We Serve a God Who is Long-Suffering Devotional Reading and Podcast
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such, there is no law.” –Galatians 5:22-23
Whether one is familiar or not with the characteristics of the Fruit of the Holy Spirit, we are accountable for the human effort of doing our part to receive a spiritual transformation of our characters. We cannot change ourselves without the Divine intervention of the Holy Spirit.
Working for many years in Behavioral Health proved that clients who learned psychological theories and how to use rational thinking in their therapy sessions when faced with a challenging situation resorted to their usual unhealthy behaviors.
We are living in perilous times and have lost the desire to make positive changes. Our decision has led us to become a product of our environment. The unbelievers have convinced us that we do not have to change, it’s the other person’s fault if they cannot accept who you are. Many Christians agree with the worldview of accepting me for who I am, but we add a qualifier, “I am a work in progress.” Truthfully, their mindset is “I have been like this my entire life and I am just fine the way that I am.”
If we think that our character doesn’t matter, Human Resources will verify that companies hire individuals because of their skill set and the majority of terminations are due to poor character traits.
Impatience–The Consequences of this Bitter Characteristic
Impatience is a bitter fruit that has escalated into a global standard of strength. Just do it now is promoted as a characteristic that leads to success. We value fast tracks, microwaves, quick starts, impossible productivity standards, buy it today or lose out on this good deal, and living in a fast-paced environment where waiting will not be tolerated. Truthfully, many of us are guilty of impatience if standing in line and traffic gridlocks produce anger and wreck our entire day.
Our world was not created to be static. Still, the rapid pace of fast-forward has resulted in corporations and societies easily terminating long-term CEOs and employees for individuals who can rapidly produce innovative ideas that will take them into the future with the speed of light.
Sadly, we have a global population who are struggling to keep up with the swift pace of impatience. Our acceptance of this norm has led to a marked decline in healthy character traits and coping skills. The increase in mental and emotional disorders, anxiety, worry, depression, and suicidal ideations have escalated to pandemic proportions. Violent crimes caused by those who have suffered emotional breakdowns have created a wave of fear and helplessness. Yes, we are living in a world that is out of control.
“…Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment… (Romans 12:3).
Perform an honest self-assessment. Are you part of the problem? Is impatience your motivator? Reflect on your lifestyle and home environment. Is it one of think fast, hurry up, and let’s go? Is tomorrow clouding your thoughts and preventing you from enjoying today? The reality that we are participating in the hurry-up culture requires immediate change.
One of the most destructive character traits to overcome is the bitter fruit of impatience. An impatient person’s heart has a garden filled with the weeds of self-importance, and disregard for others as evidenced by a spirit of annoyance, irrational thoughts, anger, rude behavior, and harsh, cutting words.
Believer alert! If your character includes impatience, you have an issue that is life-threatening to your relationship with Christ. The decision to make a positive change for yourself and your family is one that only you can make. Change requires self-awareness and humility, which is why spiritual growth does not occur in most people. Impatient people will lose out on receiving the reward of eternal life.
What is patience aka long-suffering? Patience or long-suffering is the ability and capacity to accept or tolerate delay without resentment, rancor, or complaints. Patience is a Fruit of the Spirit also known as long-suffering.
Throughout the Bible, we have examples of God’s trait of long-suffering with disobedient humanity. The Israelites wandered in the wilderness for 40 years. They were impatient, ungrateful, and had stubborn hearts. As a result, only two of the generation freed from enslavement, Joshua and Caleb were allowed to enter the Promised Land, and those under the age of 20.
We also have examples of men and women who possessed the trait of long-suffering, Noah, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, Hannah, Ruth, and Job. To live a life of patience is one of the greatest testimonies that the spirit of God dwells in us and we are being transformed into the character of Christ.
We are blessed and highly favored that we serve a God who is long-suffering. Can you imagine the innumerable prayers from believers that the Holy Spirit receives and then acts as an Intercessor [Romans 8:26] presenting them to Jesus, our High Priest?
Although our focus was on patience, we must understand that God expects every believer to have all of the characteristics of the Fruit of the Spirit. God provides us with His Divine intervention to achieve spiritual growth. From the human effort of praying daily for the anointing, presence, and power of the Holy Spirit, we are empowered with spiritual strength to become transformed into the likeness of Christ who possesses every righteous characteristic.
Prayer: God, we ask forgiveness for the sin of impatience. We desire to be transformed into the likeness of Christ. Help us to realize that through our spiritual growth, we can serve as a living testimony that Jesus saves and changes us. We pray for the anointing, power, and presence of the Holy Spirit as we continue our earthly journey to prepare for Jesus’ soon coming. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
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