Hang in There! Developing Patience (Part 1)

Maria I. MorganUnderstanding God's Character

Hang in There! Developing Patience (Part 1)

Do you enjoy trials? Me neither. When they last for a long time, it’s even harder to choose the right attitude day after day. But the tough times allow us to develop a characteristic we can’t build under easy circumstances: longsuffering (patience).

Tough times allow us to develop a characteristic we can’t build under easy circumstances: longsuffering (patience).

Click to tweet

What is it exactly? Patient endurance in the face of suffering. And you’re right if you guessed that it doesn’t come naturally.

This month we’ll take a look at this important fruit of the Spirit and talk about how embracing our trial as part of God’s perfect plan, helps us to develop a longsuffering nature.

*The following is an excerpt for my Bible study, Outrageously Fruitful, and I’m praying it fills you with hope for your journey.

A Life Lesson:

If you are a home schooling parent, you know it can be challenging. Before our daughter Riley was born, my husband Steve and I made the decision to give it a try.

I was nervous and not really thrilled about the prospect of teaching. I have to admit, I had a bad attitude. In my reluctance, I viewed it more as a trial than a blessing.

There was a lot at stake. If I failed, I could imagine Riley being unable to read or write – permanently scarred for life. Okay, maybe I was being a bit dramatic.

I was tentative, so I chose a curriculum that offered everything in one kit so I would feel more confident. Teaching K-4 wasn’t too bad; but just to be sure I was doing everything right I opted to use videos for K-5. Yes, you read that right – I used videos. Am I dating myself?

Eye-opening experience

I wasn’t the creative type. I depended on the daily lesson plans to lay out what Riley needed to complete each day, and I stuck to all of their recommendations.

As Riley moved from one grade to the next, I found myself emphasizing good grades more than a love for learning. I would get irritated with Riley when she didn’t understand a concept the first time it was taught.

The difficult truth was that I didn’t want Riley to fail because I felt it would be a poor reflection on me.

My problem

We made the decision to enroll Riley in a Christian school when she began fourth grade. As an only child, we knew she would benefit from the interaction with her peers. Riley adjusted quickly to the transition – I was the one who had a hard time. I found myself still trying to manage Riley’s performance.

It was so important to me that she get good grades, it became a daily routine to review how she had done on each test and quiz. When the occasional low grade showed up in the mix, my patience was nowhere to be found. I was the one who needed to learn a few things.

God’s response

Thankfully God’s response to our mistakes is different.

I’ve messed up more times than I can count; yet God is longsuffering with me.

Click to tweet

His Word accurately describes His love:

For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust…But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children.Psalm 103:14,17; KJV

What a beautiful picture of His longsuffering nature.

Although I can’t go back and grace my daughter’s home school days with patience, when I experience difficulty today, I can choose to exercise this fruit with the help of the Holy Spirit. And that’s my prayer for you too.

A Time to Reflect

What kind of trial are you going through? How can it develop patience in you? Share your answers in the comments below.

Can I pray for you?

Heavenly Father, Thank You for demonstrating Your longsuffering nature over and over. Help me realize the trials I go through are designed to help me develop this fruit of the Spirit. Give me strength to walk in the Spirit today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Leave a comment on my wall if this post helped you

*Longsuffering is one of the fruit of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5:22. Next week we’ll continue to focus on this topic. If you’re interested in studying the fruit of the Spirit in greater detail, I’ve written a 10-week Bible study, Outrageously Fruitful, and you can pick it up here.

Share this post with your friends