endure. Patience is one of the few basic characteristic requirements of being a Christian along with righteousness, godliness (God fearing), meekness, faith and love.
Although patience is a very important aspect of being a Christian, yet among the fruit of the Holy Spirit it does not list.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering (slow to anger), gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance (self control): against such there is no law.
If patience is so important why it is not listed among the fruit of the Holy Spirit? If it is not from the Holy Spirit then where do we get patience from and how do we grow in it?
Patience is not a fruit but is connected with almost all of the fruit.
15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.
I could call patience as a fruit basket or better a fruit salad.
In simple understanding I would define patience as; if I am expecting the guest at home at 5:30pm; I go about doing my normal core of work, not sitting and watching at the door, until it is sharp 5:30pm when the guest has to arrive. I go to the door greet him and rejoice.
Here, we have basically four elements that go into patience:-
1) Knowledge of the event - for example here the time when it will happen.
2) Hope/Trust / Faith - trusting that things will not change, like in here the person will surely come.
3) Calmness / self control - keeping our state as natural as it can be while waiting, until the turn of the event.
4) Joy - Excitement to see it being fulfilled.
What we normally call as the gift of patience is the ability to keep the calmness or self-control during the process / period. But if any of the other three elements are missing, either the whole process will not mount to patience or we will not be able to keep calm during the wait in changing times.
If I do not know when (even approximately when) the event will happen or when we will receive, it will change my patience into either anxiety (impatience) or to a careless attitude which can amount to not waiting at all. Knowledge is a very important part of our having patience.
The other elements (fruit) help control and strengthen us in the period of wait. So patience is like putting all the fruit to the test and therefore help them grow in us.
[ Prayer Starter ]
Father God, You are the Lord of patience. You have given your Word unto us and in your Word You have written the start and the end. You know everything and endure everything; You await its fulfillment. You are excited, looking forward to see the end when man comes back to You. Show me to keep the same patience as You keep with me. I ask this in Jesus' Name, Amen.
P.S. - I am on the verge of finishing a teaching on the topic (this mail is an extract of it) this teaching I will upload on the site soon. The teaching gives details on how to grow in patience.
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