When you choose to walk in a covenantal relationship with God He imparts HIs Gifts of the Spirit to you as He brings forth His Fruit of the Spirit. As you experience the mixture of life, joy as well as trials, God is continually at work maturing you to look more like Him. Galatians 5:22 explains the divine fruit as the following: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control. Just like tending a garden, watching over the growth and maturation of His fruit in your life takes time.
I’ve been reflecting lately on all the wonders and truths God has shown me and entrusted to me over the years. His program for character development has at times been very challenging, especially learning what patience looks like to Him. We find Jesus in Luke 21 giving instructions to His followers, and in verse 19 He states: “By your endurance you will gain your lives.” The word endurance is found in the concordance #5278 as Hupomeno; meaning to remain under, to endure or sustain a load of miseries, adversities, persecutions or provocations in faith and patience toward things or circumstances. What Jesus is implying here is that things are going to get tough. Life is not going to always be sweet and it is important for you to develop your gift of endurance and patience to run and finish your race.
As a child, patience is waiting for Christmas or a birthday; even the end of school for summer vacation to commence. Patience may appear as a dream of finishing school, getting a drivers license or attending college or tech schools. Times seems to pass slowly as you look forward to these life markers. Then you may dream of finding a spouse, getting married and working in a great job, or making money to buy a house or car. You wait, and wait, and wait some more. After working for many years, you dream of retirement, travel, financial stability. In all your life experiences you learn to wait, learning patience, endurance, perseverance, knowing fulfillment will come some day. You may then find yourself care taking aging parents, or trusting for healing in your body, finances, relationships or children. More patience, enduring, waiting, waiting, waiting. Now by waiting, I mean actively waiting. Life doesn’t stand still. Life rolls along, but those hopes or desires and expectations remain as we patiently and diligently live each day. Ecclesiastes reminds us in 3:1-8 there is a season for everything under heaven. Recognizing your season of life will help you grow in patience and peace as well as understanding.
Patience is often one of the most difficult fruit to develop. When we acquire the ability to wait, we then reflect more of His peace. Learning patience in God’s time is certainly not like the world’s time. Healing may come as an instant miracle or it may arrive after much perseverance. Finances may instantaneously appear if you win the lottery or an inheritance, or it may take a lifetime to acquire and save. Jesus and His disciples taught His followers the importance of learning to be patient and endure. They knew it was important for their souls, as well as mental and spiritual health. “By your patient endurance you will gain your lives (possess your soul)”, Luke 21:19. “But the one who endures to the end, he shall be saved,” Matthew 24:13. “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance, and let patience have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing,” James 1:1-4.
Patience, endurance, perseverance, whatever you choose, is foundational in a believer’s journey with God. We as children are not always very patient, but in surrendering to God’s plans and understanding the season you may be in, you will find greater peace as you learn to bow to His hands molding you into a new person and becoming more like Him. Oswald Chambers wrote in his ageless devotional, My Utmost For His Highest: “God gives us a vision, and then He takes us down to the valley to batter us into shape of that vision. It is in the valley that so many of us give up and faint. Every God-given vision will become real if we will only have patience.”
A few thoughts to help you as you practice the skill of patient endurance: 1) Realize God is not in a hurry. He has given you eternity. He changes you the most in the difficult places. I have prayers 10 years and counting as well as prophetic words 30 years and waiting. Know that He hears your cries and will perform His work in your life in His perfect time. 2) When waiting seems unbearable, ask God if there is something for you to learn or do in the situation. Ask Him to give you clarity and understanding. 3) Find peace and comfort in His love for you knowing He works all things for your good. He is changing you as you endure. 4) Plan a time each day to quiet yourself and simply rest or talk with Him. Tell Him how you feel, knowing that He is listening and in time will respond as He sets things in order.
Father, thank You that You love us so much that You allow difficult times in life to cause us to grow and mature as You mold us to be more like You. Thank You for Your divine impartation and intervention in our lives, guiding us, teaching and changing us. Help us to learn to trust You more, knowing that You desire for us to prosper and be in health, as You teach our souls to prosper (3 John 1:2). ”Let us not become weary of doing what is good, for at the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up” ( Galatians 6:9). Thank you Father!
In His Love,