Tuesday, December 26, 2023



Patience - The fourth Fruit of the Spirit.

This one is tough.

So tough, I deleted everything I wrote yesterday.  I wasn't feeling it, and I think my writing reflected it.

This morning I read this quote by Billy Graham, "Don't let your circumstances distress you.  Rather, look for the will of God for your life to be revealed in and through those circumstances."

This year, the holiday weekend was rough.

I had plenty to do - friends, family, events, gatherings.  Everything was in place as tradition called for, but the burden I have been carrying was still weighing heavy on my heart.

Scripture says the devil roams the earth as a lion looking for its next prey and someone to devour.  Sometimes, I feel like we may not be "devoured," but we can end up being nibbled on or a "snack."

I have been a little slack lately in putting on my Armor of God and maybe that was the issue or maybe the devil just strategically wanted to use the holidays to remind me of what was loss instead of what I possess.

Either way, I have heard from a few friends this morning who were struggling as well.  I think the devil goes into overtime over the Christmas holidays trying to snag and trip up people.  It almost seems like he gets a little jolly over the prospect of it, and maybe we are even easy prey for him.

I hate that.  I am trying so hard to pray for God to help me embrace positivity, joy, and happiness right now, and I am praying so hard for God to manifest within me the Fruits of the Spirit.

This one particular fruit - patience - is really giving me a good go for my money.  

Out of all the gifts of the Spirit, this one has got to be the hardest.  We want God to answer our prayers (immediately most of the time), stop our hurts, or open doors - but we don't want to trust His process - we just want to focus on the outcome.  And God wants us to manifest patience.

And that's where Billy Graham's wisdom comes in when he says, "Don't let your circumstances distress you!"

We should be looking at those circumstances in an upside-down sort of way - instead of letting them distress us, we should be thinking, "How is God's will working through this circumstance I am facing right now?"

And, like I said above, that is tough.

James 5:7-8 ends with this, "...be patient and stand firm because the Lord's coming is near."

Wow.  Be patient and stand firm because the Lord's coming is near. 

If there was ever a good, no GREAT, reason to be patient, it would be because JESUS is coming near TO US.

What an amazing promise inside Scripture.

I think if I know Jesus is coming near to me, I can stand still, be firm, and exercise some patience.  This may be one of those verses I put on my mirror or a note card.  The prospect or thought of being patient becomes so much clearer and easier with the promise of Jesus coming near to me as a result.

I love this quote I read that goes along with the promise of Jesus returning to us one day, "Patience isn’t just about waiting, it’s about waiting without becoming angry or upset. As we wait for various things in life overall, we’re also waiting for Christ to come and establish His kingdom forever."

Does that hit home with you too?  Patience is about waiting without becoming angry or upset.

For the past 12 weeks, I have been praying the same prayers over and over again.  I'm not sure you could call that patience on my part, but instead, it seems to be just what's on my heart and a gentle leading from God's Holy Spirit.

This weekend, one of those prayers was answered.  I was humbled and could not hold the tears back as I drove home from church.  I wasn't crying because a prayer was answered for me; I was crying because a prayer I had been praying for someone else was answered - and I was extremely humbled that God would not only answer my prayer but show me the prayer in action.

I had been waiting 12 weeks for that prayer to be answered.  I was never angry or upset with God for being silent or what seemed like my prayers hitting the bedroom ceiling.  I just waited.

It was a good lesson to me on the value of having patience and seeing what pushing through a hard period can produce - Fruit of the Spirit!

Tough?  Yes.  Worth it?  Also, yes.

"In order to wait well through all of these things, we must live with patience. Patience means we wait with hope and that hope comes from knowing who the promise giver and promise keeper is. Patience also enables us to treat others with the same love and kindness that Jesus treats us with. From small inconveniences to other more difficult problems, patience looks like being gentle, humble, servant-hearted, and trusting. A strong faith in our perfectly patient Father will lead to an increasingly patient heart within us, His children.

Therefore, patience can only become more natural in us when we root ourselves in Christ. His promises and character must be at the forefront of our minds. The Holy Spirit will help us live patiently because He helps us live by God’s truth and live in full surrender."

Patience is waiting with hope.  Hope comes from knowing Jesus.  We can treat others as Jesus treats us because we know Him personally.  The Fruit of the Spirit - patience enables us to treat others with the love and kindness of Jesus.

I will wrap with this.

My son is home for the holidays.  He said something wise to me the other day, "Mom, don't take what people say to heart.  It doesn't matter what they said to you or to [my brother and sister-in-law].  People say things because they want other people to think a certain way or believe they feel a certain way, but when we are alone and by ourselves, we think and ponder and know how we feel on the inside.  And most of the time, it is decidedly different than what we have presented to others.  I can promise you what was said was completely different than what [they] feel inside."

I may be paraphrasing that a little, but you get the idea...

"Don't let your circumstances distress you!"

Keep your eyes on Jesus and HIS will for your life and ponder, "How is God's will working trough my circumstance?"

James 5:7-8 - a good memory verse for all of us today:

"...be patient and stand firm because the Lord's coming is near."

Count on it being a great holiday week for you this year.  I pray it is filled with hope and promises and lots of patience.  People - we got this!

Merry Christmas my friends and Happy New Year!


No comments:

Post a Comment