I have found myself in a number of situations during the past week in which the words have flashed silently across my mind: “Love is patient.”
According to the apostle Paul, one of the characteristics of a genuine Christian’s life is patience. Galatians 5:22 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience.”
Patience is the Holy Spirit given ability to suffer well. Jesus is THE example of this kind of patience. It is the capacity to endure the afflictions without complaining. It is the grace of perseverance. It is the ability to get the short end of the stick and accept it as being from God. Never was there a man more patient in His suffering than Jesus. Never has a man suffered so much so well.
Love is patient. I just have to be honest. At times I really don’t want to be patient. But the bible tells me that love is patient and it is one of the fruit of the Spirit so I am practicing it. But to be perfectly honest, if I wasn’t trying to please God, I wouldn’t try to be this patient.
Patience takes courage, it takes strength, it takes guts. Patience is the power to keep on loving people when they hurt you, ignore you and disrespect you. Patience does not quit on people when they misbehave. Patience gives people a chance to change. And even if they never change, patience keeps on loving. Patience keeps on hoping, patience keeps on loving anyway. Because that is exactly the way God loves us, isn’t it? Aren’t you glad God is patient with you? I am.
Think about it. Isn’t God incredibly patient with us? Psalm 103:13-14 “As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; 14 for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.”
I have seen that showing His love to others is His highest priority for us. I also need to remember that love comes from God Himself. He is the source of love, as we have seen. Since God is love, He is also patient towards us. He is the great example of the patience of love. God is patiently loving towards us.
God has been patient with us and this is true of us who have been saved by faith in Christ. He has mercifully shown us His love and patience and saved us through Christ and He wants us to follow in His steps. He is so patient with us; it is incumbent upon us to demonstrate the same patience to others, that He constantly shows to us. If we really understand how patient God has been with us, then we will have no qualms about showing that same patient love towards others. Love will make us patient and tolerant of the flaws and annoyances we get from each other.
The continued practice of patience will bring about a greater love for Christ and for our neighbour. We become more tolerant of others’ faults, more forgiving, and more ready to help others.
I praise God for his patience. Without it, I wouldn’t be here. I am humbled by His patience. And I am convicted to show his patience in my life with others!
I could go on and on with applications, but the bottom line is, we should show the patience that comes from love in every area of our lives. I Thess. 5:14 says: “Be patient with everyone.” And because love is first of all, patient, it means that there is no one in your life to whom you are not to demonstrate the patience that comes from love.
A little patience and love can go a long way.
I need to daily recommit my mind, my heart and my soul to God and his word and its promises to become more of the person I want to become. That humble, loving and patient servant of God.
Inspired by love and patience towards me…