We all know people who are short-tempered: people who lose patience quickly and blow up in anger. God does not want His children to live in agitation but in peace. God is patient, and His Spirit produces the fruit of patience in us. Patience means the ability to hold one’s temper for a long time. It is the ability that allows us to look at people and not at their circumstances or behavior. A patient person is able to endure much pain and suffering without complaining. Patience has to do with having a fairly long fuse, being able to absorb life’s annoyances without exploding in anger. Proverbs 15: 18 tells us the consequences of being impatient. “A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.” An impatient person is annoyed, intolerant, worried and has a desire to seek revenge. Patience shows self-restraint and allows a person to think before he acts. When we are patient, we leave room for God to work in our hearts and we lay down our schedule and trust in God’s. When we’re patient, we can absorb life’s irritations and annoyances. We can absorb them the way a good thick towel absorbs splatters and spills. Being impatient prevent us from seeing, as our Lord wants us to see, that all things will work together for our good. We should always place our trust in the Lord and not let the temporary things of life bother or distract us from our purpose and call.
God has been incredibly patient with us. 2 Peter 3:9b says “ He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” Since patience is a fruit of the Spirit, we can only possess patience through the power and work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We must “put on” Christ, meaning we must conduct our lives in the same way Christ would if He were in our position. That is how we please God. There are several reasons why we should practice patience. First, patience acknowledges that you realize that you are not perfect. Matthew 7: 1,2 says “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” No one in the Bible was perfect except Jesus himself, and you and I will never be perfect. So how can we judge and be impatient with others? Secondly, being patient shows that you have inner peace because impatience reflects an inner turmoil which should not be so if you have faith. God gives us the power through the Spirit to have great endurance and patience and in light of all that God has done for us, we have a peace and joy not found in the world.
We can only have patience with others if we have faith in God. Our faith assures us that we know that God is in control of every situation we might find ourselves in. If you believe the Word of God, you will not let stress or doubt enter your mind. Allow the fruit of patience to be evident in your life and be patient as God is patient. God wants us all to be like Him and He has given us His Spirit to make it possible.