Some things are worth waiting for.
The original chicken sandwich and waffle fries after waiting in a long drive thru
Seeing your child’s face after 9 months of pregnancy
Opening presents on Christmas morning
Patience is required to really enjoy the current time even while we wait for something better to come. For over two months now we’ve been separated from one another in the church, worshipping online yet knowing it’s not at all an ideal substitute. Our wait is almost done, and I’m thankful that we’ll get back together soon, for that’s what God wills and what we need.
Yet right now there’s a different kind of patience that is needed and will always be needed no matter what. It’s the patience that is in the Fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22.
Why do we need this? Let me illustrate with an… illustration. Recently a friend of mine pastoring a church in another state put up this chart on social media:
As you can see, that pastor is dealing with a frenzy of varied opinions coming at him, or at least he’s speaking with a bit of hyperbole about what is really going on. I can identify with him to a degree and not even as a fellow pastor. Just looking around social media these days I see each of those sentiments in one form or another. I know when we do get back together as a church, we will be dealing with competing ideas that come at us and in some ways will be so different from our ideas as to be offensive. Just because we’ll all be together again doesn’t mean we’ll all be united in how we’re thinking and feeling.
When those opinions ring out, think about the need for patience. Patience is the Spirit-produced quality in the life of the believer that enables him or her to bear difficulties without lashing out at others. What seems impossible to personally cook up is totally possible by the power of the Spirit within each of us who believe. What better power than the Spirit’s power do we need displayed right now? I can’t think of any.
Consider the source of patience in this passage today:
Colossians 1:11-12 – May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.
One, we already know patience to bear difficulties without lashing out comes only from God. How often have you snapped at someone when pressure was heavy on you? Likewise when did you refrain from snapping when you otherwise would have? The Lord does that restraining by His Spirit.
But another thing to note: we must pursue this patience by seeking the Lord. Paul prays that the Colossian believers would be patient in trials, endure hard times. Please seek the Lord in prayer, asking Him to strengthen you with all power, according to his glorious might to be patient with other people in the days ahead.
I also can’t escape that patience is connected to joy. You can see that in Paul’s prayer – please strengthen these believers for patience with joy. I recall from this that the Fruit of the Spirit is singular in Galatians 5:22. It’s not that the Spirit has all kinds of fruits that appear. The fact that it’s one fruit means that as we grow in patience we will likewise grow in joy and love and peace, etc.
Friends, before we come back together in the new season of transitioning back to Sunday morning worship, please prepare to be patient with one another.
- Think of one another as precious to God, fellow heirs of Christ, qualified by God to share that inheritance.
- Think of another’s needs before your own. When someone is particularly passionate about a point, don’t take time to argue how they may be wrong. Seek to understand what drives them to that point. Ask what they’ve been going through. Seek to know them better so you can love them well.
Ultimately we won’t be done with patience anytime soon. We wait for that time in eternity future when we will be with the Lord, when all these hard days are behind us. That is a time, for sure, worth waiting for.
Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-Control