The Fruit of Patience

Cultivating the Fruits of the Spirit  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  52:00
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Let us this morning continue in our series, “Cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit” today is part 4 entitled “The Fruit of Patience”.
Up to this point we have look within the fruit basket and explored closer the fruits of love, joy, and peace. These three are very nice often understood to some degree and sound very spiritual and almost heavenly.
However, the fruit of patience brings with it a different reality. Because love, joy peace sound sound so noble, good and wonderful. We love talking about those attributes. But what about patience?
Lets read the text this morning Galatians 5:22-23
Galatians 5:22–23 (NKJV)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
The word Paul uses literally means “long suffering” it can be also translated to mean “forbearance” a word we don't use very often anymore. Both words help us to get the full flavor of this Spiritual fruit.
Patience as fruit of the Spirit means the following:
The ability to endure for a long time whatever opposition and suffering many come our way, and to show perseverance without wanting retaliation or revenge.
The ability to put up with the weaknesses and shortcomings of others (including other believers), and to show forbearance toward them, without getting quickly irritated or angry enough to want to fight back.
Cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit: Growing in Christlikeness Watch a video from Chris about patience at

So patience is a tough sort of word. It demands strength and stamina, and it depends on being able to exercise control over our reactions to others. None of that is easy. It doesn’t come naturally to us, which is why we need the Spirit of God to make it grow in our lives.

But before we think about how we should behave, we should start by thinking about the patience of God himself. Remember, when we talk about the fruit of the Spirit, it means that God’s own character is bearing fruit in our character. The life of God is at work within our life.

So lets first take a quick look at the patience of God in the OT.


We may not think of the patience of God in the OT. Many people think that the OT God was always angry. Now there are certainly times when God’s anger against people’s sin was demonstrated through His disapproval in form of His wrath upon their wickedness.
However, when God identified and described Himself to Moses this is what He had to say: Ex. 34:6
Exodus 34:6 NKJV
6 And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth,
“Slow to Anger” is a good way of expressing what is meant by patience. God showed this attribute many times within the OT. Take for example the great sin by the people of Israel at Mt. Sinai. It was their apostasy and idolatry with the golden calf (Ex. 32) where God had every right to exercise judgment on that occasion. But instead showed mercy and patience.
The very famous verse (Ex. 34:6) is echoed quite often through out the OT. One of the most beautiful examples of this is found in Psalm 103:8-10
Psalm 103:8–10 NKJV
8 The Lord is merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy. 9 He will not always strive with us, Nor will He keep His anger forever. 10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities.
Even when judgment is clearly deserved, God is patient, especially when there is a chance of repentance. That’s what Jonah discovered.
Well, actually Jonah knew it already, and so he criticizes God for being so patient and forgiving! Jonah was embarrassed and angry by the very quality that God had so often shown to Israel, when it was for the benefit of hated foreigners (Jon 3:10–4:4).
Cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit: Growing in Christlikeness Watch a video from Chris about patience at

“Slow to anger,” said God about himself. And even when God’s anger is rightly and necessarily aroused by human wickedness and sin, his anger does not last forever. Micah saw that aspect of God’s character (that he does not stay angry forever) as something unique about Yahweh the God of Israel, something that was not true of other alleged gods.

Micah 7:18–19 NKJV
18 Who is a God like You, Pardoning iniquity And passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever, Because He delights in mercy. 19 He will again have compassion on us, And will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins Into the depths of the sea.
All throughout the OT we find this attribute of God. From Hos.11:1-4, Jer. 3-25, and into book of Isaiah.
Isaiah 53:4 NKJV
4 Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted.
Isaiah 53:6 NKJV
6 All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
Isaiah 53:12 NKJV
12 Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, And He shall divide the spoil with the strong, Because He poured out His soul unto death, And He was numbered with the transgressors, And He bore the sin of many, And made intercession for the transgressors.
Through the prophet Isaiah God was foretelling a time that would come when God would demonstrated His loving patience and mercy by coming down Himself in the form of flesh and taking sin upon himself.
God borne our sin, carried it himself in the person of His Son, taking upon His own shoulders his righteous anger against all evil and wickedness. That is the true cost of God’s patience. And that leads us directly to Jesus.


Cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit: Growing in Christlikeness Watch a video from Chris about patience at

The patience of Jesus with his disciples was tested a lot, as they were so often slow to understand what he was saying and doing (but I don’t think any of us would have done any better). Nevertheless, Jesus persevered with them.

As John put it in John 13:1
John 13:1 NKJV
1 Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.
Jesus loved them from the beginning to the end and continues to pour out His love upon all who trust in His name.
Jesus had persevered with them patiently through all their faults and failings.
Cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit: Growing in Christlikeness Watch a video from Chris about patience at

The supreme patience of Jesus is demonstrated, of course, as he endured the violence, cruelty, and injustice of the cross. And he did that precisely in order to “bear/carry” our sins—without retaliation, but trusting in his Father God. In other words, in his suffering and death, Jesus was bearing not only the immediate hostility of those who demanded and carried out his crucifixion, but also the sin of the world, including yours and mine.

Peter sees the patient suffering of Jesus as a model for our own endurance, in words that echo and quote Isaiah 53.

The power of the fruit of Spirit is illustrated by Peter, in 1 Peter 2:20-24
1 Peter 2:20–24 NIV
20 But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. 21 To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. 22 “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” 23 When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. 24 “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”
Naturally, therefore, if the Spirit of God is the Spirit of Jesus (as the New Testament sometimes says), then this is one of the ways that he will make us more like Christ, by following his example. The fruit of the Spirit will include the quality of patience that reflects how Christ bore the suffering he endured for our salvation.
So that brings us at last to ourselves. We’ve seen something of the patience of God in the Old Testament and the patience of Christ in the New Testament. What will it look like when that God-like patience grows like fruit in our own lives?


Lets go back to those two words that we mentioned at the start. Long-suffering and forbearance. Long-suffering meaning (endurance of persecution) and forbearance meaning (forgiveness of one another), both the word patience is used in both ways in the NT.
First lets look closer at Endurance of suffering. The Bible teaches us very clearly that God’s people will suffer from the hostility of those who are enemies of God and God’s people.
And so Christ’s example becomes crucial for us. And when we think about Christ’s suffering, what matters is not just the fact that he suffered, but the way he endured that suffering.
Listen to how Peter expresses this in 1 Peter 4:12-14
1 Peter 4:12–14 NKJV
12 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; 13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. 14 If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified.
1 Peter 4:16 NKJV
16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.
1 Peter 4:19 NKJV
19 Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.
Here is the message from these verses. When Christians suffer for Christ’s sake, there should be the following.
1. No surprise (we have been warned by Jesus and the apostles again and again to expect it).
2. No retaliation (because we follow the example of Christ, who did not fight back, not even in words when he could have called on an army of angels).
3. No quitting (when we commit our cause to God, we do not then sit back and wait, we carry on doing what we are called to do, and that is doing God’s good).
Paul even said the following about his own sufferings. 2 Tim. 3:10-12
2 Timothy 3:10–12 NKJV
10 But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, 11 persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra—what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. 12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.
So when we read about the Fruit of Patience this what Paul is referring to - Long suffering, but like I said this word in the Greek not only has one meaning but two and so Patience also means Forbearance with others.
Forbearance is Forgiveness of one another.
Jesus being the ultimate example, when He was on the cross He cried out the Father, “Father forgive them for they no not what they do” This was Christ showing forbearance towards those who were causing His sufferings.
Also Paul in various places through his letters to the churches said the following about having this kind of patience.
1 Thessalonians 5:12–15 NKJV
12 And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13 and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. Be at peace among yourselves. 14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all. 15 See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all.
Ephesians 4:1–2 NKJV
1 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, 2 with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love,
Colossians 3:13 NKJV
13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.
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