Fruit Of The Spirit: Forbearance/Patience

Patience on blackboard

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 

Over the last few weeks I have looked at the fruits of the Spirit–love, joy and peace. Now I will be looking at forbearance or patience. The NIV translates the word as forbearance, while many other translations translate it as patience. Both carry the meaning of holding up under pressure or during trouble without anger, anxiety, or frustration.

Patience is something that is not often seen in this fallen world. Things cannot happen fast enough. No matter how fast something is, in a short time people want it to be faster.

Take a look at computers and how fast they are today compared to forty years ago and yet, people complain that they are not fast enough. Or look at the speed of driving down the road. Regardless of how high the speed limit is, there are some who will drive faster.
Frustrated with computer

The patience in these situations are just with things. People are also lacking in patience when it comes to life situations. Promotions do not come fast enough, someone does not return a text or phone call fast enough, a person is not checking out fast enough, and the list goes on indefinitely.

Others are also not patient with themselves. They did not learn fast enough, they did not change fast enough. They were not successful enough or some other fault that they see in themselves.

For many believers a lack of patience is found in waiting for a person to change a habit or for God to answer a prayer.

In all of these ways and many more people are not patient.

The bible is filled with examples of people who were patient and those who were not patient. Joseph was given a vision of him being a ruler. Before that came about he was thrown into slavery and into prison. But after many years of patience, he became the second in power over Egypt, only under Pharaoh.

Empty prison cells

David was anointed to be the next king of Israel. He had to run for his life for many years before he became king. He had multiple opportunities to seize the throne, but he would not take it by force. David waited for God to hand it to him. He waited in patience for God to move.

Job went through may trials and a lot of loss in his life. Yet, he waited patiently for God to restore him and stop the trials. He refused to curse God in his struggles, even when he did not understand what was going on or why it was happening.

The ultimate example of patience is Jesus:

For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:2b-3

The ‘enduring’ in these verses is patience. It is putting up with trouble and keep going forward without anger or frustration.

Snowy mountain

Jesus had taken on the all the sin of every person for all time and the anger of God the Father’s wrath against that sin so that you and I could have forgiveness and life. As He did that, He did not complain or murmur. He took with patience and love.

Now with describing patience from the bible and examples of how patience was displayed, what does that mean for you and I?

Good thing you asked! We are to live our lives just as Jesus lived His…with patience. So what does that look like?

Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools. Ecclesiastes 7:9

If one is patient, he will not be quickly provoked to anger. In other words he will not get angry when someone does something wrong or does not change like he thinks they should.

Roaring bear

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9

It takes a lot of patience to keep doing what is good and right. This is especially true if the person who you are doing good to is not grateful or despises you. Be patient because there is a reward for you from God if you do not give up.

Wrong way sign

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 1 Corinthians 13:4

God is love and we are to be like God—love. Everything that we say and do or do not say or do not do must be done out of love for God and for others. When we have the enduring perfect love of God in our hearts, we WILL be patient with ourselves and with others.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6

When you are anxious about anything, you are not at peace. Something is wrong and you are worried about it and striving to change it. Instead of being anxious bring it to God with thanksgiving and allow Him to deal with it and guide you through the situation. Relax and be at peace about it, rather than uptight and anxious. God is in control, let Him be.

Anxious lady

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12 

You will have afflictions, sicknesses and problems, Jesus promised that you will have trouble. Be patient. It will not last forever, though it may feel like it at the moment. Hold on and be patient because God is in control and is bringing you through the situation.

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Psalm 37:7

People will do wicked things. Good people in the church will do mean things or wrong things. Be patient and wait for God to move. Don’t forget God is in control of every situation. He sees what is going on. Be patient as you wait for Him to take care of the situation.

Control room

being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6

You do have faults, but God is working on you to fix them. He is building you into the image of Jesus. Do not be so harsh and impatient with yourself, but keep moving forward in Jesus with His Holy Spirit growing and changing daily. God will finish the work in you He set out to do. Be patient with yourself.

There are many other verses throughout the bible that talk about patience. Take the time to look them all up.

Seek God in learning to have the patience that the Holy Spirit can bring into your life. In order to get it, remember that you will have to go through some tough struggles challenging your patience. You cannot learn patience without a struggle against it. People and situations will challenge you.

Satan does not want you to be patient, but to blow your top and get angry, causing you to say and do things that are sinful. He wants you to fail and he will do what he can to bring that about.

Hold onto God and be led by His Holy Spirit and you will have patience.

Holding bars

When you are bearing His fruit of love, you will have joy. When you are bearing the fruit of joy, you will have peace. When you are bearing the fruit of peace, you will have patience or forbearance. Be filled with the Holy Spirit and bear His fruit. It is worth.

Thank you for continuing with me on this journey of looking at the fruit of the Spirit. Please feel free to share this with someone who can use it. Any comments or thoughts will be appreciated.

Next week I will be looking at kindness. I hope to see you then.

Ecclesiastes 1:2 Meaningless

Question on paper

“Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.” Ecclesiastes 1:2 

People search for meaning to why things occur as they do. Children are always asking why they have to learn some subject or topic in school. They do not see any meaning or reason for it.

Murders occur on a regular basis and people wonder why a person does the killing, especially in mass levels of killing. People want to know the meaning of why there are wars going on.

Disasters and sickness occur in the lives of people and people are always asking why. There does not appear any reason for these events to happen.

As people seek to find answers to why things happen, most often the answer appears that the event was meaningless, with no reason that one can see or understand. When this occurs, there are many who find life is meaningless and want to end it.

Solomon starts out this book with stating that everything is meaningless. There was no reason for anything.

Looking at most things there does not appear to be any meaning for why they occur. From the world’s viewpoint of everything that occurs, there is often no reason. Things often look hopeless and with no real purpose.

Those who believe in God, however, see things from a different perspective. Events in this life are seen from God’s eternal point of view, though often it is also difficult to see or understand.

The believer knows that things that are bad that occur happen because of sin. Sin brings people to do what should not be done. Sin has brought death, sickness and meaninglessness to many things in the lives of people.

Only in Jesus does one begin to see reason and meaning to everything that occurs. Without God there is no purpose for anything. God is the one who gives life and purpose to a person.

Going through your life, you will encounter things and events that do not appear to have any meaning or purpose. Turn your focus off of those events and onto God. Gain an eternal perspective of what is going on.

Realize that a lot of things that occur are because of sin and sinful choices.

Holding onto and believing in Jesus gives meaning and purpose to everything. Never forget that God works all things out for those who believe and trust in Him.

Your life does have meaning and purpose in Christ Jesus. Lean on Jesus and hope in Him.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that God will reveal your purpose in this life; that you will know the hope you can have in Jesus; and that God will reveal meaning to events in your life. 

Psalm 71:14 Praise With Hope

Sunrise in space

As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more. Psalm 71:14 

Looking at the events going on in the world, many people do not have much hope for this world. Natural disasters are occurring at catastrophic levels in new places all over the world. Violent crimes are rising in many cities around the world. Poverty and homelessness is on a rise. Cost of living is rising faster than paychecks. Wars and threats of war are seen everywhere.

These things are on the grand scale of life. Then there are the things in a person’s life. Sickness, injury, marital failings, children failing, drugs, alcohol, and more destroying lives and removing hope.

The list of what is going wrong in this world always seems to be increasing, leaving very little room for hope. It looks like doomsday is approaching quickly for most people.

The author of this psalm states that he will always have hope and thus will praise God more and more.

Hope is the expectation of something better that is unseen. At this point, one cannot see an end to many of the problems in this world. People are constantly at war as to how to deal with many of the problems in this world.

If all one does is look at this world and man alone, then there is no hope. There is no way for mankind to make things better. He will fail.

However, God has not left man alone. He is there to provide the needed help. As the author of this psalm wrote, Jesus had not yet died on the cross, yet, he had hope in God to provide the needed salvation.

God will win the battle in the end. Sin and death will be defeated and wiped out when Jesus returns. This is a hope that every believer has.

Knowing this can cause a believer to praise God even more each day.

Take your eyes off of the problems that are going on in this world. Focus on what God has already done for you and will do for you in the future. He will always be there for you and will continue to do more and more each day.

God has promised to save you and give you eternal life. Hold onto that hope and give Him praise for it.

Let the world know the hope that they can have. Let the world see the hope that you have as you praise God despite the circumstances of this world.

I pray today that you will know the hope you have in Jesus; that you will know how God has helped you already; that you will know the salvation that is yours; and that you will praise God more and more each day.

 

Marriage Vows: I Do

I do

One of the things that people look forward to in going to a wedding ceremony is waiting for the marriage vows to be said. When the vows are said, it completes the marriage ceremony and the couple are then married. It becomes official.

Although there is nothing in the bible about having to say a marriage vow when one gets married, there is nothing against the bible in saying a vow. All a vow is, is making a promise. It is promising that you will do or not do something. It is committing oneself to something or someone.

In a wedding ceremony the common traditional marriage vow goes somewhat like this:

“I, ___, take thee, ___, to be my wedded husband/wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I pledge thee my faith [or] pledge myself to you.”

Some have changed the wording some, but this is the basic standard of a traditional wedding vow or promise.

Autum twigs

When you look at this vow, you will see that it covers everything possible in a marriage–better/worse, richer/poorer, sickness/health. Every marriage will go through every one of these at some point or another. It is human nature to do better or worse, be richer or poorer, and have times of sickness or good health.

Every person who goes into a marriage must realize that these things will occur. There will be times of great joy and happiness, when everything is going perfectly. There will also be times of struggle and pain. Neither one should stop a marriage.

All of these things are done because of love. The next part of the vow is to love and cherish the spouse.

Love comes from God. Remember God is love. God loves you with a perfect, undying love. That love is a love that loves you no matter what, better/worse, richer/poorer, sickness/health. There will be times of better, worse, richer, poorer, sickness and health as you walk this life on this earth. God’s love for you remains the same. He keeps His promise to love you for all eternity.

Heart padlock

The same love God has for you is to be brought into a marriage. There will be times that will be better and there will be times that will be worse. There will be times that will be richer and times that will be poorer. There will be health as well as sickness. None of these things should change a marriage and the vows to each other.

As you are going through life married and begin to face some tough times, the worse times, look back to your vow at the beginning. Think about why you were willing to say ‘I do’ to those vows. Hold on to that reason. Keep loving and cherishing your spouse, regardless of what your spouse says or does.

It will not always be easy, but then life is not easy either. Walking with God is not always easy. There are always tough choices to make. There are always difficult times to walk through when walking with God. It is a walk of faith.

Older couple walking

Your marriage is a walk of faith with God. You are trusting that your spouse will be faithful and continue to love you, just as God has faith that you will be faithful and love Him as He loves you.

When you said ‘I do’ you made a promise. Now work at keeping that promise and don’t give up.

Thank you for continuing with me on this journey at looking at marriage. Next week I will look at the husband and his responsibility in a marriage. Have a blessed marriage in our Lord Jesus Christ! See you next week as we continue this journey.

Job 2:10 Accept Everything From God

Alberta Lake

He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” In all this, Job did not sin in what he said. Job 2:10 

When things are going good, people are happy. They are satisfied and ready to keep on going. However, when trouble comes, many people crash into depression and anger. Often they question why something bad is happening. They want to know why things are no longer going well.

At this point judgement starts to occur. They blame themselves, others or God for what is going wrong. Bitterness sets in and their life takes a downward spiral.

Shortly after loosing all of his livestock, servants and children–his material wealth–Job came down with sores covering his entire body. He would sit in ashes, scraping his skin, trying to find relief. His wife told him to give up on God, to curse God and die. She thought suicide would be the way out of all the suffering Job was going through.

Immediately Job told her that she was being foolish. He said that just as they accept good from God, they should also accept trouble from Him.

Accepting trouble in one’s life is very difficult, because it is painful and difficult. Often it does not make any sense. A person can be doing everything right, yet everything is going wrong.

However, God works all things out for the good of those who love Him and trust Him. God allows bad things in the lives of His people for a reason. It can be to build the person up, encourage others and build others up, or for them to be a witness to others.

Jesus did everything perfectly, never sinning, yet He had the greatest trouble put on any man of all time–the sins of every person, but it was for a purpose. It benefited Him and all mankind.

As you are going through a struggle, and you will, if you are not going through one right now, trust God in it. Give Him all the praise for who He is. Praise Him for knowing what is best for you. Praise Him for how He is going to bring you through that trouble. Praise Him for how He is going to use that trouble for your benefit.

Don’t fight against trouble and fall into depression or bitterness. Allow God to use it and change you. In the end you will have eternal life with no more troubles.

I pray today that you will know God’s faithfulness to you; that you will know God’s love for you; that you will trust God’s choices for you; and that you will praise God in every circumstance.

Mark 5:36 Don’t Be Afraid

On A High Cliff

Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” Mark 5:36

Jairus was trying to get Jesus come to heal his daughter. While he was talking to Jesus, some people came and told him that his daughter had died. Jesus told him not to be afraid, but to just believe.

When a person has a loved one who is dying, he is often filled with fear. Fear brings on panic. He is filled with panic that the person will not be healed in time.

People often run to the emergency room wanting the sick person to be taken care of immediately. When the ER personnel do not move fast enough, the person panics and gets upset. They are afraid that the doctors are not moving quick enough to take care of their loved one.

In this life people cannot fully see the big picture or the future. They cannot see what is going to happen next. All they can see is the present.

The future can often look bleak and dark with no hope. The doctor gives a diagnosis that is negative with no hope. The answer seems to be that there will only be death in the end.

Having no hope is often seen in sickness, but can also show up in the finances, unemployment, marriages, and many other areas of life. The world tells people to give up and quit because there is no hope. As with Jairus’ daughter, he was told to quit because she was dead.

In Christ Jesus, people have a hope that the world cannot see. He is the God of life and healing. God may not always reveal what is going to happen next, but a believer can know that it is for the best. 

You can know the promise of God that He will provide for your every need. You can also know the promise that God will never leave you or forsake you. Know all the promises of God for your life.

All of God’s promises are based on His perfect love for you. With His perfect love in your life, it will cast out all fear. You have no reason to be afraid, no matter what is thrown at you in this life. All you have to do is just believe the promises of God. Trust God and believe what He said and you will not be afraid.

I pray today that you will know the promises of God; that God’s peace will be in your life; that you will not be afraid of anything; and that you will believe all God’s promises to you.

Matthew 26:18 Keep Going Forward

 

Keep Moving ForwardHe replied, “Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house.’ ” Matthew 26:18

Jesus had already predicted His death. As the time for it was drawing closer, the time for the Passover was also arriving. He had determined to celebrate the Passover with the disciples, despite the extreme torture and death He was about to go through immediately afterwards.

Often in life people do not really know what is next in their life. Things come up in their life unexpectedly. One area that does come up unexpectedly, but then becomes a known thing is disease that will lead to death.

Cancer hits a lot of people. At the beginning of it there is a hope of healing and recovery. When the cancer hits stage four, most people lose all hope and are just waiting for death to occur.

At that level, most people give up on life. They shut down and just wait for the unwanted event to occur. All they see is the death that will occur and they no longer live in the joy of the life they still have.

Jesus knew that an extremely painful death was coming for Him. But He also knew that after that time of persecution and death, there would be eternal life. He knew that His death would also bring about life for many. So He continued forward with what needed to be done.

Believers have something to look forward too, even in death. They can look forward to eternal life. Until that death occurs, every believer has a work to do on this earth. There are always more people to be a witness too. There is always the ability to praise and worship God.

You may or may not be going through a life threatening sickness. You may or may not be facing death directly. However, there may be some other large disastrous event you are facing in your life.

If this is the case, do not shut down in fear or despair. Keep going forward worshipping and serving God with all of your life. God is with you and will give you the needed strength to do what needs to be done. Look forward to the hope you have once you are through the situation in this life.

I pray today that you will know the hope you have in Jesus; that you will know the joy you can have in God; that you will always move forward in God; and that you will do the work God has for you to do.