Sunday, January 25, 2009

Patience. The Fruit you want right now!

I came across a few interesting quotes this week on patience.
“How can a society that exists on instant rice, packaged cake mixes, frozen dinners, and instant cameras teach patience to its young?” ~Paul Sweeney
“Patience is something you admire in the driver behind you and scorn in the one ahead.” ~Mac McCleary
“Still achieving, still pursuing, Learn to labor and to wait.” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
And then in Lamentations 3.25, “The LORD is good to those whose hope is in Him, to the one who seeks Him.”
Or, “I am extraordinarily patient, provided I get my own way in the end.” Margaret Thatcher

How many times in the day or week has your patience been tested? What are the hot spots that erupt your impatience? Why even try to have this fruit alive and active in your life? I do hope that by the end of our time this morning, you will find a way to build your patience and allow that and other fruit of the Spirit be as natural as breathing.

Face the facts, you all need to breath. We all need to show patience...mainly because our Lord is patient with us...BIG TIME.

2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

And seeing this fourth fruit is tucked into the other more desirable fruit, we need to realize this fruit is important, too.

From 1 Cor 13:4-10 , we define this fruit: Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.

Now, lets try something. Put your name in the blank...not to make us feel strange or defeated, but as a target for your life...

____ is patient, ___ is kind. ___ does not envy, ___ does not boast, ___ is not proud. ___ is not rude, ___ is not self-seeking, ___ is not easily angered, ___ keeps no record of wrongs. ___ does not delight in evil but ____rejoices with the truth. ____ always protects, ____ always trusts, ____ always hopes, ____ always perseveres.
____ never fails.

Why is this important? Because...
Patience effects our relationships.

There is a command for patience in the Bible. It is not one that you can pick. I’ll take love and patience but not faithfulness or goodness.

In James 5:7, we read: “Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord's coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains.”

Patience effects our emotions
It comes out in our Stress, we become sick, we act jealous, full of envy.

When you win in cards, running, darts, a lottery, win in love, there is a great reward! There is also a great reward in having patience alive in you.

Hebrews 10:36 (NIV) “You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised.”

Or from the Amplified Bible “For you have need of steadfast patience and endurance, so that you may perform and fully accomplish the will of God, and thus receive and carry away [and enjoy to the full] what is promised.”

When we win in this contest of the battle for our will and spirit, our emotions are lifted and we are set free.

John 8:32 “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

The Truth here is that it is promised to us. Enjoy to the full sort of living. There is real freedom in that!

And as we saw from Lamentations 3.25 “The LORD is good to those whose hope is in Him, to the one who seeks Him.”

A great reward, indeed!

Patience effects our final ‘run.’

Matthew 25:23 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!’”

The complete joy may not be understood now...not yet. There may not be even a hint of joy in what you are going through, but He is faithful. Him, who has called you to follow Him will provide for you a way to stand up and move on with life. Again, it may not look like the dream you once had but in the long run, there will be no more tears, no sadness, no sorrow. It will be His joy in you as you patience, for Him to bring these things to past.

Six things to look to as this Godly patience is being worked into your impatient lives.
  1. Faith: 2 Thess 1:4
  2. Wait: Isa 40:31
  3. Trust: Isa 25:9
  4. Suffering: Romans 5:3-5
  5. Obey: 1 Peter 2:18-19
  6. Stand firm: James 5:8
To close, I found this quote from maybe a Greek man named Anonymous:
“Patience is waiting. Not passively waiting. That is laziness. But to keep going when the going is hard and slow - that is patience.”

Moving toward the MARK! Toward the Lord. And this is done with the Holy One working His will out in your life as you surrender to His tender care for you.


Next week: Communion Sunday. Come with a prepared heart to remember Him.
And remain in Him!