The Fruit of the Spirit: Longsuffering

Galatians 5:22-23 mentions nine gifts of the Spirit and the fruit of the day is:

Longsuffering.  What in the world does that mean?  Patience.

Ooooh.  This is not a fun fruit, is it?

Who likes to wait in the fast paced world in which we live?  Nobody!

Who loves going through the storms of life?  Not me!

Who enjoys when circumstances are less than stellar?  No one!

So, then, why do we need to be patient or longsuffering?

“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;

Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”    

  ~ James 1:2-4

Nobody likes to talk about patience.  It’s kind of like a parent of a small child advocating eating veggies.  Yuck.  Candy tastes so much better!  However, will it help the child to grow into a mature adult?  No.  Patience is a lot like those veggies.

We don’t like life’s messy spots, but it’s those times that help us to grow and mature into the men and women of God we are meant to be.

So, how do we get patience?  We gain it by trusting God during the storms of life that He holds all things in His Sovereign hands and that He promises to work all things together for our good and His glory.  Trust.  That’s how we get patience.

Trust, even and especially when we don’t know which direction things will wind up going in our lives.  It could go really well and all of our earnest prayers will be answered.  Or… it could end in less than our ideal scenario and we will have to dig even deeper in our faith.

Trust is a lot like love in that regard.  We love unconditionally.  We must also trust God with reckless abandon.  Why?  Because He’s trustworthy.  No one knows the future.  Trust is required.  We can either trust in ourselves, however we have no super powers to control all things.  Or … we can trust in our Creator, who is not only omniscient but omnipresent.  He knows all things and is every where.  I choose to trust in our Creator who can make all things new in His timing and His way.  His thoughts are not our thoughts.  His ways are not our ways.  No.  They are so much higher.  He is the Potter and we are the clay.  We must allow Him to mold and shape our lives into the masterpiece He desires.  Does the clay dictate to the Potter what he should be?  No.  The Potter is in control at all times.  And so it is with us, friends.  God remains in control.  Even when life appears to be spiraling out of our control.  That’s when we hand the reins over to our Creator God and watch what He will do with our lives.

Yes, let patience have her perfect work so we may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

Are you willing to trust God with your life today?  He can be trusted.  He is the Friend that sticks closer than a brother.  And He is crazy about you.  His love is everlasting and unconditional.

Sometimes the process to get to where we need to be is painful, but the outcome will be so worth it!

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