through His Word
by Laura W. Watts
Standing under the canopy of the Angle Oak tree in Charleston, SC, I was awestruck by its grandeur and majesty. Uniquely sculpted by forces of nature in stunning twists and bends, this masterpiece of our Creator, God, has endured the test of time.
The end of a thing is better than its beginning; the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit (Ecclesiastes 7:8 NKJV).
Like the beauty of this oak tree, our patience is shaped through the countless struggles of life. As we persevere through each trial, we develop more and more into the image of Christ, until we stand strong and become a refuge for others to receive God’s patience through us.
With all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love (Ephesians 4:2 NKJV, emphasis mine).
Love suffers long and is kind … (1 Corinthians 13:4 NKJV).
The Source of Patience
I was born with the propensity towards anger, and I confess there are some people who rub me the wrong way. When I encounter road rage, poor customer service, or a whiny person, I get frustrated and angry inside. It’s hard for me to respond in patience, and sometimes I fail.
You may have encountered people who try your patience, too. But, be encouraged. I have found the source of patience.
The source of genuine, heartfelt patience comes from the Holy Spirit.
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness (Galatians 5:22 NLT, emphasis mine).
As believers, it doesn’t take a lifetime to produce patience. When we rely on the Holy Spirit, He gives us patience whenever we need it. Our part is learning to lean on Him, and trust Him to direct our words and deeds. We can produce patience, and all the other fruits of the Spirit, as soon as we learn the simplicity of submission—quit trying in our own strength and let the Holy Spirit work through us.
Patience in the Workplace
Last week, I had a double dose of events within the first hour of my work day which demanded an instant decision on how to react—fury or calm, anger or longsuffering. One person came by my office and told me about a challenging situation. No sooner had the first person left, then another person came by.
As I listened to the second person explain what happened, I sensed my heart rate speeding up, my face becoming flushed, and my blood getting ready to boil. With a quick prayer in silence, God, help me out of this one, then, a few deep breaths, I turned the situation over to God. He provided the wisdom to help me through the situation without over-reacting in haste.
He who is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he who is impulsive exalts folly (Proverbs 14:29 NKJV, emphasis mine).
Although it wasn’t funny then, I laughed about it later, because I knew this trial was a God-thing. Two days prior, my pastor had asked me to speak on patience, and I think God wanted me to have some first-hand experience with bearing the fruit of patience.
Patience in the Walk
God is patient and longsuffering with us as we learn His ways. We, in turn, need to have patience with God. Many times waiting eagerly on God to respond to our prayers is the hardest wait of all. We expect God’s response according to our time, but His timing will always be perfect, because He knows what is best for us. He knows our tomorrows.
I waited patiently for the LORD to help me, and He inclined to me, and heard my cry. (Psalm 40:1 NKJV, emphasis mine).
There’s only one way to learn how to be patient. Practice. Instead of trying to avoid the challenges in front of us, we must walk through them, and learn to rely on God’s Holy Spirit.
Here’s something I have learned to do in difficult situations when I need patience, and it works. The SSS response—Stop, Seek, and Submit.
Stop and think about the other person first.
Seek God’s wisdom for what to do and say.
Submit to what He shows you to do.
The discretion of a man puts off his anger; and his glory is to overlook a transgression (Proverbs 19:11 NKJV, emphasis mine).
When we submit to the Spirit of God, we will bear the fruit of patience in our life.
© Copyright 2016 by Laura W. Watts
Laura W. Watts is a pastor’s wife, speaker, Bible teacher, and writer who works full-time as the CFO for the SC Department of Revenue. She is co-founder of Full Course Ministries, a 501(c)3 organization with a mission to help individuals connect with God in spirit, mind, and body. She desires to see fellow believers experience the abundant life in Jesus. Follow Laura on Twitter: Sweet Pea @setfreewatts. On Facebook: Laura Wilson Watts.
This post is a part of our new Door Post Verses Series, which shares Bible verses on practical, spiritual topics. For 3 ideas of how to keep God’s Word before you all the time, see our introductory post. For Bible verses on our first two topics, visit the posts called Strength and Forgiveness.patience, kindness, the fruit of the Spirit, waiting on God, Laura Wilson Watts, Door Post Verses: Patience, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies